Sports
Hopelessly Devoted: Isaiah Chapter Fifty Two Verse Seven

Hopelessly Devoted: Isaiah Chapter Fifty Two Verse Seven

In light (!) of the Epiphany, this morning’s devotion comes from today’s Lectionary reading, as well as from Drake Richey’s Mockingbird Devotion.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (NIV)

At mile twenty in a marathon, most runners start to falter: one man grabs his hamstring and hobbles to the curb, another mutters about a toenail, and a young woman sits down right in the middle of the road. When my wife saw me at mile twenty-two, neither…

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Another Year Ends: Best Teacher Ever, Instagram Envy, Tyson on Kierkegaard, Elf Code Origins, Johnny Football, DFW Cobainification, Atheist Gospel

Another Year Ends: Best Teacher Ever, Instagram Envy, Tyson on Kierkegaard, Elf Code Origins, Johnny Football, DFW Cobainification, Atheist Gospel

1. Grab your kleenex, cause here comes the one way love, ht JZ:

2. The NY Times lobbed one straight over the plate last Sunday with “The Agony of Instagram,” a look into “an online culture where the ethic is impress, rather than confess.” It’s fairly one-sided of course–Instagram is just as much an outlet for inspiration and creativity as it is identity curation and law–but still, a few of the soundbites are just too tempting not to reproduce:

For many urban creative professionals these days, it’s not unusual to scroll through one’s Instagram feed and feel suffocated by fabulousness: There’s…

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LeBron James and His Freedom

LeBron James and His Freedom

I love LeBron James. I love the way he plays basketball. He is freakishly athletic–he’s a 6-foot-8, 260-pound freight train that bulldozes his way up and down the floor, while having the court vision and passing skills that are unheard of for a player his size. Then, of course, is his otherworldly leaping ability. I remember watching LeBron in a regular season game in 2008 and being dumbfounded. James went up and caught what was supposed to be an “alley-oop”, but was thrown far too high. When LeBron caught it, he was eye level with the rim. With his size…

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Reflections on Auburn’s Amazing Last Couple of Weeks

Reflections on Auburn’s Amazing Last Couple of Weeks

Auburn University is playing in the National Championship game this year. That statement was highly improbable in the beginning of the college football season this year. It definitely would’ve been an inconceivable thought last year, as Auburn went winless in SEC. This year, however, has been quite a different story. The day after Thanksgiving, Auburn faced the University of Alabama in the “Iron Bowl” and the season took a turn.

Tie game. One second left. The Crimson Tide’s last drive comes to an end and must attempt a 57-yard field goal (which would have resulted in an unbelievably iconic ending to…

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Mike Tyson and Gang Lighten Up

This is pretty amazing, ht DZ:

Iron Mike is at it again, and this time he’s brought some other hall-of-fame athletes. The short clip beautifully embodies a certain kind of freedom, each according to their own…interesting and sympathetic careers/lives. The root of the commercial’s charm is its candor–each athlete simply doesn’t take themselves very seriously. The sting of their ‘transgression’ is gone. “All is right with the world” indeed, I must say!

Derrick Rose, Sneakers over Stats, and the Beauty of Empathy

Derrick Rose, Sneakers over Stats, and the Beauty of Empathy

I remember visiting my brother in Memphis during basketball season in 2008: Derrick Rose was the talk of the town. With a 6-foot-4 frame, Rose was slightly taller than most of the point guards he went up against and could jump higher and run faster. Rose came out Simeon High School in Chicago, a hotbed for freakishly athletic ball players–Rose was certainly no exception. After a phenomenal freshman year at Memphis, Rose was the first overall pick in the NBA draft the following year.

If you remember, in our NBA Season Preview of sorts, Derrick Rose’s return to the NBA–after sitting out…

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Another Week Ends: Life Stories, Vacation Days, Literary Grace, Curved In Worship, Baby Morality, Sleepy Hollow and Eagleton on Moz

Another Week Ends: Life Stories, Vacation Days, Literary Grace, Curved In Worship, Baby Morality, Sleepy Hollow and Eagleton on Moz

1. We’ve spoken before about why we so often feel the need to conceive of our lives as a narrative of progress or upward-sloping trajectory. We’ve tried to highlight the dangers this poses, especially when the progress is understood to be moral or spiritual in nature. An instinct that can sometimes help us make sense of our lives (and we need all the help we can get!), when left unchecked can end up obscuring reality (where God is) and compounding loneliness. On The Huffington Post, Carolyn Gregoire explores this phenomenon in some detail, particularly in relation to Dan McAdams’ new…

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Mike Tyson and His Beloved Trainer

Mike Tyson and His Beloved Trainer

If any professional athlete has the gift of gab, it is Mike Tyson. Words have proven to be profoundly significant in his life, from the infamous interviews about his relationships with the women in his life, to cussing out/threatening opponents in press conferences, to his now rather candid reflections on his crazy life in documentaries and stage shows and now his new autobiography. Grantland‘s Jay Caspian Kang’s recent piece on Tyson’s life and career is an extremely thoughtful observation on the complexities which mark Iron Mike’s life. The article especially sheds light on Tyson’s relationship with his former trainer/guardian, Cus…

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Another Week Ends: Flannery Prays, Calvin Outsells Luther, More ‘Millenials’-ism, Next-Next-Gen Gaming Consoles (PSILOVU), Backfiring Discipline, Zombie Impressionism and Noah: The Movie

Another Week Ends: Flannery Prays, Calvin Outsells Luther, More ‘Millenials’-ism, Next-Next-Gen Gaming Consoles (PSILOVU), Backfiring Discipline, Zombie Impressionism and Noah: The Movie

1. Well, we knew about Mary Flannery’s early life of training chickens to walk backward (1932); it appears that God marked O’Connor out as different from pretty early on. We remember the short stories of violent grace and brilliant essays, and we even got to read some excerpts from her year-and-a-half-long prayer journal (written while still studying for her MFA at Iowa) in September. Well, three days ago the full work was released, edited by her friend William Sessions, and The New Yorker posted a great review/primer for anyone interested in fiction, O’Connor, prayer, the South, grad school, wooden legs, etc:

She reckoned that her success…

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30 for 30: Space Jam Game

Thoughts on the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin Saga

Thoughts on the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin Saga

Racism; blame; weakness; bullying and hazing–terms with which you are familiar if you know anything about the recent story concerning Miami Dolphins offensive linemen Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. For the past couple of weeks, this story has absolutely dominated sports news networks, reporting recent developments and consequent commentary. First the focus was strictly on the vulgar text messages sent by Incognito to Martin, which lead to the discussion concerning “locker room culture” in the NFL as well as on the college and high school athletic levels. Various Dolphins players have answered questions about Incognito and Martin, and both Dolphins…

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The Appeal of Running and Shooting and the Foolishness of Giving

The Appeal of Running and Shooting and the Foolishness of Giving

Football fans love quarterbacks. Basketball fans love point guards. In this week at Mbird sports, we’ll examine some key elements that make up the two positions, and try to make some distinctions as to why they are so beloved, while noting how they may be even more attractive today than ever.

Joe Namath. Peyton Manning. John Elway. Joe Montana–what’s the appeal? Is it the all-american poster boy persona? The rocket arm? Maybe it’s how they dissect defenses/secondaries with ease, and place the ball exactly where they want. Is it leading offenses downfield and calling audibles amongst screaming fans, keeping everyone calm…

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Another Week Ends: Perfectionistic Pride, Spufford Bathes, Country Priests, Shoplifting Grace, Quitting Baseball, Katy Perry, Funeral Selfies, and William Peter Blatty

Another Week Ends: Perfectionistic Pride, Spufford Bathes, Country Priests, Shoplifting Grace, Quitting Baseball, Katy Perry, Funeral Selfies, and William Peter Blatty

1. In the Harvard Business Review, Greg McKeown explores the problem of perfectionism, urging us “Today, Just Be Average”. Easier said than done, but a few of the observations are worth reproducing here, ht RW:

Unlike other obsessions and addictions, perfectionism is something a lot of people celebrate, believing it’s an asset. But true perfectionism can actually get in the way of productivity and happiness. I recently interviewed David Burns, author of “Feeling Good” has made this exact connection. In his more than 35,000 therapy sessions he has learned that the pursuit of perfection is arguably the surest way to undermine…

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World Series Update: Obstructions, Beards, and the Big Papi

World Series Update: Obstructions, Beards, and the Big Papi

It is venturing on understatement to say that those baseball gods of irony–just a week after touting the mostly error-free bliss of defensive baseball–have come to call through five games of World Series play. Game 1 made a fool of the St. Louis Cards, and in particular cruelty, of Pete Kozma, who dribbled out two errors of his own, one of which being a routine double play that would have closed what instead became an onslaught of runs. Then there was that Little Leaguer moment between pitcher and catcher as an infield fly fell right between them, Molina as dumbfounded…

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On Spitters and Change-Ups and the American Need for Baseball

On Spitters and Change-Ups and the American Need for Baseball

It may be perceived that my sympathies, which lately seemed to lie so rightly on the side of the poor overmatched hitters, have unaccountably swung the other way. I admit this indefensible lapse simply because I find the spitter so enjoyable for its deviousness and skulking disrespect… Baseball is a hard, rules-dominated games, and it should have more room in it for a little cheerful cheating. –Roger Angell

Tonight begins the 109th recorded issue of America’s Fall Classic, showcasing the likely AL and NL pennant winners: the Red Sox and the Cardinals. They come to it by various rites–2012′s cellar-dwelling BoSox…

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