If their is one writer that I've been super hard on over the past few months it's been Bill Simmons. I've been highly against things he's written over the past few months. From not taking a stand against the Pats or wussing out on the Sox, I've been having heavy anti-Simmons sentiment. Then I read his latest column in the Dec 03 2007 issue. Titled I Took My Kid To Her First NBA Game And She Loved It. The article talked about his adventures as a dad and how he presents things to his daughter and the downright joy he feels interacting with her and exposing her to new things. It was human, emotional and contained passion for sports. Definitely things that had been missing from his writing in recent months. Of course as a dad of an almost 7 year old girl who is most of the time indifferent to whichever sport I am watching it was nice to read a story about a dad and daughter bonding over sports.
The other piece I thought was great was from the latest SI (11/26/07), that was titled The Road To Bad Newz by George Dohrmann and Farrell Evans. That was of course about the dogfighting ring operated by Michael Vick and his childhood friends. It was interesting, insightful, and most of all well-researched. It spoke about the homeboy culture, of loyalty, indebtedness, childhood bonds, communal pressure and most of all fear. It is a piece that is not to be missed. If anyone thinks they know the whole story about Vick they should absolutely read this. I'm not saying I give him a free-pass for his involvement (I never will), I just think this piece shed some new light on an oft-reported story.
Then of course there was what I think is a hachet job on the great Coach K titled Krunch Time by Jon Pessah, also in the above mentioned issue of ESPN. In it the writer wrote about how out of touch Coach K is with the modern athlete and how the game is passing him by. All of this I think is false. I still think he is among the best coaches in the game today. Truly one of the great teachers and motivators this great sport has. It upset me that the deck of the story read that "K's monumental legcay is starting to crack"... that to me is complete bullshit. He set the bar for himself so high that of course there would be a bit of a let down. But for a Coach who has more career titles than both Bobby Knight and Dean Smith I say kudos. He again has a fringe top 15 team that I'm sure he will lead into the Sweet 16 and beyond. If he is guilty if anything it's spoiling Duke fans. If thats a problem, I'll take it any day.