World Wide Wednesday

This NFL offseason is bananas! Bountygate suspensions + Tebow to the Jets! I don’t think it’s possible to quantify how much more I’m enjoying this than the Lockout last year. Quick thoughts on today’s developments:

– My first inclination was that Elway sent Tebow to a place he expected him to hate and fail. But upon further thought, Tebow makes some football sense for the Jets in the same way he did for the Broncos last season. The Jets can play ball control on offense as the defense keeps the team close. In the fourth quarter, when the opposing defenses are tired, the Jets can unleash the option/wildcat with Tebow and Shonn Greene and steal games late. I’d bet on Tebow starting by the second half and think the Jets make the playoffs. I may or may not adjust this opinion several times throughout next season. THAT’S WHY THEY PLAY THE GAMES.

– The Saints suspensions are unsurprising; I got all my predictions right except Payton got a full year instead of four games. Makes sense, though, because it is his second offense. (He had that Vicodin theft accusation in 2010 that somehow just vanished.) Goodell mercilessly punishes repeat offenders. (Remember this when Brandon Marshall has to miss the first 6-8 games this season.)

– This Saints season will be an interesting referendum on the importance of coaching. Not that there aren’t other variables in play here, given that there will also be some suspensions to Saints defenders, but it will be fascinating to see how the Saints offense performs without the effective megalomaniac Payton at the helm.

– Loomis’ eight-game suspension is essentially meaningless; it doesn’t start until after the last preseason game. So he gets to run the draft and the whole roster assembly. What exactly do GMs do Weeks 1-8?

On to the links.

Deep Routes

– Beautifully written short fiction: In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried by Amy Hempel (Via Wright Thompson–one of my favorite writers–who joined Twitter today)

– Bomani Jones goes HARD (real hard) after Darren Rovell. One of Rovell’s Twitter shticks is to quantify athlete salaries to median incomes inorder to show their disproportion. This specific case–although Jones could have picked the fight once or twice a week–was about Mario Williams and the citizens of Buffalo. It’s regularly annoying but I am sure that it gets a lot of ReTweets so Rovell has incentive to keep doing them. Jones challenged Rovell to compare HIS income to that of the average Buffalonian (and offered to do the same) but Rovell has thus far refused the challenge. I highly recommend the clickthrough on this one and would have devoted an entire column to it if I had more time this week.

– Deadspin’s Drew Magary retakes the SATs at age 35. Hilarity ensues.

– This week in beating the system: the perfect bid on Price is Right.

– Former NFL agent Josh Luchs excerpts his new tell-all book ‘Illegal Procedure’ for Yahoo with a passage about Maurice Clarett. Favorite passage (for obvious reasons):

He’d been living with an Israeli Larry Flynt for months, absorbing the house culture, operating by the house rules. Maurice had seen that every Friday night, when the sun went down, no matter what they were doing, all work ended. Hai, his entourage and his family lit candles and said their evening prayers. So, at that moment, when the discussion wasn’t going his way, Maurice suddenly stood up and said, “This meeting is over. It’s Shabbat.” He walked out of the room.

Jack turned to me and said, “What’s he talking about?” I said, “I have no idea. Today is Wednesday.” I rode with Jack to the airport, apologizing, and he was very understanding.

Quick Reads

– AOL is in the process of killing off AIM. I would probably shudder to see how much time of my life I wasted on that application (and now waste on GChat and everything else I spend 10 hours a day doing on the Internet). (Via Bobby BigWheel)

– Will Leitch profiles Bryce Harper for GQ. I would probably love to read Will Leitch write about grass growing or how faucets work so it’s no surprise that I enjoyed this immensely.

– Because you can never have too many of these: Livestrong’s 20 most intense workout songs.

– Man creates wings and FLIES THROUGH THE AIR LIKE A BIRD.

Food Porn

Queso Fundido (melted queso chihuahua, rajas poblano, housemade chorizo, fresh tortillas) @ Big Star (Chicago)

Apple Pie and Ice Cream @ Norske Nook (multiple locations in WI)


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