Another week, another excellent batch of NC-centric sportswriting. It’s Thursday, which means we’ve got football tonight (FOOOTBAWL) and the weekend is right around the corner. You’re practically already done with your five-day work buzzkill, and mentally I know you’ve checked out long ago. So kickback and enjoy; you earned this:
Lets start simple, shall we? This was the most beautiful thing penned, typed, tweeted, scribed all week in North Carolina; Jeff Mills of the Greensboro News & Record knows what time it is.
Noted hater of kickers Brian Billick gives his assessment of Cam Newton: elite or not? Now this sounds like some ‘hot takey’ piece primed to rip Cam’s throwing mechanics – but it seems like Billick gets it. “Newton is like no other quarterback in the NFL. The old yardsticks don’t really apply.” Sing those sweet words to me, Brian.
While I rarely get to see them play, there likely isn’t a sports entity I enjoy supporting more than Team USA basketball; it’s been an immense joy to watch them under Coach K: four gold medals, including two in the Olympics, and only one loss during the last decade — insane. That said, I couldn’t be more thrilled to see who the national team has decided to pass the head coaching baton to: Spurs coach and NBA savant Gregg Popovich, who got the thumbs up from K, too.
Essaywhuman? Making her first appearance in this space: Marilyn Payne of WRAL SportsFan, who corralled the best quotes from Wednesday’s gauntlet of media events down in Charlotte at ACC Operation Basketball.
In North Carolina, it can be taboo to discuss a few different subjects, based on where you’re standing: favorite basketball teams, politics, religion, perhaps even some more unfortunate topics that I won’t get into. However, the issue over East/West BBQ is perhaps the most divisive; the New Yorker delves into the fight to keep barbecue authentic in NC. I’m now going to forward this story to Hornets rookie big man Frank Kaminsky, who went 0-2 from the field in his debut last night.
From the freaking New York Times (we’re fancy here): a piece from earlier this week on the ‘hot hand fallacy.’ For years, research has pointed to hot streaks in sports — a player hitting a home run in five straight games, a guard nailing six consecutive jumpers — being random, and more hot air than tangible phenomenons. However, thanks to a new baseball-centric study from economists — Brett Green of the University of California, Berkeley, (a Duke undergraduate) and Jeffrey Zwiebel of Stanford — which is featured in the article, the hot hand may in fact have been proven to be a real thing.
In case you forget, Steph Curry is damn good at this whole basketball thingy — the league MVP was in playoff mode two nights ago to open the season, per Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports (also, one of the best NBA scribes on Earth).