Meet Kidd G

My morning reading included this New York Times profile of Kidd G., a 17-year-old from a small Georgia town who built an audience as a rapper on TikTok and SoundCloud before pivoting to country music.

Still processing these sentences:

“Before committing himself to making music, most of Kidd G’s attention was devoted to sports, particularly baseball and fishing. (He received two college scholarship offers for fishing.)” 

Wut?

 

The Main Challenge For the Brooklyn Nets’ New Big Three

Jesse Washington says its character.

“In all fairness, there’s more to Harden’s and Irving’s character than basketball. Irving is a generous and passionate advocate for social justice. Harden helped buy food for 5,000 Houston families during the pandemic. But when it comes to their profession, they seem entitled. Which makes it hard for any partnership to work.”

Monday Required Reading

  1. Three cheers for my ‘oh so woke’ sport.
  2.  Props to this brave, young French woman for agitating for a more frank approach to sexism and gender violence.
  3.  File this under “increasingly relevant”. A new study has found being angry increases your vulnerability to misinformation.
  4. Leah Sotille’s podcast Bundyville is state-of-the-art audio journalism. Along with Kathleen Belew, she’s my go to source on all things domestic terrorism. File her most recent writing, “All Bets Are Off”, under “increasingly relevant”.

Challenging Myself In 2021

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? What physical challenges might be motivating to train for and fun to attempt in 2021?

I’m early in the decision-making process, but so far, I’ve narrowed it down to two. The first is a Claire Law inspired 300 mile bike ride with 16,000′ of elevation gain. In under 40 hours, as per her and the Rapha 500k Brevet guidelines. Probs not in the dead of winter though since I’m afraid of the dark. And rain. And cold.

Thanks to my brother for finding the second one, which he instinctively knew, is much more in my wheelhouse.

This is good to know:

“One popular method of doughnut-eating is flattening three or four doughnuts on top of each other to form one pastry. ‘You can trick your mind into thinking that you’re only having three doughnuts when you’re really having more.'”

‘Getting Along With Others in a Pluralistic Society’ Rule #1

ESPN pro football analyst Booger McFarland was fired up about a promising, highly drafted, second year NFL quarterback getting cut as a result of poor play and mindless “off-the-field” behavior.

Which woulda been okay if McFarland hadn’t tied the player’s problems to African American football players more generally. Predictably, that’s when the shit hit the fan.

The (dis)United States is a wonderfully diverse conglomerate of 331 million individual identities. Does that mean we can never generalize, no, positive generalizations are fine. For example, if I say, “Elementary school teachers do amazing work and deserve, as much, or more respect, than any other group of educators.” I’m not going to get any blowback. It’s sweeping negative assumptions that everyone rightfully resists. No one ever wants to be “guilty by association”.

So here’s Getting Along With Others in a Pluralistic Society Rule #1, refrain from making negative generalizations about any group, even ones of which you are a member. Ask Cosby or McFarland, your insider status will not provide any sort of “benefit of the doubt”.

Andrew Hawkins, NFL alum, takes McFarland to school, literally. Hawkins Wikipedia “personal life” entry includes this sentence, “Hawkins graduated from Columbia University in 2017 with a master’s degree in sports management from the School of Professional Studies with a 4.0 GPA.” No surprise. This is a 4.0 return of serve.

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Monday Required Reading

1A. These are the best (and most surprising) places to get a draft in a bike race. Important research to know before your next race.

1B. How to keep the bike boom from fizzling out. In Pete Buttigieg we trust.  

“The need for the bike boom to roll on beyond the pandemic is about more than the love of cycling. . . . You’ll literally breathe easier when you start replacing more car trips with bicycles. We’re talking less carbon emissions, less traffic congestion, and a healthier population — the essential ingredients that make people happier and less stressed out. In the World Happiness Report 2020, countries with high bicycle use tend to be among the happiest overall, like the Netherlands (ranked sixth; daily bike use: 43 percent), Denmark (ranked second; daily bike use: 30 percent), and Finland (ranked first; daily bike use: 28 percent).”

2. What to wear to Christmas parties this year.

3. Perhaps he has written more hit songs than anyone else.

4. New data shows residents fleeing California in near record numbers. Substantive reporting from the Sac Bee. Good to know some local papers are still alive and kicking.

5A. COVID-19 and the Failure of Swedish Exceptionalism

“Whereas American exceptionalism is about America’s unique place in the world, Swedish exceptionalism is about being immune to any disasters that may happen in the rest of the world.” 

5B. Younger People Get Vaccines First in Indonesia’s Unusual Rollout.

“There are no good choices, there is only the least-bad choice.”

 

 

 

Live Wireless Or Die

It’s easy to forget what life was like before global position satellites revolutionized sports technology. I remember rolling my front bike wheel next to a wooden yardstick in my parent’s garage in a desperate attempt to calibrate my sensor that was attached to a couple of spokes. And then using electrical tape to align the wire that ran to the head unit along the fork and head tube. Cumbersome is putting it mildly. And what did I get for all my efforts, a precarious, only mildly accurate set up that constantly needed attention.

Fast forward several decades. Bluetooth, wireless GPS, and (almost always) automatic syncing which results in extremely accurate data recording with a tenth of the effort. Check out what my wrist computer generated during this morning’s run.

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When I first returned to rehab running from my hamstring injury, my average stride length was only 1.16m as opposed to the normal 1.2m. How cool is it that satellites in Outer Space confirm that not only do I feel better, but I am better.

A question for the nerds (used affectionately of course). Why is there a net gain of 35 feet when I started and stopped in my driveway?

The more important question is why do we fret about whether life is improving when we don’t have to wrestle with rulers, electrical tape and wires anymore?

Maradona Counterpoint

Diego Maradona, Argentina’s Hero, and Mine.

Who wants to design an interdisciplinary curriculum tentatively titled “Contrasting Perspectives on Maradona’s Legacy” with me? Touch points. . . The Falklands War, the Argentine economic crisis, the sociology of soccer, the 1986 World Cup, Maradona’s off-field demons, Latin American politics, and maybe some southern Italy organized crime for good measure.

Or maybe a novel. Then a Hollywood bidding war for the film rights.

Bam Adebayo’s Mom

Is going to be okay. Because Bam is getting paid. From ESPN News Services.

“The Miami Heat and Bam Adebayo have agreed to a five-year max extension, Adebayo’s agent, Alex Saratsis, told ESPN’s Zach Lowe. The deal includes escalator clauses that can take its total to $195 million over five years.”

Let’s not forget, social mobility is extremely low in the (dis)United States these days. And if one wants to improve their lot in life, education is still a much safer bet than professional sports. Neither of those two facts mean we can’t celebrate Bam’s and his mother’s changed fortunes.

“Adebayo had told The Associated Press during the NBA’s restart earlier this summer at Walt Disney World that his lone financial goal was to take care of his mother, Marilyn Blount. She raised him by herself in North Carolina, making about $15,000 a year from her multiple jobs and with the family calling a single-wide trailer their home.

‘That competitive nature comes out when I feel like I’m playing bad and when things aren’t going right,’ Adebayo said in the September interview with the AP. ‘I think about how she fought through struggle. … You see that for 18 years straight, you take that load on and feel that responsibility. And my responsibility is to provide for my mom, and the best way to make sure I can do that is to help us win.'”

Consider her provided for.