What we're watching (all times EDT, unless noted): Northern Illinois-Toledo in college football is on ESPN2 at 7. Ducks-Capitals is on NHL Network at 7. Chelsea-Genk is Champions League soccer is on tape-delay on Fox Sports Net at 8. And Unguarded, a 30 for 30 documentary about former basketball phenom Chris Herren, is on ESPN at 8.
Reliving what might be wrestling's greatest rivalry: "But ever since the '90s started and pop culture went all postmodern, the WWF had been adrift. In an entertainment world dominated by action-movie antiheroes and grunge music, the WWF product was still driven by traditional superheroes, outsize characters drawn more or less from the same playbook as the 1980s Wrestlemania era. Remember, before the WCW's mid-'90s rise, the WWF had no national competition to spur innovation in their on-screen product. All of a sudden WCW's edgier style was gaining the upper hand in TV ratings, and several WWF stars switched sides. Vince McMahon had to adapt or die. What did he do? He absorbed the naughtiest tendencies of smaller rival ECW, along with the WCW's reality-inspired storylines, to revitalize his product. So what if it left the heroes of the old guard - Bret Hart chief among them - floundering. Fans, by and large, were energized by the new era. It wasn't just the ramped-up sex and violence - though that was a big part of it - but the rawness, the realness of wrestling's new movement. Fans always knew what was coming next in the old wrestling world. Now they had no idea what to expect." [Grantland/Dead Wrestler Of The Week Archive]
Nov. 1, 2009: J.J. Redick's Got A Rap Album
Jagr Peanut Butter! "...Jagr definitely got a kick out of seeing a jar of Jagr peanut butter for the first time in a long time. Laughing, he took it out of my hands and examined it. ‘That's about 15 years old,' Jagr said." [Courier-Post]
La Cosa NCAA: "A Democratic congressman compared the NCAA to the Mafia over how it controls the lives of student athletes. ‘I think they're just one of the most vicious, most ruthless organizations ever created by mankind,' Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush said of the NCAA at a congressional forum on college sports Tuesday. ‘I think you would compare the NCAA to Al Capone and to the Mafia.' Rush made the accusations at the forum called to look at the impact of ‘back-room deals, payoffs and scandals' in college sports. The NCAA declined to respond to Rush's comments."
Your Unknown Ukrainian Commercial Interlude:
Cashman to stay: "Cashman, 44, will remain with the Yankees under a three-year contract serving as the senior vice president and general manager. The details of the contract have yet to be released. His previous contract, however, was worth $6 million over three years." [Sports Illustrated]
Oh, for fuck's sake: "Yesterday afternoon, after Kim Kardashian confirmed that she was divorcing Kris Humphries, fans gathered outside the Kardashian sisters' Soho boutique, Dash, holding candles and signs bearing wistful messages. It wasn't completely clear whether the outpouring of emotion was genuine, ironic, or a bit of both." [New York Post]
Merch: Managing editor Tom Scocca and contributing editor Drew Magary have both written books. You can buy Scocca's Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future here, and Magary's The Postmortal here. Now do it.
Scocca also lecturing tonight in Brooklyn: Details here.
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