Teahupo’o is a reef break on the Southwest coast of Tahiti. It throws off a hideous, deadly barrel affectionately known as “the end of the road.” The wave is heavy and the closeouts are savage. It exacts a devastating toll, as evidenced in this slo-mo video. Enjoy the surf porn, and take comfort in the knowledge that you are safe on dry land.
Proving that they can turn even the most mundane (and downright American) of undertakings into a bipartisan squabble, Republicans are taking jabs at President Obama for appearing on ESPN to reveal his NCAA bracket picks. At 2 p.m. today newly installed RNC chairman Reince Priebus tweeted the following:
The President has yet to reply, but we suspect most people understand that being the leader of the free world and selecting a few college teams are not mutually exclusive.
The more important question is this: how accurate are the President’s selections, given his dodgy historical record? (In 2008 he correctly picked the eventual winner–North Carolina–but last year he chose heavily favored Kansas to take it all, only to watch them lose in the second round to Northern Iowa.)
This year we went with the safe bets–his final four are Kansas, Duke, Ohio State and Pittsburgh, all number one seeds. He’s going with Kansas as the national champs again, despite being burned last year. Why? Because, he says, “they have more firepower.”
No word on what Priebus’ bracket looks like, but we’re guessing he’s not much fun to watch a game with.
Everybody is making a big deal about the collapse of the Metrodome in Minneapolis. But to Detroiters of a certain age, it’s old news. After all, the Pontiac Silverdome (former home to both the Lions and the Pistons) collapsed not once but twice–in 1976, due to a thunderstorm (how shoddy does a stadium have to be to collapse from rain?) and then again in the March of 1985, due to a late winter blizzard. As anybody who suffered through the misery of watching the Lions play in what was one of the ugliest stadiums in the history of live sport can attest to, it was commonplace to see (brave? stupid?) workers walking across the dome, removing snow. But the 1985 collapse happened during the off-season, when maintenance procedures were more lax.
Still, several Lions were in the building. According to the Detroit News:
On March 4, 1985, snow and ice tore through the Silverdome’s fiberglass-and-Teflon roof, sending three Lions who were practicing — including Gary Danielson and Eric Hipple —scurrying for cover.
Neither QB could outrun a charging defender, but they managed to get out of the way of a sudden avalanche? Typical of a team that simply could not (and still cannot) seem to win.
You know you’re approaching middle age when you spend what little free time you have over a holiday weekend searching for a mint version of a complete Sports Illustrated edition from thirty years ago. In my case, it was the issue (above) from September 22, 1980, featuring Billy Sims, who had just started his rookie season for the Detroit Lions. I had a subscription to SI back then, as a 12-year-old, and I’m certain I tore this issue apart, carefully placing the cover and all the accompanying photographs into clear plastic folder dividers. This is what we did, back then, before the age of 24-hour sports highlights. We’d bring our folders to school and compare, brag and dream. It passed the time, I suppose.
I was reminded of this famous cover by the excellent ESPN 30 For 3o documentary on Marcus Dupree, who was potentially the best running back in the history of the game, before his infamous washout. Sims, it turns out, was sent by Barry Switzer to Dupree’s high school in an effort to recruit him (it worked, as Dupree signed with OU).
I found the issue for $15, from a seller in St. Louis who was looking to trade Cardinals’ memorabilia but who was willing to take cash (or, at least, the PayPal variety). If nothing else I can now justify these kinds of purchases in the name of preserving a Detroit sports legacy for my Brooklyn-based sons.
The stadium is no more. Harwell is gone. And now Sparky Anderson has left us. For a boy from Detroit who still had faith in professional sports in ’84, this is a rough one. Rest easy, skipper. You made it magical for a while there.
Of all the dudes who brought big wave surfing to the forefront in the 1970s, none had more panache or personal style than Mark Richards. The long-armed Aussie was known for the lightning bolt that adorned his single-fin boards. And, like all things, vintage surfing has been hipsterized, in the form of retro boardshorts and a surf shop in the middle of SoHo.
Pelé embracing Muhammad Ali during a ceremony honoring the Brazilian star of the New York Cosmos at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J., October 1, 1977. The Cosmos won 2-1 over Santos of Brazil in the final game of Pele’s career, in which he played on both sides, one for each half.
Pele, accepting an award for “The Best Soccer Player,” from George Best. For some reason Pele is wearing a red leisure suit (though, I suppose, that is the prerogative of the greatest footballer of all time. Also: It was the 1970s).
Manute Bol, former NBA star and all around humanitarian, is dead. NBA fans who remember the mid-80s will of course recall the spindly Bol. But he was more than a Sudanese gimmick.
In his NBA career he played with the Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, and Miami Heat. He was known for his shot blocking prowess and later added a 3 point shot to his repetoire. He finished his career with 2,086 block shots and was named to the 1986 All-Defensive second team.
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