A selection of stories from the week we caught horse herpes.
Dead Wrestler Of The Week: "Macho Man" Randy Savage | Even as a young wrestling fan, I understood Savage's appeal. I never much caught onto the Rock 'n' Roll Express fad, and there was something strangely magnetic about Savage, the wild-eyed brawler who had been stealing airtime (and stealing the show) from Jerry Lawler and his average-Joe cohort over the preceding months. But actually cheering for him seemed out of the question. It just wasn't done. This is not to say that wrestling fans of that era were rubes, but rather that they played their traditional role in the wrestling construct with little deviation: You cheered for the heroes and booed at the villains and whooped at the pretty ladies. Randy Savage turned this convention on its head and, you might say, dropped it through a table. He was engaging even at his most reprehensible, which had everything to do with the unexpected note of pathos in his character, an oddly relatable paranoid streak: (The Masked Man)
• ALSO: Our full Dead Wrestler of the Week archive.
Stroked | The Heat just put themselves in the NBA Finals. And we're all terrified of what might happen if Dirk doesn't play like Dirk. Watch the white-shirted masses dance, and then watch Joakim Noah say what we're all thinking.
Evaluating LeBron | We hate the Heat, and we talk about them, but we talk about LeBron a lot more. We revisited whether he was a cocksucker, delved into his Drake friendship, examined Degrassi: The Next Generation, and asked Nike to stop asking Charles Barkley not to bully LeBron.
Just Your Run Of The Mill 3-2-6-1-5-3-4-6-8 Double Play | The Double-A New Britain Rock Cats turned this doozy of a multi-pickle yesterday, in which seemingly everyone on the team besides the 84-year-old honorary batboy handled the ball. And yes, that's the center fielder applying the tag that mercilessly ended the inning. That might be surprising, but here's something that's not: the victimized team is the Mets' affiliate. (Barry Petchesky)
47 Of Maria Sharapova's Grunts In Her Second-Round French Open Win | I Maria Sharapova faced Caroline Garcia, a 17-year-old French up-and-comer, in the second round of the French Open Thursday. Garcia took the first set and led 4-1 until midway through the second, when Sharapova took 11 straight games to win, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0. Sharapova's known for her grunting, of course; what I've never listened for before is the way it actually intensifies and becomes more guttural as the match proceeds. But maybe it's just an auditory illusion. (Emma Carmichael)
• RELATED: Admiring Novak Djokovic's Last 40 Match Points
Bob Costas Will Blurb Anything | Bob Costas says: "THE FEEL OF REALITY, THE EXCITEMENT OF FICTION ... THIS IS ONE FINE [ARTICLE]." And much more. (Tommy Craggs)
I'll Wear Shorts If I Goddamn Want To | You listen to me, you anti-shorts gay mobsters: I WILL WEAR SHORTS IF I GODDAMN WANT TO. I don't give a shit what you deem appropriate or tasteful. I live in Maryland and for the next four months it will be 50,000 fucking degrees outside, and it'll be so goddamn humid I'll have to wear flippers to swim through the air. It's HOT. It's fucking deathly hot already. They don't even have spring here anymore. There's winter, then it rains a for a couple weeks, and then the entire landscape turns into A FIERY PIT OF HOT LAVA. There are elephants basting themselves with rain puddle water down my block. It is hot as shit. (Drew Magary)
A Night At The Boxing Circus With The Bros, The Modelbots, And Darryl Strawberry | It is the plight of "up and coming" boxers — any boxer who has not yet up and come — to be treated like circus performers. Their task is difficult and dangerous. Their very health is at stake. But the market for fights is only so big, and many young fighters find themselves alone in a ring fighting for survival while, mere feet away, drunken crowds of people eat catered food, talk business, and generally cavort as though they were spending an evening at a half-assed dinner theater, rather than witnessing highly trained young men trying to knock each other unconscious, just to climb one more rung of that ladder that will eventually, with luck, take them to arenas where people actually pay attention to what they're doing and not to the fact that Darryl Strawberry is playing in a celebrity poker tournament in the same building. (Hamilton Nolan)
The Deadspin Guide To The New ESPN Book | The new ESPN oral history, Those Guys Have all the Fun, is now available in stores. We've been having some fun with the book in recent days. Mixed in with our usual sober analysis of satellite transponder rights and ESPN's dual-revenue-stream model, we've also brought you many tales of ESPN people screwing other ESPN people, in both senses of the word. Here's what we've learned thus far.
The Kim Kardashian Effect: Advanced Stats Show Why Kris Humphries Put A Ring On It | Nets forward Kris Humphries put up great numbers in the seventh season of his NBA career, his first as Kim Kardashian's beau. The couple announced their engagement (with a disturbing description of an "intimate family celebration" involving horses), and while there are no shortage of possible motives (love, reality programming, her butt, etc.), we've found the real one. Kris must have done some advanced analysis of Kim's exes' on-field performance after she broke up with them. (David Roher)
Editor-in-Chief: A.J. Daulerio | Senior Editor: Tommy Craggs | Writers: Barry Petchesky, Luke O'Brien | Contributing Editor: Drew Magary | Night/Weekend Editor: Brian Hickey | Video Editor: Emma Carmichael | Contributing Artist: Jim Cooke | Intern: Jack Dickey | Video Intern: Kate Shapiro | Moderators: Comment Ninja Squadron