Friday, December 23, 2011

12/23 (Festivus) Quickie

Happy Festivus! I have several grievances this year, but mostly I'm satisfied.

If you're not checking back all weekend, Merry Christmas (or Happy continued Hanukkah).

-- D.S.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12/21 (Year in Review) Quickie

It's that time of year. Looking back at the most indelibly interesting things for me from 2011....

1. I launched Quickish
. I have been working in Quickish since early 2010, but it didn't launch publicly until January. Since the day it went live, I have given over most of my life to keeping up with helping fans keep up. It has been the hardest (yet most satisfying) year of my career. More reflections on Quickish in a few weeks when we get closer to the 1-year anniversary of launching.

(The pace and intensity of Quickish has made it very difficult to focus on a single story or stories or moments that I felt were the biggest or most interesting of the year. Trying to think of the right combination of impact and interest, if I had to pick one -- with the obligatory "aside from Penn State..." -- it would be that last night of the MLB regular season.)

2. Gabe became a huge sports fan. Some time around Selection Sunday, it clicked, and since then, my 5-year-old has become a massive sports fan. He filled out a bracket, followed the NBA Playoffs, picked favorite teams, adopted my fantasy team and -- in large part thanks to Scott Hanson and NFL Red Zone Channel -- became a massive NFL fan. It's been fun for him -- even more fun for me. More about that later, too.

(Lots of moments to pick from, but the most thrilling by far was when Red Zone host Scott Hanson gave Gabe an on-air shout-out during Week 14 for Gabe's malaprop for Red Zone's weekly "Touchdown Montage" as the "Touchdown Massage.")

3. We relocated from Brooklyn to Bethesda. From the city to the suburbs. From an apartment to a house. It is very very different -- less the difference between NYC and DC (although they are substantial) than urban life and suburban life. That is what has taken the most time to get used to. I'm already a "soccer parent." We have been to Friday night football games at the local high school. I spend an inordinate amount of time in the car. We will inevitably get a minivan or other suburban ride. Then again, I never have to worry about parking, and we have a washer-dryer in the house. It's the little things.

Looking ahead to 2012: You might think it would be tough to top a year that included launching a start-up media company and, to a lesser extent, relocating my life. It's not: We're expecting kid No. 3, just in time for March Madness -- a girl to set the pace for her two older brothers. In a year of personal thrills, that is the biggest.

-- D.S.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12/20 (Lob City) Quickie

And so the Clippers demolished the Lakers last night in their preseason opener. I'm not one to place outsized value on extraordinarily small (yet symbolic!) sample sizes, and so it's clear: The basketball universe in LA now revolves around the Clippers, not the Lakers. The Clippers looked young and vibrant (even Chauncey Billups, who torched the Lakers) and the Lakers looked archaic. For all the drama that led up to it, the CP3 trade to the Clippers is the single-best thing to happen to the NBA this season.

(Does that qualify as a Quickie NBA Preview? Not quite: No preview is complete without a prediction for which team will win the championship, something that everyone was delightfully wrong about a year ago at this time, when precisely no one picked Dirk and the Mavericks. My head says that adding Shane Battier is precisely the piece to put the Heat over the top, but -- as with last year -- my second-biggest rooting interest behind my team, the hapless Wizards, is wanting the Heat to fall short. I'm going to pick the now-or-never Thunder over the Bulls.)

Best thing I found yesterday to recommend on Quickish: Jane Leavy's piece on Babe Ruth's daughter. (Thing I thought would be better: Charlie Pierce -- who is brilliant and whose work I love/admire -- falling into the "hysterics" trap of dropping in to write for the first time about Tim Tebow and trying to bite off the entire phenomenon in 750 biting words. Look: If you don't like Tebow -- or don't like the hysteria around him... or don't like the religion stuff -- it'll be satisfying red meat. I was hoping for a bit more nuance from Pierce -- the kind you typically see, certainly as it relates to Tebow, from Pierce's closest analogue for the 2.0 audience, Tommy Craggs of Deadspin. Now, let me go back to Pierce's politics blog on Esquire, which I check 5 times a day for updates....)

Yesterday, my 5-year-old son Gabe spent the morning creating football franchises in an imaginary league. Last night, he designed their football helmets. (All with no prodding from me, mind you.) More on the larger story of my year in review -- which was impacted in large part by Gabe's nascent sports fandom -- tomorrow, but needless to say, it was one of my most delightful moments as a parent.

-- D.S.

Monday, December 19, 2011

12/19 ("Tom > Tim") Quickie

My thoughts on the Tebow game can be found over at I'll give you the condensed version: (1) This was not (and never was) a litmus test for Tebow or the Broncos... (2) John Fox remains entirely underminey... (3) Tebowmania will cool off a bit and that's a very healthy thing.


*Packers: 13-1. I'm way less interested in the Packers taking their first loss than I am at HOW they lost -- they looked entirely beatable, which makes the upcoming playoffs not the Packers coronation they appeared to be a week ago.

*Colts: 1-13. They still have Luck locked up. Here's a question: I guess they might want to trade Peyton Manning, but given the cost savings associated with simply cutting him the day the season ends, why wouldn't they do that? If I'm Irsay and Polian and I know I am locked in on Andrew Luck -- who can start immediately -- I'm jettisoning Peyton Manning in the time it takes to say "Good luck with that comeback." Yes, he's the franchise hero, but... kinda so what?

*Drew Brees: Holy s--t. And, naturally, my fantasy team (in the consolation bracket, adding insult to injury) was playing the guy who has Brees, so I got routed. Two weeks ago: In first place. Next week: Playing for 7th. Far more universally appreciated, I think it's fair to say that Brees has created a legitimate MVP debate with Aaron Rodgers.

*NBA: I appreciate the Magic wanting to hold out for the best package they can get for Dwight Howard -- hard to believe they still think they can keep him -- but it's clear that the subject is going to mess with the team's head. As long as it's a lost season, they might as well start the rebuilding two months early (ahead of the trading deadline) if they can help it.

*College hoops: Washington... yikes, not so much. That loss is getting filed away to pick the Huskies not to get out of the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. (If they make it.)

*WCBB: Huge win for Baylor over UConn last night. I will continue to default to picking UConn to win the championship, as I do every year. But Baylor sure looked good.

-- D.S.