Friday, December 19, 2008

Sports Illustrated: Dec 15 Issue

Some interesting stuff from the latest Sports Illustrated...

- Brief mention of former SI writer Roy Blount Jr. and his new book "Alphabet Juice". Sounds as if it's an interesting primer on the English language (perhaps similar to "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" or those books written by Bill Bryson), but written by an accomplished former sportswriter.

- Profile on Northern State men's basketball coach Don Meyer titled "The Game of His Life". It's a really good look at the person poised to overtake Bobby Knight atop the list of men's NCAA coaches with the most wins. Beyond the victories, what's interesting about Meyer is the impact that he's had on the game and his players... and their impact on him as he lives with the effects of a near fatal car accident which required the amputation of his left leg below the knee.

- In depth look at the impact of Russian billionaires on the world of sports titled "To Russia With Love". From England's Chelsea Soccer Club to teams in Russia itself, these uber-rich individuals are raising the profile and skill level of the teams they own through huge cash layouts.

Rather than doing so for the purpose of turning a profit, these "oligarchs" are able to to spend lavishly for the purpose of enjoyment (and at the same time to curry favor with the Putin government by supporting Russian sporting achievement). The article has the astounding quote that "22 men reportedly control some 40% of the country's gross domestic product".