Fries & Ketchup: Mandela & Other Things

Fries & Ketchup: Mandela & Other Things
by B. Harvey

In the Time of Volunteers: Ignoring the Shadow of Bruce

In the Time of Volunteers: Ignoring the Shadow of Bruce
by M. Langston

What Oscar Forgot: The Economics behind Greengrass' Captain Phillips

What Oscar Forgot: The Economics behind Greengrass' Captain Phillips
by B. Harvey

A Spanish Consolation Prize

A Spanish Consolation Prize
by B. Brody

Late Summer Reading Recommendations; Novels

July 16, 2014

I've read about a hundred plus books--some required, some not required--since I last posted anything about reading materials. The following is not an arbitrary round number of books, just a list of which novels now, after some time has passed, feel like phantom limbs that every now and again my imagination reaches for with strained emotion:


Illustration from K. Baker's graphic novel, _Nat Turner_.

Soccer is Addicting as Hell

July 13, 2014

I thought there wasn't any room in my brain. I'm more addicted to sports than mostly anyone I've ever met. I've been following the NFL college football, college basketball, baseball, and the NBA since 1987. I'm the geek who sits and keeps score while watching a baseball game at home. I talk about sports constantly. So every four years in the past, when the World Cup came along, I jumped right in. Coming from a school like Chancellor helped me know and appreciate the game a little more than most. A good number of my friends were really good soccer players and our program when I was in school was one of the best in the state of Virginia. I went to almost every game during my four years at CHS, so I had a general understanding of how the game was played. But once the World Cup was over, soccer and me went out respective ways, knowing that we'd see each other again in four years.

A Spanish Consolation Prize

Being a Bulls fan has been trying over the last five years. Not trying in the sense of what someone who likes Sacramento or some other shitty team that hasn't made the playoffs in years, but trying because I thought there would have been at least one championship by now. While Chicago has been a gritty, tough-minded team that has been easy to cheer for, ultimately they've failed to deliver what they were assembled to do. It seemed as though as little as a week ago the team was poised to add a proven veteran scorer that they sorely needed, someone who can create his own shot and generate offense without any help. But Carmelo Anthony decided to choose money over rings, which led to the team signing Pau Gasol away from Los Angeles. Much like in the summer of 2010 when the team signed Carlos Boozer after missing out on the free agent prizes of Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, this feels like settling for a secondary option. Gasol brings a good number of positives to the Windy City however, and the Bulls can still win the East with him on board.

Fries & Ketchup: The Force of Georgia Football & Other Things Baller

July 7, 2014

Retribution is a Star Wars film made by UGA wide receiver Christian Conley. I first heard of the film on Clay Travis' site Outkick the Coverage. The film features cameos from prominent figures in the Georgia program, including running back Todd Gurley and head coach Mark Richt. (In fact, Richt's cameo could be interpreted as a strange bit of commentary on how unaware college coaches are of their players' extracurriculars.) Perhaps, though, what the film sells best, beyond Star Wars and Georgia football, is the Classic City itself. Sanford Stadium is the perfect setting for action, the campus is idyllic, and the city streets made me long with nostalgia for sleepy autumn mornings in the breast of the south. Enjoy:


 

Fries & Ketchup: Mandela and Other Things

April 14, 2014

Catching up ont hings that probably could've been discussed at a greater length here or have been discussed at a greater length elsewhere:




In the Time of Volunteers: Ignoring the Shadow of Bruce

March 30, 2014

In mid-February, Tennessee fans were lamenting a lost season for the Vols. A birth in the NIT seemed to be a certainty. As idiotic as it may seem, friends of mine and fellow Vol fans openly called for the re-hiring of Bruce Pearl. Then the Vols went on a run. They went from bubble team to a tournament lock.

They got under-seeded as an 11 seed, put in a play-in game. I texted friends reminding them that the play-in game helped propel VCU to a Final Four. And though I projected optimism, I secretly had them losing to Duke in the third round of my bracket.

Then they shocked Iowa in OT. They followed that up by destroying UMass and Mercer. They were in the Sweet 16 with a favorable match-up against the Michigan Wolverines. The pessimism felt in Vol country in mid-February was quickly forgotten and replaced with unbridled enthusiasm. Bruce Pearl wasn’t coming back and no [sane] Vol fans wanted him back, any more.

On Friday night, I went to dinner with my parents. We got sushi. It took 20 minutes of waiting for them to put the game on. It wasn’t in HD. Thanks to the circa-1989 quality picture, I couldn’t tell what the score was. I got out my phone, looked at the score and quickly realized the Vols were in a drought and on the wrong end of a loss. It started raining.

Tennessee couldn’t hit anything. We all agreed that they would play better if we watched at home. At half-time, we raced home. We beat half-time home. My dad remarks that he thinks it’s over. I tell him it’s a game of runs. I’m not sure I believe it when I say it but “Tennessee has another one left in them”.

We turned on the game, my dogs barked with joy in our reappearance. I gave them a treat and hoped they could wait until the end of the game for a walk. Tennessee starts a couple runs. They get derailed by Michigan threes. My dad says “it’s tough, still don’t see it”.

Then a real run. I’m not sure what happens but it’s like Jordan McRae finally realized he’s the best player on the court. He steals the ball, sets up a nice Jarnell Stokes dunk then goes on a 5 point run almost all by himself. Tennessee is within 5 points. My dad is beginning to believe.

Then a Tennessee turnover. All hope is beginning to leave all of us. I wonder where Chris Lofton is. Michigan has a chance to put the game away. Turnover. Hope and a timeout. Google Chris Lofton. Europe. Tennessee responds with a dumb three, miss. Hope is really low. Then Michigan turns it over again. Everything that can go wrong for Michigan, is. Josh Richardson takes advantage, makes a great move and lay-up. Tennessee is down 3. Hope is renewed but still low. They haven’t fouled enough, only 3 second-half team fouls. Jordan McRae scores. Tennessee is down 1. But with 10 seconds left and two fouls to give before the bonus, hope is low. Michigan inexplicably steps out-of-bounds on the inbound. Tennessee is going to win.

There is no way they don’t.

Then, the refs.

Jarnell Stokes receives the inbounds pass, he spins and the Michigan defender falls before any contact. Ref whistle. It’s a block. Stokes to the line… Nope. It’s a charge. 2 fouls, 2 Stauskas free throws and a full-court heave later, the game is over and Tennessee’s remarkable comeback falls short.



We’re flustered. Wondering how a ref can insert themselves in a game that late on a fifty-fifty call. Then my dad says “They should be proud. They never gave up. When everyone [including their biggest fans] thought all was lost, they found a way to claw back in. No shame in that.” And while he didn’t know it, that is about the best way to explain the 2014 season, one of the best in Tennessee history. Well done. Cuonzo.
 

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