What The Fuck Does This Thomas Friedman Hockey Metaphor Mean?

Thought leader Thomas Friedman of the New York Times has written a column about the Ukraine crisis, in which he argues, well, who knows. A good quarter of it is just an extended excerpt from a 16-year-old interview with George Kennan, who didn't think that committing to wage nuclear war on behalf of Eastern European… » 4/09/14 4:47pm 4/09/14 4:47pm

Can Writing Be Assessed? A Five-Paragraph Essay

The New York Times had yet another of its delightful "Room for Debate" sessions, in which various experts throw quick-take opinions on a subject past one another. The subject: Was the College Board right to have decided to make the essay portion of future SAT tests optional? Or, more broadly, "Can Writing Be Assessed?"… » 3/11/14 2:26pm 3/11/14 2:26pm

​Relax, the United States Will Not Dismantle Our Perpetual War Machine

The front page of today's New York Times has astonishing news for a nation accustomed to life on an eternal war footing: Defense secretary Chuck Hagel has proposed shrinking the United States military to a size, as the subheadline puts it, "Equal to That of 1940." Online, where the subheads are more expansive, the paper… » 2/24/14 5:59pm 2/24/14 5:59pm

Mike Rice Is Trying To Become A Real Human Being

In The New York Times, our pal Jonathan Mahler has a great profile of disgraced ex-Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice. You probably remember Rice as the crazy guy in this video, the one firing basketballs at his players' heads and calling them faggots. Now, Rice is on the well-trod path that every disgraced public… » 11/08/13 12:19pm 11/08/13 12:19pm

How Jadeveon Clowney Became A Folk Hero

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney got The New York Times long-form treatment yesterday, with writer Greg Bishop hieing himself to Rock Hill, S.C., to get a snapshot of Clowney's upbringing. It's an important story, because it finally attaches a prologue to a figure whom most of the country first glimpsed… » 8/22/13 2:51pm 8/22/13 2:51pm

How Clark Olson Beats Everyone Else In Fantasy Everything

The guy who just beat everyone else in America at all the fantasy sports, again, is a computer science professor who is not so much into trades but who is really, really into spreadsheets. Clark Olson, the 2012 winner of ESPN's omnibus Uber Challenge fantasy game, again, tallied the high score across an Olympiad of… » 2/16/13 4:15pm 2/16/13 4:15pm

The Best Detail In The NYT's Jay Williams Profile Is, Of Course, About…

The New York Times published a profile of former Duke star Jay (Jason) Williams over the weekend, and it's worth a read. It details the motorcycle accident that derailed Williams's career after a 95-13 three-year run in Durham and just a single season in the NBA, and the rather incredible rehabilitation that followed… » 2/11/13 12:25pm 2/11/13 12:25pm

Expensive Cable Sports Are Always Expensiver Than Ever

Today the New York Times's Brian Stelter crunches the (preposterous) numbers and finds runaway sports-programming costs weighing down the cable bill of everyone in America, whether or not they give Shit One about sports. The phrase "impending $7 billion deal with the Dodgers" should give you an idea. Other, more humble… » 1/26/13 4:00pm 1/26/13 4:00pm

How An Alleged Rape Involving Ohio High School Football Players…

Yesterday's New York Times has a thorough and thoroughly unsettling story about two members of Ohio's Steubenville High School football team who stand accused of raping a drunk and unresponsive 16-year-old girl during a night of partying in August. Maybe most unsettling of all: The girl may never have learned of the… » 12/17/12 7:11pm 12/17/12 7:11pm

Why Is An ESPN Vice President Spreading Rumors That I'm Straight?…

"I don't know your personal life," ESPN vice president and executive editor John Walsh told me, on the phone. "I wouldn't comment on anyone's personal life." » 12/05/12 7:30pm 12/05/12 7:30pm