Bob and Weave

Musings of an impostor. Welcome to the masquerade.

The Weekend Is Here! 11-11-16

Posted by flyingbk on 11/11/2016

1. The older I get as a sports fan, the more I realize how much more nuance there is. Sports is a zero-sum game; there’s a winner and a loser. So it’s easy to make declarations like “that guy just wanted it more” or “that player’s just got no heart.” We rank players based on how many championship rings they have, even though it’s a team sport and there are a myriad of factors that go into one single title run. We make sweeping declarations based on a final score, when the game really could have gone either way.

It’s the same for politics. As Nate Silver notes: If Hillary Clinton had won, there would’ve been all these grandiose statements about how America was ready for its female president, how the Republican party is in complete shambles, and how Trump was justly handwaved away by the American public. If just 1 in every 100 voters had gone the other way…

My advice: Don’t ever believe the post-mortem hype, whether it be sports or politics. There’s always much, much more going on underneath the hood. And instead of just assuming, let’s seek to understand why people voted the way they did. Calling a basket of Trump voters racists isn’t helpful, and it’s also wrong because many of those voters opted for Obama in the past. Nate Cohn from the NY Times notes:

2. More election reactions: My favorite website, Mockingbird, nails it per usual. Thomas Frank writes, “Maybe it’s time to consider whether there’s something about shrill self-righteousness, shouted from a position of high social status, that turns people away.” I don’t agree with everything in Thabiti Anyabwile’s piece, but appreciated his perspective as a black Christian. Russell Moore, who’s been a key voice for me in this election cycle, also shared his post-mortem.

And Ernie Johnson’s perspective is rightly going viral:

Like Johnson, I also wrote in a candidate. I have to admit, it was quite exhilarating checking off a different column and using the small inset keyboard. But yes, let’s pray. Pray for President Trump, and pray for everyone (all demographics) in our already great nation.

3. A few weeks ago, I heard Soul Asylum’s “Runaway Train” blaring through the store’s speakers and it brought back fond memories. I love that song (I used to sing it as loud and emotionally as possible, usually in the privacy of my room), and I especially loved the accompanying music video:

So I was stoked to read this feature on “The Lost Children of Runaway Train.” The article explains how the idea for the video came about, and how the video had to be re-cut every single time one of the runaways was actually located. It also notes something I didn’t know about the missing-children-on-milk-cartons phenomenon:

The milk carton campaign, the origins of which are murky, fell by the wayside after Dr. Benjamin Spock and others suggested it needlessly scared children.

 

I always wondered why that campaign ended, and I guess that reasoning makes sense.

4. Quick hits:

-College basketball begins today! College hoops is my second favorite sport after baseball, and it’s perfect since the two sports combine to span the full calendar year. I’m a Georgetown Hoyas fan (you can follow me on Twitter to experience my agitated rants), and things may finally be looking up for us. Here’s a good primer on the college hoops landscape. Oh, and how about the sports year we’ve been having? An epic NCAA basketball final in April, an epic NBA finals in June, and an epic World Series just completed. Pretty awesome.

-Sad news in Met-land: The Braves, the purveyors of the worst cheer in professional sports, have signed BOTH R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon. Le sigh. Dickey has written my favorite sports memoir (his book is 1, while Andre Agassi’s is 1a). And of course, Colon is Mr. Big Sexy:

He will be sorely missed.

-Keith Law just released a new ranking of his top 100 board games. I’m way behind on trying out his top ten games, but I am a Dominion junkie and recently started playing Pandemic (great game!).

-A late congrats to the Cubs and their long-suffering fans. “Long-suffering” is one of those overused words, but it certainly applies here. This science piece notes why I started using “we” and “us” as a sports fan, oh, about 13 years ago. I used to be one who chortled and say, “WE?!?! What, are you a part of the team???” (You may have thought the same when I wrote “us” in regards to the Hoyas up above.) But the ‘we’ is poetic.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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