Elliot Mann's Blog

Posts tagged Good reads

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The most racist thing I witnessed didn’t involve a slur, drinking fountain or a white hood

(Photo credit: Elliott Erwitt)
Thoughts about race after reading Touré’s “Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness” and Peter Godwin’s “When a Crocodile Eats the Sun,” two brilliant books that I completely recommend … 
You don’t need to be white, or privileged, to be impacted by white privilege … Reflections on race from six-months overseas in a foreign world … What racism does to a person.

The most racist thing I ever saw wasn’t a single action.

It wasn’t the time during college that some white guys yelled out “White Power!” from a car, as I walked to the grocery store with a black friend of mine.

It wasn’t the time when my wife, a U.S. citizen who was born in Brazil, was updating her social security card after we got married. The employee at the federal office sneered at her, asking if she “had some sort of green card or something” after she handed him her U.S. Passport, as if she wasn’t a “real” citizen.

It wasn’t even the time that a contractor at my mom’s house walked into my high school bedroom, looked at the cut-out pictures from “The Source” and “Sports Illustrated”that I had taped on the walls and asked if I had “some obsession with minorities.” Yes, that happened. I still shake my head at what the hell that idiot could have been thinking. At 15, it took me a few minutes to figure out what he was even talking about.

The most racist thing I’ve ever noticed wasn’t even what someone did to me – it was what someone did to himself.

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Read more …

Filed under Toure Peter Godwin good reads Books Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness When A Crocodile Eats the Sun Race

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The irony of calling him Killer was brought up many times throughout his life, though it is also true that Harmon Killebrew was intentionally walked more times than any other American League player in the 1960s. The nickname isn’t that crazy. At the plate, he was a killer. His short, quick swing was the very image of power — so much so that for years it was said that the MLB logo was drawn in his image. The man who created the logo said that it was not Killebrew. But it looks like him. And it should be him.
Harmon Killebrew, swingingJoe Posnanski, writing about Harmon Killebrew, who recently decided to enter hospice care. Also, here is an article from MinnPost about the nicest guy in the world who scared the hell out of opposing teams. [JoeBlogs  MinnPost]

Filed under Long Reads good reads Harmon Killebrew Joe Posnanski Minnesota Twins Minnesota Twins History Minnesota

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Minnesota’s unexpected mediocrity may have hobbled Bobby Cox on his way to becoming an All-America but he is still quite a football player. And, whatever happens, he will be the last to complain. A young man who grew up in a near slum, ran away from home when barely 14, worked at odd jobs for a living, survived a hasty teen-age marriage and divorce, and then verged upon tramp athleticism only to wind up as the hero of a great university with a beautiful wife, a host of friends and a rosy-hued future dead ahead does not complain of adversity.

Sports Illustrated: Bobby CoxRoy Terrell, writing about then Golden Gophers quarterback Bobby Cox for the Nov. 4, 1957 issue of Sports Illustrated. That’s right, in 1957, the Gophers had a quarterback who grew up in South Central Los Angeles, had already survived homelessness for more than several years and also had been involved in a slush fund at the University of Waashington.

A great look back at a story about a young man and redemption. [SIVault]

Filed under Good Reads Links Long Reads Minnesota Golden Gophers Minnesota Golden Gophers Football sports illustrated vault

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All the Texas high school coaches I meet shake your hand and say, ‘Boy, Coach, I really admire what you guys did.’ And under their breath, they’re going, ‘You dummies. This stuff has been going on for 70 years.’

Tom Perry, who worked as a position coach under then TCU coach Jim Wacker, speaking to then Sports Illustrated reporter Rick Reilly about TCU’s efforts to clean up a pay-for-play program at the university. [Sports Illustrated, 11/04/1985]

The late Wacker, of course, went onto coach for the Minnesota Golden Gophers for five underwhelming seasons. With his history at the U of M and the recent controversy surrounding future Heisman winner Cam Newton, it’s an interesting look back.

Filed under Jim Wacker Minnesota Golden Gophers Football NCAA violations Sports Illustrated vault TCU Football good reads Journalism

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She stops, ashes her cigarette, exhales, searching for the right way to express what she’s about to say.
“He believes that what he says in public and how he lives don’t have to be connected,” she says. “If you believe that, then yeah, you can run for president.”
John H. Richardson, quoting Marianne Gingrich, ex-wife of Newt Gingrich, in “Newt Gingrich: The Indispensable Republican.” Read this a couple of weeks ago but forgot to link it; it’s a brilliant profile about the former Republican leader who is likely mulling a shot at the White House. After reading the original article, check out the Reporter’s Notebook, about why Marianne finally spoke out. [Esquire]

Filed under Good reads Politics Newt Gingrich esquire magazine Magazine profiles

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With more than four decades of evidence to back them up, economists almost uniformly agree that publicly financed stadiums rarely pay for themselves. The notable successes like Camden Yards in Baltimore often involve dedicated taxes or large infusions of private money. Even then, using one tax to finance a stadium can often steer spending away from other, perhaps worthier, projects.
Ken Belson, As Stadiums Vanish, Their Debt Lives On. A great article about why cities and counties are getting robbed by billionaire private owners who have duped the public into paying for their business costs. I love Minneapolis’s Target Field, but the citizens are already paying the high ticket prices, buying the jerseys and shelling out $8 for a beer, hot dog or popcorn. That’s a tremendous user fee on top of the tax. [NYTimes]

Filed under Good reads NYTimes swipe Sports Minnesota Vikings Minnesota Twins Publically-financed stadiums

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Today, at his kitchen table, Terry says he’d seen all three prizes before. The karaoke machine was $1,000. The pool table, depending on the model, he says, went for between $2,800 and $3,200. Terry went with $3,000. The rule of thumb for campers, he knew, was about $1,000 a foot, plus a little more; he says today he’d actually misheard the length of the trailer, thought Rich Fields had said it was nineteen feet long — so, $19,000. That gave him $23,000. And then, he says, he got lucky. He picked 743 because that was the number he and Linda had used for their PINs, their securitycodes, their bets: their wedding date, the seventh of April, and her birth month, March. Here’s their wedding certificate, he says, and here’s her passport: $23,743.

"Actual retail price, $23,743," Drew Carey said. "You got it right on the nose. You win both Showcases."

Chris Jones, writing in Esquire about Ted Slauson and his perfect Price is Right bid. A great read; Jones also wrote the stellar Robert Ebert profile in Esquire from earlier this year. [Esquire]

Filed under good reads Esquire Magazine Price is Right Chris Jones

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Never has it been laid more bare, and never did it feel so empty. It felt like a break, the moment when the tide crested, when we looked at the games, and their players, and ourselves, and wondered: Why in the world are we watching these awful people? It was a question impossible to answer.
Will Leitch, “Never has being a fan felt so stupid.” [NYMag] His column perfectly sums up “The Decision.”

Filed under Awful moments in sports LeBron James Links NBA Sports The Decision Will Leitch Journalism good reads