Saturday, July 16, 2011

7/16 (Very) Quickie

The "Friday Night Lights" finale last night was very very well done, particularly the last 8-10 minutes. No spoilers here. But both a satisfying conclusion -- and, for fans, closure.

(Oh, and the Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place on July 16 -- congrats, Pirates fans.)

-- D.S.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Two Years of TimTeblog (Already?)

Want to read something really earnest about the two-year anniversary of the launch of Of course you do.

07/15 (FNL) Quickie

No NFL deal yet, but it sure feels inevitable -- now that they're this far, it's in everyone's best interests to get this settled soon enough (within a week) to get the teams in camps and going.

What I'm watching this weekend: The Women's World Cup final -- US vs. Japan.

What I'm watching tonight: The "Friday Night Lights" series finale. I'm among those who think it's a terrific show. I don't think there has been a TV mom in history played more skillfully than Connie Britton's "Tami Taylor." She, not Kyle Chandler's Coach Eric Taylor, is the true center of the show, and their relationship -- not the football stuff -- is the show's soul. I'm bummed the show is ending but grateful that it was given this final season to find some closure.

Anniversaries: Two years ago today, I launched, which from July 2009 through April 2010 (and particularly that July-January final college football season) was one of the most interesting experiences of my life -- as a writer, as a media-industry wonk and as a fan. The blog is still around -- nearly 1,000 posts later -- and the light posting is more a function of limited news about Tebow than a lack of interest in keeping it going. But for that first year: Wow, a lot of fun.

Quickish is rolling all day (and all weekend) with the latest on the NFL Lockout developments, coverage of the Women's World Cup final, great recommendations and so much more. Check it out!

-- D.S.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

07/14 (Clemens Mistrial) Quickie

Honestly, there was a very good chance that today would be the slowest day of the sports year. And then, of course, Roger Clemens had a mistrial. And all of a sudden it's yet another Big Story.

They just keep on coming. Tomorrow, it could be a handshake deal to end the NFL Lockout. Then the Women's World Cup Final, then college football media days.

Of course, the end to the NFL lockout would be huge news from now 'til... well, from now 'til, period. But really: Just when you think that the sports world can't top itself, it does.

I love that I get to watch all this up close and that we all get to watch it up close together. Full lockout coverage coming all day Friday on Quickish, for sure. Light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel time.

-- D.S.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

07/13 (USWNT!) Quickie

Slow on the draw today but now immersed in watching the USWNT in the Women's World Cup semi vs. France...

You know the MLB All-Star Game is bad when the top highlight is Justin Timberlake being interviewed by Mark Grace was the most memorable moment. (OK: Prince Fielder's HR.)

A quick note about Joe Buck: I'm not going to rip him like most, but I do think that if his voice wasn't up to his usual standards -- and it wasn't -- he shouldn't have called the game. I appreciate he battled back from a throat virus, but it wasn't in the best interests of fans the way he was.

Typically, the day after the MLB All-Star Game IS the slowest day of the sports year, but the Women's World Cup has changed that completely, giving the day a real national anchor.

Oh, and James Harrison's quotes in Men's Journal about Roger Goodell. Harrison is kind of insane and most definitely a fool. The retribution from the league (and perhaps his team) this fall will be harsh and swift. But let's agree that if we're at the point the league can punish players -- because, y'know, we've got a labor deal -- that's a good thing.

This made me smile this morning: Video of John Wall last night at a pro-am summer league game in Raleigh, just destroying Julius Hodge. These gonzo videos of NBA players slumming it in summer leagues is helping feed the jones during the lockout.

More later. Enjoy the game and the day.

-- D.S.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

07/12 (Cano) Quickie

Another moment for "parents and kids" in sports. If last week's tragedy of Shannon and Cooper Stone was just about the worst thing I could possibly imagine, then last night's moment between Robinson Cano and his dad Jose was up near the best.

Robinson had his dad -- an erstwhile Major Leaguer years ago -- pitch to him in the Home Run Derby, and Cano crushed it (both of 'em). Robinson had 32 home runs to win the event, including a record-setting 12 in the finals. His home runs were spectacular.

Even better was the joyful hug shared between the parent and kid when Cano secured the Derby title. It shares a link with every parent who has ever softly pitched a ball to their kid -- earlier this year, I started doing that with my own kids; it's a wonderful moment.


Two other notable things about last night's Derby:

(1) The guy who caught a ball while jumping from the edge of the pool in the outfield into the water -- while still holding his beer with the lip of the cup just barely over the water line. It was spectacular -- frankly, I think it is the Web Gem of the season. Check it out here.

(2) The freaking moron who stood on a table in the outfield, then fell over it trying to catch a Prince Fielder ball. He needed his family and fans standing next to him to grab his ankles to keep him from plunging 20 feet below. To try something like that isn't just dangerous -- it is spitting in the face of everyone grieving for Shannon Stone. What a jerk/dope. Get more on that here.


MLB All-Star Game tonight: "It counts," so there's that. But otherwise, it feels more notable for the storyline about the number of players NOT playing than the ones who are. I will inevitably tune in, because who doesn't want to see Roy Halladay pitch to Jose Bautista, among other intriguing pitching matchups? I'm calling a low-scoring game, taut 'til the finish. (It would be nice if Fox at least mentioned the SB 1070 controversy -- I'm not holding my breath.)

(Meanwhile, Derek Jeter might be "exhausted" enough to skip the game, but I think that he owes it to the fans to at least show up. A lot of folks are pinning this on MLB for not escorting Jeter to the event, but it would be nice if Jeter took some initiative, too. BTW, speaking of Jeter: I would like to see the Yankees offer to pay the 3,000-hit guy's outstanding college loans -- roughly $100,000, which is easily what he could have gotten had he kept the ball and auctioned it off. It's a drop in the bucket for the team; if you appreciated the simple niceness of the fan, it would be great to see the team follow his lead.)

USWNT play France at 11:30 a.m. ET tomorrow on ESPN: The mid-day, mid-week major sports event (the epitome of which is, of course, the first two days of the NCAA Tournament) is one of my favorite moments of the sports calendar. If you can't watch, we'll try to make sure Quickish keeps you updated. (Twitter is a good bet, too.)

NFL labor deal by July 21? I think it happens. What a fun sprint until Labor Day that will be.

More later. Please pop by Quickish throughout the day for the best takes on the biggest topics, plus recommendations to other great stuff.

-- D.S.

Monday, July 11, 2011

07/11 (USWNT!!!) Quickie

Super-proud of the Quickish coverage of the US women's soccer World Cup win from yesterday, masterfully curated by Michael Katz. Please check it out.

So that was one of the most exciting finishes I can remember in sports. Playing 10-on-11 (for an hour!), down a goal -- not just the last minute of an extended overtime, but the last minute of stoppage time after a Brazil player faked an injury, tacking on a few extra minutes to OT.

Analogues are unfair and unnecessary, but this wasn't like a Hail Mary touchdown in football or a buzzer-beater in hoops. This was like being down 25 with two minutes to play and winning. The closest thing I can think of is a baseball analogy -- it was like being down 8 or 9 runs with two outs in the 9th, against an All-Star closer, with your pitcher coming up to bat -- and winning.

"This is why we love sports" is so cliche -- but so universal and true. It is certainly at the heart of why I personally love sports. It was as remarkable of a finish of a game as I can remember.

(My only regret -- and this is fairly meta-media stuff, so forgive me -- is that as I surveyed the sports-news landscape last night and this morning for compelling takes on the game, there was such a dearth that I almost couldn't believe it. Hoping for more as the day progresses.)

It was a hell of a weekend in sports -- just when you think Derek Jeter reaching 3,000 career hits on a home run is the most dramatic thing that could happen this weekend, the USWNT tops it. (And, as amazing as Jeter's performance on Saturday was, it was topped on Sunday by the women.)

I remain utterly saddened by the tragedy of Shannon Stone's death in Texas. As jaw-dropping as Jeter's 3,000th hit was or as jubilant as Abby Wambach's header was, I just can't shake how crushed I am about Stone and his family's loss.

I hope people don't lose sight of him as the sports world moves on, as it always does: First Jeter, then the US women's soccer team. This morning brings optimism about an NFL labor deal perhaps as early as 10 days from now. Tonight is the Home Run Derby; tomorrow is the MLB All-Star Game -- no matter who pulls out of it, still a great midsummer event. The ESPYs are mid-week -- is it too late to write-in Wambach's goal as the Play of the Year? We're near college football "media days," which -- at least in the SEC -- is an event unto itself.

I have been covering all sports on a daily basis for nearly 9 years -- there is this notion that mid-July is the "slowest moment of the sports year." (This year, that was supposed to be compounded by NFL and NBA lockouts.) Sure doesn't feel like it.

In fact, on an early-July Sunday that is supposed to be as slow as it gets, we got the most electrifying moment of the sports year. Not bad.

-- D.S.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday 7/10 (Jeter 3,000) Quickie

Well, hard to add a whole lot to what happened yesterday -- or what has been said since:

Derek Jeter crossed the 3,000-hit threshold in just about the most dramatic way possible -- on a home run, part of a 5-for-5 day (including the game-winning hit), in front of a frenzied crowd.

You can hate the Yankees and/or you can loathe the drenching love in the media for Jeter, but it's hard to begrudge his career, his accomplishments and -- frankly -- how he goes about his business.

Joe Sheehan said this in his newsletter yesterday about Jeter: When we look back, Jeter will be the poster player of this generation -- not Bonds or Pujols or anything related to steroids.

That's probably a good thing. In Jeter, we have a guy who put up great stats, won a lot of games, won a lot of important games and conducted himself with self-respect and respect for the game and its fans.

My 5-year-old son -- only discovering his sports fandom in the past few months -- recently proclaimed the Yankees are his favorite team. It's not an outrageous idea, given that we live in New York and he is surrounded by Yankees iconography, propaganda and fans.

As a Yankees-hater, that wounds me a bit. But my kid could do a lot worse than rooting for Derek Jeter, even if by the time he is 8 -- let alone a teenager -- Jeter is a distant memory.

For now, it seems reasonable that watching Jeter's 3,000th hit live and having it be as dramatic as it was will be a very acute memory for me for a very long time.

Recommended reading:'s Joe Posnanski on the moment when Jeter hit No. 3,000 and what it means.

-- D.S.