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In this week’s episode of Slate’s sports podcast Hang Up and Listen, Stefan Fatsis, Josh Levin, and Mike Pesca are joined by the New York Times’ Ben Rothenberg to discuss the heat, the new stars, the injured backs, and the surprising champions at the 2014 Australian Open. They then review the new TV show Friday Night Tykes, about a terrifyingly competitive youth football league in San Antonio, Texas. Finally, they discuss Caleb Hannan’s story “Dr. V’s Magical Putter,” and the huge backlash against the 8,000-word Grantland article.
Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned on the show:
- Ben Rothenberg is a contributing writer for the New York Times and co-hosts the tennis podcast No Challenges Remaining.
- Li Na captured the Australian Open title, defeating Dominika Cibulkova.
- On the men’s side, Stanislas Wawrinka beat an injured Rafael Nadal to win his first Grand Slam title.
- Rothenberg wrote about many aspects of the Aussie Open including Li Na’s path to the title, Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard advancing to the semifinals, and the tournament’s extreme heat.
- Bouchard told an on-court interviewer that her dream date was Justin Bieber.
- In Slate, Josh ponders why the players didn’t refuse to take the court during Australia’s brutal heat wave.
- The Esquire Network’s Friday Night Tykes depicts football as played and coached in the Texas Youth Football & Cheer Association. It airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m.
- Watch the first episode of Friday Night Tykes.
- Nina Mandell of USA Today calls the TYFA “terrifying” and “extreme.”
- Jim Forsyth of Reuters quotes an episode in which a coach instructs his charges: “You have the opportunity today to rip their freakin' head off and let them bleed.”
- Brian Curtis wrote a piece on Texas youth football for Texas Monthly in January 2013.
- Angela Lee Duckworth presents her thoughts on grit in her TED Talk.
- The Grantland story “Dr. V’s Magical Putter” by Caleb Hannan.
- Christina Kahrl critiqued Hannan’s piece in an essay titled “What Grantland Got Wrong.”
- Bill Simmons apologized in “The Dr. V Story: A Letter From the Editor.”
- Writing in Slate, Josh observed that “Dr. V was a con artist and a trans woman. Hannan conflates those two facts, as if they both represent a form of deceit.”
- Jezebel posted an article titled “Trans Woman Commits Suicide Amid Fear of Outing By Sports Blog,” quoting heavily from a post on the blog Shakesville, arguing that Vanderbilt’s gender was irrelevant to the article and should not have been revealed.
- ESPN’s ombudsman Robert Lipsyte weighed in on the story Monday morning, calling it “understandable, inexcusable.”
- Paul Farhi considered the debate surrounding the article for the Washington Post.
- The Post’s Gene Weingarten explained in a comment on Farhi’s piece why he believed it was reasonable to reveal Vanderbilt’s transgender status.
- Andrew Sullivan suggested that Grantland could use a more diverse staff, but noted that Bill Simmons’ apology was “better than would have once happened in legacy media.”
Hang Up and Listen’s weekly Wet Bulb Globe Temperature:
Stefan’s wet bulb: Prolific New York Times sportswriter Arthur Daley consistently predicted that Sonny Liston would defeat Muhammad Ali, and called their eventual fight “strange and quite preposterous.”
Josh’s wet bulb: Catching up on Athletes in Action, God’s favorite basketball team.
Podcast production and edit by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Casey Butterly.
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