Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Indian Identity and Jesse "Cab" Renick, Captain of the 1948 U.S. Olympic Basketball Team in London

In London the scoreboard read 65-21 as the final gong mercifully rang out. Thirteen Frenchmen stood in a line opposite fourteen Americans watching the Stars and Stripes unfurl and listening to the band play the Star Spangled Banner. The final notes lingered as the United States’ players rushed forward and carried a six-foot two-inch slightly balding 30-year-old named Jesse Renick off the court on their shoulders, bringing an end to the 1948 London Olympic basketball tourney, an event which brought the United States their second basketball gold medal and cemented Renick’s unique place in history.

Renick (55) shakes hands with a member of the Red Cross.
Or a random Olympic basketball player from 1948. I can't tell. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

How to Make NBA Free Agency Must-See TV: A Modest (And Completely Impossible) Proposal

On July 9, MarShon Brooks was trending on twitter. And he had not even done something crazy, like smashing a bottle over Chris Brown's face. No, Brooks was trending because it was revealed that he was a key piece in a possible trade that would send Dwight Howard to the Nets. 

As the Mayans predicted would happen so many years ago, we now live in a world in which MarShon Brooks can be a topic of overwhelming interest on the internet. David Stern's league has developed a cult-following among those who track the transaction wire and trade rumors as closely as they do box scores. So why not turn free agency into an event, instead of a weeks-long process? 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Best of 2012 Music (So Far)

I wear too many hats nowadays to also don the hat of amateur music critic. So I present this list with the caveat that I don't have the time, desire, will, and/or sense of self-importance to listen to all the new and notable albums that have come out this year. Of what I have listened to, these four albums stand out for the same reason: they are the only four which I consistently listen to from beginning to end. There are plenty of great individual songs that have been released this year. But only these four hold my attention for an entire album.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Four For the Fourth (of July)

My title, unnecessary as it may seem, still isn't on the level of the world's most ridiculous and repetitive (yet also grammatically correct) sentence, "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo." With that fact established, feel free to click on for moderately interesting historical bits and pieces related somehow to the Fourth of July, featuring guest appearances by the three scariest things Fox News could dream up: pirates, Muslims, and big-government politicians.

London Olympic Basketball, circa 1948

The 1948 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team played in London 64 years ago, winning the gold. This year's U.S. team will be trying to follow in their footsteps. I wrote an article over at Yahoo about that team, and why they deserve to be remembered (besides winning the gold, of course).

The 1948 U.S. men's basketball team. Key players: Bob Kurland (90), Jesse Renick (55),
Ralph Beard (12), Alex Groza (15), Don Barksdale (33).