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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 discuss the controversy about the judging in ladies’ figure skating in Sochi as well as how Putin’s Games should be perceived. They also talk about the Brooklyn Nets signing Jason Collins to a 10-day contract, making him the first openly gay man to play in one of the four major American sports leagues. Finally, they are joined by Steve Nash to discuss the new documentary series The Finish Line, which chronicles his struggle to overcome injuries and re-establish himself in the NBA.
Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned on the show:
- Last week, Adelina Sotnikova upset Yuna Kim to take home the gold medal in women’s figure skating.
- Juliet Macur took umbrage with the result in the New York Times, arguing that judging in the sport “could not be more ridiculous.”
- Philip Hersh of the LA Times reported that several experts felt Sotnikova deserved to win but that questions about the judging persist.
- Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post conceded that the result will be endlessly argued.
- The New York Times produced a helpful graphic: “How Sotnikova Beat Kim, Move by Move.”
- In last Thursday’s Hang Up and Listen Olympics Extra, Stefan interviewed Sports on Earth’s Gwen Knapp, who defended Sotnikova’s victory.
- Alexander Wolff writes in Sports Illustrated that “Sochi won gold in the expectations games” and considers whether such observations serve to bolster Vladimir Putin’s regime.
- American skier Ted Ligety complained about the propriety of Croatian competitor Ivica Kostelić’s father, Ante Kostelić, designing some of the courses.
- On last Friday’s Hang Up Extra, Mike interviewed NPR’s Robert Smith, who noted that the Olympics are so amazing that they can even overcome the Olympics.
- Jason Collins signed a 10-day contract with the Nets on Sunday, becoming the first openly gay man to play in one of the four major American sports leagues.
- NBA commissioner Adam Silver told Harvey Araton of the New York Times, “I’m cautious about celebrating it too much because where sports has led in so many ways, this is one of the places where we’ve trailed. This should have happened long ago.”
- Lee Jenkins wrote in Sports Illustrated that Jason Kidd referenced Jackie Robinson in discussing the Collins signing with his team.
- ESPN’s Mike Mazzeo explained that the Nets are signing Collins for his valuable defensive contributions.
- Collins came out in Sports Illustrated last summer.
- Josh addressed the new, “why should we care?” brand of homophobia last year, writing that “[t]hose who don't like the celebrations of Collins’ bravery have countered with aggressive, prideful lack of interest.”
- In 2011, David Merritt Johns wrote an article in Slate on the embryonic state of advanced NBA stats. He quoted one expert as saying, “Year after year [Collins] had very low rebound numbers … but his team did really well rebounding when he was on the court.”
- Grantland’s documentary series The Finish Line chronicles Steve Nash’s struggle to overcome age and injuries to re-establish himself in the NBA.
- Bill Simmons wrote a piece titled “Approaching the Finish Line” to accompany the first episode.
- Chip Brown wrote a 2007 profile of Nash for the New York Times.
Hang Up and Listen’s weekly Blue Jags:
Mike’s Blue Jag: Relaying the beguiling inaccuracies and mispronunciations of Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, and Mad Dog’s surprisingly prescient views on South American markets.
Josh’s Blue Jag: Highlighting extremely unlikely results in alpine skiing and super-G, sports in which results are so predictable that the putative victors often conduct interviews before the events are officially over.
Podcast production and edit by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Casey Butterly.
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