The Weekly Top Four

The Glide in 1992.

Each week, right here, I review my top four items from the week that was.

Sometimes I’ll be angry. Sometimes I’ll be wistful. Sometimes I’ll just point out TV shows I watched. Sometimes,I’ll be woefully late with plaudits for a noteworthy story I read.

Bonus: You continue to learn more about me, which helps my ego and keeps you coming back for more. #Hint.

After the jump: Playoffs?!, Clyde The Glide, The Rules of 10, and This Week In Duh, featuring super-champ Matt Zoller Seitz.

 

 

 

 

Memo to my Childhood Hero. Clyde Drexler, you are the third-best shooting guard of all time, depending on how high curmudgeons rate Oscar and Jerry. Include them? You’re still top-5.

You deserve any accolades and attention you get, even from quotes designed to stir up mainstream sports media. So, please, do not deny your statements included in Jack McCallum’s upcoming chronicle of The Dream Team. Yes, they may have been cringeworthy, and might have sounded too honest, or too impolitic, and Deadspin may even have misunderstood the intent. But stop the apologies. Because here’s the thing:

  1. You were better. The All-Star MVP should have been yours.
  2. Almost all players voiced some sort of fear of playing with Magic, notably Karl Malone. This is how far AIDS awareness has come, the very notion of personal safety seems fearful and silly now. Jack McCallum details Clyde’s statements in context, and also adds, that when it came time for someone to step up and play with Magic, Clyde was first.
  3. Portland is far away, small, and distance was far wider in 1992. Today, Clyde-clone Kevin Durant plays in Oklahoma City, and he is beloved and celebrated. Clyde was Jordan’s closest contemporary, and he was never seen. No Internet bloggers existed to prop him up until now, far too late.
  4. I try not to have a chip on my shoulder sticking up for Clyde, but the interview indicates he’s a little miffed at always being an outsider to some imaginary greatness club.

Seriously, Clyde looks better at 52 than he did at 29. Can I order whatever he’s having?

McCallum also sympathizes with Clyde for being competitive, who merited selection in the first wave of Dream Teamers. That shows up in the numbers, too. Jason Lisk of The Big Lead calculated Drexler as No. 6 in win-shares over the three-year period leading up to Olympic selection. Lisk included 1989-1991. Had 1992 been considered, Clyde may well have been No. 2. (Lisk also rightfully debunks the recent wave of Isiah Thomas support.)

So don’t back off, Clyde. The Dream Team – and McCallum’s promotion of the book – is a chance for people to learn just how good you were. Embrace it, and explain it. For a player who always took the high road, and who typically appeared bland compared to Barkley, Malone and Jordan, the honesty is somewhat refreshing, if a little uncomfortable. But Clyde, you’re not wrong.

Life hacking. Somewhere, there’s a feature story to be written about procrastination as a byproduct of fractured attention, a symptom of processes and busy-work piled up with each new connection. We speed communication and processes up, but that deposits backlogs and entries and more at our desks, stacked up after four conference calls and two webinars. It’s almost too much to get through.

That feature story isn’t here. But as we flit from platform to device to site, toggling between consumption and delivery, we know we need to be more productive, and faster. We’ve all been told to “work smarter” by some joker who just bought an MBA. We’re now conscious of our procrastination, and we search for best practices and tweaks to our personal workflows, environments, and habits. We do, right?

Anyway, let me endorse two tricks from Lifehacker that have made a difference to me. I’d call them the “1010 Rule,” or “Ten,” or something catchy, but who cares? It’s all in the behavior modification, not the catchy name.

  • 10 Minutes. So you’re home in the easy chair, watching The Wire, and checking Twitter, knowing you have edits piling up. So you tell yourself, “I’ll work on this project for 10 minutes.” That’s it. At least if you stop after 10 minutes, you’ve begun. The best part? I rarely stop after 10 minutes, and instead will work uninterrupted for much longer. “Getting started” is always the hardest part.
  • 10 O’Clock. Personally, the hundreds of daily obsessive household, prep, and cleanup tasks before the next day really sap my energy. Before bed, they stare you in the face. After a commute, it’s too much, and can compromise your project energy. The 10-o-clock rule helps. Just alarm your phone at 10 p.m. Then, with your last burst of daily energy (Note: I modify this to about 10:45. It’s possible you work at a newspaper and may wish for 5 a.m., but whatever.) you wash the dishes, take out the trash, make tomorrow’s lunch, feed the cats, walk the dog and whatever else. I love this – I breeze through those last tasks. The alarm gets me away from the iPad or computer screen melting my eyes, and I wrap up with enough time to read before falling asleep.

If these work, let me know. You can even email me!

Death Comes to The BCS. Dan Wetzel’s column on the end of the BCS was expected.

But his scolding may have been somewhat unpredictable. In a scathing column that celebrates the sport’s progress, Wetzel points out the faulty cronyism and persistent corruption. Namely, he details the silly propping up of college football’s bowl system.

So, in the end, the bowls survived. Heck, they will thrive. They get to run the semifinals, which will be even more profitable than the current title game. They get to print their millions (tax-free, of course). They get to maintain a lifestyle that pays the CEOs at least $700K, their assistants $350K, and offers perks like those of John Junker, the former Fiesta Bowl chief who had a $2,250-a-month car allowance. Seriously, that’s how much he got just for his car.

It’s a great read, and sends a stern warning to college football administrators: We’re onto you. Not that it matters, but I guess this is how things change. Slowly, painfully, and only when prompted. Does the NCAA not realize how much money they could make administering a playoff itself? Or even through each school’s third-party sports marketing sponsor?

This Week in Duh. You remember our twee critic friend, Matt Zoller Seitz?

The Vulture’s TV critic, Seitz is notable for dropping a trillion words to defend recaps, and also fondly comparing Community to Proust or some dopey shit.

But you might be surprised that he hates comic book movies! I’m sure he’s above entertainment that’s actually enjoyable, preferring a Sorkinesque speech to reinforce his condescending social beliefs. As for today, watch out, DC and Marvel fanboys, Seitz was trolling for you!

Holy troll bait, Batman, nothing fuels Twitter hatred like blanket statements from close-minded critics!

Anyway, while I might like to think the job of a TV Critic is to greet everything with an open mind, I’m probably wrong.

Sure, you might enjoy a breezy episode of Franklin and Bash more than expected; and you might resist status quo on certain critical darlings like Downton Abbey. But that indicates nuance, and it’s far easier to make up your mind before experiencing your subject. It’s far easier to inspire hatred or loyalty by making blanket statements like Seitz. Fine, tough guy, don’t go to Dark Knight. That’s one extra seat for a real fan. Besides, next door you can catch Moonrise Kingdom for the seventh time.

PREVIOUSLY

John Hanley

About John Hanley

John Hanley is a marketing director by day, author and blogger by night, and smart aleck all the time. He lives in Kansas City. He has two cats. He habitually misplaces his stupid chapstick.
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