All posts tagged grantland

→ Previewing the Pac-12

Speaking of the Pac-12, check out Grantland’s Preview if you want a closer look at the league.

→ Grantland’s Andy Greenwald on the Start of Homeland Season 3

Sunday’s premiere, titled “Tin Man Is Down,” is a strident and occasionally clumsy hour of exposition intended to help viewers adjust to the new normal. Much of that exposition is offloaded, in great gulping bits of speechifying, to new cast member Tracy Letts — an actor better known as a brilliant playwright — as a scheming senator aiming to railroad Carrie and, perhaps, shut down the CIA entirely. Saul is now the acting head of the Agency, with Abraham’s slippery Dar Adal by his side. This change has the benefit of putting Patinkin in a more important role, but it also places Saul’s love of country ahead of his more fatherly devotion to Carrie. There’s a wonderful echo of John le Carré in the shared history of Saul and the season’s new adversary, an Iranian nicknamed “The Magician”; Rupert Friend’s Peter Quinn remains a compelling, complicated spook. And though the racial politics of her entrance is botched, I quite liked the introduction of a Persian American CIA officer named Fara, played by Nazanin Boniadi.

Greenwald’s article completely nails what is great and what is wrong with Homeland. His description of the first few episodes of Season 3 make me think we will never get back the show we had at the start of Season 1, but that the ride Season 3 takes us on will still be worth watching.

→ Grantland’s Final Four Predictions

Speaking of the Final Four, here is a more humorous take on predictions from Grantland’s Mark Titus.

→ Grantland’s Primer on the Match Play Championship

A comprehensive preview for one of the most underrated events in golf. Also, the event itself starts in about 5 minutes.

→ Charlie Pierce on the NCAA’s Mishandling of the Miami Investigation

Mr. Pierce gives the rundown1:

Last week, we learned that NCAA investigators pole-vaulted over the line of legal propriety by obtaining information from a bankruptcy proceeding that had nothing to do with the association. According to a source who spoke to ESPN’s Joe Schad, the NCAA provided Shapiro’s attorney with questions to ask on its behalf. The attorney sent the NCAA a bill, because that is what attorneys do. (The lawyer also speculated that the NCAA might be trying to torpedo its own case, which seems unlikely, but who in the hell knows at this point.) And, in the Beyond, William Blackstone suffers a brief bout of projectile vomiting and takes to his bed.

(This, of course, comes after a story in the Los Angeles Times in November that embarrassed the NCAA in its pursuit of UCLA basketball player Shabazz Muhammad when a lawyer — and do try to keep up here — sent an e-mail to the NCAA saying that she had heard the boyfriend of an NCAA investigator talking loudly on an airplane about his inamorata’s opinion that Muhammad was guilty, guilty, GUILTY! The attorney was concerned that the NCAA may have prejudged the case, probably because the attorney is unaware that prejudging cases, by god, is the NCAA’s job. The only thing this particular circus is missing is calliope music.)

and then brings the hammer:

The NCAA enforcement has no legal authority. In its behavior in this case, it has shown that the ethical foundation of its enforcement apparatus is, at best, crumbling. This is no longer an organization that has the essential moral credibility to screw up anyone’s life. Its Inner Authoritarian deserves the hook.

Great read2. Highly recommended.

  1. In case you’re unfamilar 

  2. And not just because it points some of the major things wrong with the NCAA. 

→ The Best Thing You’ll Read on the Hall of Fame Vote

Jonah Keri writing at Grantland:

The announcement that no players from this year’s Hall of Fame ballot netted the 75 percent vote needed to gain enshrinement has triggered outrage in baseball circles, and will surely bring more of the same for the Hall and the people of Cooperstown. With the Pre-Integration Committee inducting three people into the Hall who’ve been dead for decades, upstate New York can look forward to something it hasn’t seen in half a century: a Hall of Fame induction with no living inductees to honor. That’s scary news for an institution that lost more than $2 million in 2011 and has posted losses in eight of the past 10 years.

This piece is excellent. Mr. Keri breaks down the the problems with the process and gives some solid recommendations for how to reform it. Really well done.

→ Vader with an Offer You Cannot Refuse

The Empire Strikes Back beats Godfather II for the title of “Best Sequel of All Time.” I agree with this choice.

→ The Woman who Would Save Football

Jane Leavy writing on Grantland:

Over the last four years, [Ann] McKee has become the most visible member of a cohort of research scientists and family members — wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters of the dead, dying, and demented — who have forced the issue of chronic brain trauma into the forefront of American consciousness. The process has engendered enormous publicity as well as criticism and jealousy in the scientific community, which is every bit as competitive as the NFL. Her work has brought “a great deal of acclaim, exposure, and recognition,” says neurosurgeon Robert Cantu, clinical professor of neurosurgery at Boston University and co-director of CSTE. “But at the same time it’s brought a great deal of pressure. Not everybody greets her findings with the same degree of enthusiasm.”

Imagine being the person most responsible for the end of America’s favorite game. Depending on how things go, that might be Dr. McKee’s legacy.

→ An Oral History of White Men Can’t Jump

I loved this movie when I was younger. My father and I would frequently quote lines it as we played basketball in the driveway.