Monthly Archives: June 2013

Sport Man Toe Episode 20: Russian Horror, Deadly Music

Today we’re discussing the latest installment in the Russian horror oeuvre, choosing the deadliest musical instrument, riffing on the American soccer problem and the American LeBron problem, and generally feeling GREAT about ourselves and the world.

For extra audio/video/picture mentioned on the show, and the episode itself, check our Tumblr: Sport Man Toe

 

Subscribe on iTunes:

Just click “view in iTunes” once you reach this link, and then ‘subscribe for free.’ If you liked the show and want to write a positive review, that would be a huge help.

Here are some other things:

Download the mp3 of this episode directly

RSS Feed

Here’s how to get in touch with us:

Podcast Twitter: @SportManToe

Spike Twitter: @SpikeFriedman

Shane twitter: @ShaneRyanHere

Email us your weird sports stories: Sportmantoe@gmail.com

Voicemail/Text: 765-38-SPORT (765-387-7678)

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Sport Man Toe Episode 19: Why Athletes are Boring

It’s episode number 19, another record, and Spike & Shane are chatting about boring athletes, U.S. Open golfers, Mario Balotelli (not boring at all), and potential movies about the Marlins and Mets involving Will Smith and his son. The world is changing, but damned if we’re not going to chronicle it with our voices.

For extra audio/video/picture mentioned on the show, and the episode itself, check our Tumblr: Sport Man Toe

 

Subscribe on iTunes:

Just click “view in iTunes” once you reach this link, and then ‘subscribe for free.’ If you liked the show and want to write a positive review, that would be a huge help.

Here are some other things:

Download the mp3 of this episode directly

RSS Feed

Here’s how to get in touch with us:

Podcast Twitter: @SportManToe

Spike Twitter: @SpikeFriedman

Shane twitter: @ShaneRyanHere

Email us your weird sports stories: Sportmantoe@gmail.com

Voicemail/Text: 765-38-SPORT (765-387-7678)

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Unreadabe Episode 4: Will Leitch

Unreadable is back, and our first guest is Sports on Earth writer and Deadspin co-founder Will Leitch. It’s a rip-roaring conversation, covering his childhood as a budding artist lacking all practical skills in Mattoon, IL, all the way through a failed engagement on the even of his appearance on Win Ben Stein’s Money, to New York, where he made his name as the co-founder of Deadspin, got screamed at by Buzz Bissinger, and went on to work for New York Magazine and Sports on Earth. Will’s one of the most fascinating guys in sports media today, a pioneer in many ways, and I think I did a little dance when I read his email agreeing to be on the show. Check below for time stamps.

You can also access our podcast RSS feed.

If you need to download the file directly, this’ll do it. Enjoy!

 

0:00 – Introduction all by myself, some stuttering
1:20 – Will scoffs at the notion of himself as a “youth infusion”
1:45 – Predictions for what Gregg Doyel will be like at age 70
2:30 – The notion of online personalities always seeming young
3:40 – Will’s childhood in Mattoon, IL
4:30 – Living up to a dad with practical skills you lack
7:00 – Will’s relationship with his dad, and the book “Are We Winning?”
8:30 – Trying to prove to his dad he’s not a moron- the endless battle
10:30 – Will’s work ethic, and where it came from and how it started
11:30 – Growing up with Tim Grierson, dreams of becoming film critics
13:30 – His first job in NYC, how it failed, and answering phones at a doctor’s office
14:40 – Getting over the early-20s feeling of being special, and moving on
15:00 – Meeting AJ, and the romantic feeling of being collective failures
19:20 – College at Illinois, living the newspaper life and missing out on the fun
22:10 – Will’s first engagement, appearing on Win Ben Stein’s Money hours after it ended
27:00 – Leaving LA, moving to St. Louis and working for the Sporting News
29:00 – His first site, Ironminds.com, gets bought, and it’s off to NYC
30:00 – Knowing standard sports journalism wasn’t for him, and where that began
32:10 – Meeting A.J. Daulerio, and why he’s so successful, and their early days
36:00 – How Tommy Craggs runs Deadspin
36:50 – How Craggs and Daulerio solidified Leitch’s legacy as co-founder of Deadspin
38:50 – Black Table.com, which began in 2003, and how that created the Deadspin opportunity
41:00 – Leitch’s memo to Lockhart Steele and Nick Denton that started it all
42:00 – How Will became the no. 1 man at Deadspin, and the team he formed
45:40 – He turns Deadspin into a success, the early days, the Orton/Leinart posts
47:30 – Relationship with the mainstream media, the unexpected journalism culture war
48:10 – The realization that Deadspin was a flashpoint, and was controversial
51:20 – The sensitivity of sports journalists, and the role tv plays in that
53:30 – Will’s appearance on Costas Now, and being yelled at by Buzz Bissinger
59:40 – Moving to New York Magazine, and why it was the right time to leave Deadspin
1:04:30 – Will gets married, releases his book in 2010, and how that writing is different
1:06:40 – Fatherhood, what it’s like, how it affects being a writer, why NYC is a terrible place to raise kids
1:08:45 – Working for Sports on Earth, how the site had early missteps, and how Will is leading the site in a new direction
1:10:00 – Why the Internet requires a different voice, and why he’s infused young people into SoE
1:14:20 – The standard question: What’s your advice to young writers?
1:16:25 – Why “wanting it” is so important as a writer
1:17:20 – Will compares himself to Josh Brolin

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The Sad Tarheel Fan’s Guide to the Andrew Wiggins Decision

Welcome, those of you whose taste in Cackalacky athletics (Cackala-thletics?) runs a lighter shade of blue, to the first installment of the Sad Tarheel Fan’s guide. I was hoping to write one of these after the UNC-Duke game on [DATE REDACTED OUT OF CRIPPLING SHAME], but I found myself unable to even remember that event directly, let alone sit down and write some kind of reflection on it. Even now, some months removed from the travesty, I can only think around it, and not directly about it. It’s like the girl in “Jurassic Park” looking at the Velociraptor’s reflection in a frying pan, I can only bear to focus on the dim idea of something so vicious and terrifying, not what it really looks like or the specific ways it can kill me.

Anywho, 14 May marked the latest pseudo-disappointment in the 2013 life cycle of the UNC fan, when the most athletically impressive Canadian this side of Chris Jericho (alternate cultural reference option #1: “the hottest Canadian this side of Carly Rae Jepsen,” alternate cultural reference option #2: “the most sought-after Canadian export this side of Cuban cigars”), Andrew Wiggins, elected to take his talents to a location over 800 miles from the nearest beach.

The list of reasons to be sad about this is obvious: there is a talented young player of basketball who instead of going to UNC to play basketball has chosen to play basketball at a place that isn’t UNC, etc.

Here is the list of reasons why we should be okay with it:

 

1. The last time a high-profile scoring forward came to UNC

We don’t need to re-re-re-re-rehash Harrison Barnes’ UNC career here (which ranged from underwhelming to exactly whelming), but suffice it to say that between the second half of his first year and the first half of his second year he was able to string together pretty consistently good basketball. The man had a great nickname and sold wonderful shirts, and provided fans with some pretty nice moments, but he never became the singular talent we were all led to believe he would become. This is what’s known as a cautionary tale. We owe it to ourselves to wait until at least a couple of months into next season before deciding whether or not to be retroactively sad about Andrew Wiggins choosing Kansas. Sure, he could be the next transcendent star, but he could also be the next Black Falcon.

 

2. The lineup is pretty spectacular without him, if I do say so myself

For real, though. Barring some radical status-quo shift, the 2013 Heels are going to look something like: Paige, Hairston, McAdoo, Meeks, and some rotation of Bryce Johnson and Leslie McDonald, depending on what kind of game Daggum Roy is trying to play. Paige grew tremendously over the course of last season, and we’ve already been over how awesome PJ Hairston is. The big difference maker this year, I think, is going to be Meeks, (join me in a footnote if you will[1]) who will come in as a presence inside to take some pressure off of James Michael to allow him to do what he did so well two years ago: catch defenses off-guard while they’re paying attention to something else.[2]

 

3. The narrative. The narrative!

If there’s one thing sports fans love, it’s taking a small sample size and jumping to ridiculous conclusions based on superficial implications of said narrative. Case in point: all of the “Roy Williams has a Kansas problem” stuff after this most recent NCAA tournament. Now, I’m old enough to remember Dean Smith, so I’m not fanatically devoted to Roy but the idea that Kansas holds some kind of Kryptonite is jibber-jabber of a high degree. The most recent defeat came largely at the hands of a 7-foot Senior who Carolina really had no capability to defend. Before that, Stillman White admirably attempted to lead a team who’d just lost its emotional center in his first career start, and the Black Falcon forgot to pack his wings. In 2008, the Kansas team UNC lost to turned out to be the best team in the country. If it happens, say, four or five more times, then we can start talking about some kind of specific mojo-loss that plagues Roy when he trots out against his old team, but not until then.

(For a usably large sample size, see: Dean Smith and Coach K played 38 times over the course of the former’s career at UNC, and the good Dean won 24 of those encounters, from which you can pretty much only draw one reasonable conclusion).

The point of all this being: how awesome would it be if the next annual tournament selection committee-engineered matchup between UNC and Kansas ended with Andew Wiggins in a losing effort looking across the court at a UNC team that he could have been a part of? You get your schadenfreude, your revenge, and Roy Williams gets the monkey off his back (even if it doesn’t belong there, yet, in the first place).

 

4. There’s Young Talent Needs Developing

This kind of dovetails with point 2. The glut of young, raw talent last year turned out to be a sort of disadvantage early in the season. Roy Williams was forced to rotate a wide cast of unproven players to search for a viable lineup and to test individual ability. Brice Johnson, Desmond Hubert, Joel James, and even Jackson Simmons all showed flashes of brilliance but were plagued also by mistakes. With four of the starting five all but set for next year, that fifth slot is the perfect opportunity to rotate the young, talented players that UNC already has to get them minutes and experience.

 

5. Count Your Blessings

Guys, there are people who have to live in, like, Nebraska, where they don’t even allow basketball. They have the hoops and everything but they use them for quarterback drills and to make fun of, and to shuck enormous ears of corn. Be thankful that we (and I have to assume that if you’re reading this you live in this area, and value college basketball, or more probably are a member of my family[3]) live or care about an area where the idea of a Canadian basketball wunderkind coming to ply his trade is even a remote possibility. Speaking of which, he’s Canadian, And because of this, there’s going to come a point in the year when all he wants to do is go to Hurricanes games anyway, and get fat on little pieces of circular ham, and it’s only a matter of time before the story breaks about him missing practice because he’s joined the Mounties. We can’t abide another Mountie, people.

 

6. That Said, No Matter How Badly We React, We’ll Always Be More Reasonable Than the fans in the United States of Kentucky

     Self-explainatory.

 


[1] You’ll hear a lot about a certain type of player who doesn’t wow you with statistics but provides what fans and sportswriters have come to call “intangibles.” Last season, James Michael McAdoo was the exact opposite: he had consistently good games by any statistical metric, but still managed one or two moments per game that made us all wonder if he had the flu, or if his talent had been stolen by the Monstars. I submit that 2012 J.M.M. was college basketball’s only entirely tangible player.

[2] Another exciting thing about Meeks is that his highlight videos have, like, no dunks in them. It’s all soft-handed turnaround finesse stuff, as in: basketball that requires more than the ability to jump.

[3] Or, most probably, are Shane Ryan himself, the Willy Wonka to the RTP Chocolate Factory that is Tobacco Road Blues, evaluating whether or not this piece is fit for consumption or should be inflated and discarded like Augustus Gloop.

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Sport Man Toe Episode 18: Important Questions About LeBron Choking

In this week’s episode, Spike and I speak about LeBron, the likeability of Novak Djokovic, crazy Eastern European face poisoning, Irish twitter shenanigans, and what Spike would do if he had control of the Angels twitter account for a day.

For extra audio/video/picture mentioned on the show, and the episode itself, check our Tumblr: Sport Man Toe

 

Subscribe on iTunes:

Just click “view in iTunes” once you reach this link, and then ‘subscribe for free.’ If you liked the show and want to write a positive review, that would be a huge help.

Here are some other things:

Download the mp3 of this episode directly

RSS Feed

Here’s how to get in touch with us:

Podcast Twitter: @SportManToe

Spike Twitter: @SpikeFriedman

Shane twitter: @ShaneRyanHere

Email us your weird sports stories: Sportmantoe@gmail.com

Voicemail/Text: 765-38-SPORT (765-387-7678)

Posted in Miscellaneous | 5 Comments

Triangle Media Ryder Cup 2013 Results

The second annual Triangle Media Ryder Cup is in the books, and Team Internet has won a famous victory against last year’s champs. Team Traditional gave a game effort, but the youngsters were absolutely ravenous on the way to claiming an emphatic 11.5-6.5 win. Here’s how it went down in each session:

Session One: Fourball

1. Jamie O’Grady and Keith Taylor Internet, def. James Alverson and Andrew Carter, Traditiona, 4&2
2.
Shane Ryan and Andrew Westney, Internet, def. Mark Thomas and Chantal McCabe, Traditional, 2&1
3.
Ben Swain and Matt Purdy, Internet, def. Hayes Permar and Luke DeCock, Traditional, 3&1
4.
Jack Daly and Mark Armstrong, Traditional, def. Randy Brownlow and Lauren Brownlow, Internet, 1-up
5.
Jon Pence and Brian Barbour, Internet, vs. Stephen Schramm and Mike Maniscalco, Traditional, Halved

Score after session: Team Internet 3.5, Team Traditional 1.5

Session Two: Foursomes

1. Keith Taylor and Andrew Westney, Internet, def. Mark Thomas and Mike Maniscalco, Traditional, 1-up
2.
Randy Brownlow and Jamie O’Grady, Internet, vs. Jack Daly and Luke DeCock, Traditional, Halved
3.
Ben Swain and Shane Ryan, Internet, def. Hayes Permar and Mark Armstrong, Traditional, 3&2
4.
Matt Purdy and Jon Pence, Internet, def. James Alverson and Stephen Schramm, Traditional, 2-up
5.
Andrew Carter and Chantal McCabe, Traditional, def. Brian Barbour and Lauren Brownlow, Internet, 4&3

Score after session: Team Internet 7, Team Traditional 3

Session 3: Singles

1. Luke DeCock, Traditional, def. Keith Taylor, Internet, 2&1
2.
Jamie O’Grady, Internet, def. Andrew Carter, 2&1
3.
Mark Thomas, Traditional, def. Shane Ryan, 3&1
4.
Jack Daly, Traditional, def. Andrew Westney, 1-up
5.
Matt Purdy, Internet, vs. Stephen Schramm, Traditional, Halved
6.
Ben Swain, Internet, def. Mark Armstrong, Traditional, 2&1
7.
Randy Brownlow, Internet, def. Chantal McCabe, Traditional, 4&3
8.
Jon Pence, Internet, def. Chip Patterson, Traditional, 2&1

Score after session: Team Internet 11.5, Team Traditional 6.5

Point Leaders

Internet

Ben Swain – 3 (Note: Sundered Wedge MVP award winner)
Matt Purdy – 2.5
Jon Pence – 2.5
Jamie O’Grady – 2.5
Keith Taylor – 2
Andrew Westney – 2
Shane Ryan – 2
Randy Brownlow – 1.5

Traditional

Jack Daly – 2.5 (Note: Has never lost a Ryder Cup match, 5-0-1 all time)
Stephen Schramm – 1.5
Luke DeCock – 1.5

The Sundered Wedge Award (MVP): Ben Swain, Internet

Good Job, Great Effort Award: Mike Maniscalco, Traditional

For last year’s results, click here.

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