This week in the weekend links, I write about the strangeness of sportswriting, and attempt to make up for foolishly forgetting about the Women's World Cup. As always, these links first appeared at RandBall, your home for deleting not-terribly-funny similes and saving both of us.
It must be hard to be a pro baseball reporter. They end up having to take part in this great kabuki, The Dance Of The Postgame Quote, in which nobody (except Ozzie Guillen) ever says anything interesting. After Matt Capps completed the final stage of his transformation into Ron Davis, those reporters had to go down to the clubhouse and talk to Ron Gardenhire. And one of them had to take one for the team and ask Gardy if he was about to replace Capps as the closer. And then everybody got hit with the shrapnel as Gardy jutted out his jaw and got mad at the question like he always does. And then all those reporters headed back upstairs to write what they were going to write anyway. It's a goofy game they have to play. (As you can see from that lede, I couldn't do it.)
But that's not why you called, so on with the links!
*It seems like a good week for a bit of American legend Spencer Hall. In fact, let's have a double dose: first, in his own inimitable style, Hall compares ESPN's short-lived disciplining of writer Bruce Feldman to Chiang Kai-Shek handing out watermelons. Second, Hall takes to the road to visit the great state of Oklahoma and do some catfish noodling. It'd be hard to find a writer anywhere as consistently fascinating as Hall.
*This week, six more college hockey teams announced they were breaking away from the WCHA, forming the American National Generic Hockey Conference Association, or some other equally generic, vague, and meaningless name. Chris Dilks at the Western College Hockey Blog has been making fun of them every step of the way. I've tried to decide on my favorite post from the saga, and I think it's this one. Or maybe this one. It's hard to say.
*And finally: the Empire State Building will display the colors of whichever team wins Sunday's Women's World Cup Final - even if that team isn't the USA. On the one hand, fair's fair. On the other hand, for somebody who a couple of weeks ago forgot entirely that the Women's World Cup was even being played this summer, I'm not very happy about this. U-S-A! U-S-A!
Seriously, though, I know I'm always exhorting you to pay attention to some overlooked sporting event or another, so this plea may fall on deaf ears. That said, I'm sure there are people out there that don't want to watch Sunday's final (1:45 pm, ESPN), simply because it's women's soccer. If that's what you think, then you now and me three weeks ago aren't that different. I forgot the World Cup was even happening; now the final is must-see TV. Flip over when you get a chance. The British Open will probably be over by then. Give it a try.