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Recapping March: Articles and Commentaries Chronicling the Month

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aleibovitz.jpgWith LeBron, Gisele, Annie Leibovitz, and the cover of American Vogue, the making of Tyler Hansbrough’s college legacy, Brett Favre’s “retirement,” the revealing of Arlen Specter’s true mission behind Spygate, more steroid news, upping the ante on Geno and Pat’s continuing feud, and the remaking of John Thompson III and Georgetown’s basketball program through March Madness and revisionist history, it has been yet another crazy month for sports and sports-related news.

So, I thought I’d do something a little different and provide a little recap of March through the month’s commentaries and articles. I’m actually crossing my fingers and hoping nothing too crazy happens between today and tomorrow at midnight!

Anyway, thanks for reading SOMM….


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Lebron James: Beyond Kong

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Ahhh, how far you can go when your job, self-appointed or otherwise, is to constantly scrutinize the media. Watching the Watchers‘ “Rogers Cadenhead” continued the search for posters and depictions analogous to the recent LeBron James-Gisele Bundchen American Vogue cover. What he found is astonishing and lends more credence to my assertion that Annie Leibovitz knew exactly what she was doing.

Again, there is no way Leibovitz, arguably the top portrait photographer of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, made a mistake and just “missed” with the depictions of James and Bundchen.

Judge for yourself.

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Invalidating Jemele Hill: When You Cause a Stir… Face Slaps Follow

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kongpiss.jpgBecause articles from its computers are more often than not the first to be read by the public, the Associate Press news service monolith often acts as a tone-setter for discourse of news events. In the case of the stir caused by the LeBron James-Gisele Bundchen American Vogue cover, though, someone at the organization feels that the growing controversy is important enough to attempt to act as the final word when it comes to discussions of race and racism.

And, of course, act to invalidate the concerns of many black people and people in general who feel the depiction of James is closer to King Kong then King James.

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LeBron James and the Vogue Cover: More “King Kong” than “King James”

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jamesgisele.jpgTom Withers of the Huffington Post describes LeBron James on the cover of the April cover of Vogue thusly:

LeBron James is striking a pose.

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ superstar will appear on the April cover of Vogue, joining actors Richard Gere and George Clooney as the only men to do so in the influential fashion magazine’s 116-year history.

Wearing a tank top, shorts and sneakers from his own Nike clothing line, James appears on the cover dribbling a basketball and screaming as if in game mode while throwing one arm around supermodel Gisele Bundchen with Tom Brady nowhere to be found.

LeBron James is striking a pose, all right.

What Withers does not say is that neither Gere nor Clooney struck a pose remotely close to that of James’. What Withers does not say – nor does anyone else as of yet – is that Tom Brady would never have been asked to pose with his girlfriend, Gisele Bundchen, in full New England Patriots gear.

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Rating the Latest Flurry of NBA Trades

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abynum.jpgThe NBA trade deadline has come and gone. In the coming weeks we will come to understand which GMs were proactive and which were reactive. And in the coming weeks we will know which moves brought their teams greater success and which moves were busts.

It is going to be a very interesting stretch run.

1. The Lakers go —- Pau!

The Los Angeles Lakers trade for Pau Gasol was so good it invited conspiracy theories. It was so good that San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich advocated for the league to have the ability to determine that a trade was “stupid” and have it rescinded.

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Spotes Notes, 2.14.08: Barry, Roger, Congress, BALCO; Kelvin; KG, Big Baby; LeBron, J-Kidd; Kobe, Pau; Shaq, Amare, Boris, Matrix Nash

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Kidd Trade Update: Devean George is steadfast in his refusal to be traded. Dallas cannot just throw in more players, the Nets already have too many. Dallas does not have another player with the contract to match George’s. So, for the moment, the trade is stalled. And if everyone is not very careful, it might not happen at all.

If it doesn’t happen, I wonder how the Dallas players will react the rest of the season. This could spell the end of the Mavericks chance at a Western Conference crown for 2007-08.

By the way, George shot 0-11 tonight. Who says there’s no such thing as karma?

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Spotes Notes, 1.28.08: New Clemens Site – by Clemens, for Clemens, of Clemens; SOMM Vid Widget; Last Words on Tiger-Tilghman, et al.; It’s a Nelson-Webber Reunion; the Writers of His-Story; George Martin Is Walking; Cavs Benefit from NBA Largesse

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dharrison.jpgLeBron-Kobe: and it happened in front of the nation

All over sports websites people are talking about how the Cavs and LeBron James got the best of Kobe and the Lakers, Sunday. I though, have one question: did anyone other than me notice that the Los Angeles Lakers on their home court were the recipients of exactly zero foul calls at the end of the game yesterday. No call when Larry Hughes clearly hit Kobe Bryant’s forearm on a made jumper (to tie the score at 92) from the right wing. No call on Lamar Odom’s drive on the right baseline when he was smacked by Ira Newble (score, 94-93 Cleveland). No foul call again on Hughes when Kobe went up for the layin (96-95 Cavs) after the steal at the end of the game. And no foul call when Daniel Gibson took a full swing and chopped Kobe Bryant’s arms to hack the ball away from Bryant (still 96-95 Cavs). Zero calls on your home court? Only when James is involved does this happen.

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2007: The Year In Retrospect; May-June

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genarlow.jpgMay – NBA Playoffs, Michael Vick dominate the news

May 2: The month is off to a raucous start as the Golden State Warriors were in the midst of upsetting the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The defense played by Stephen Jackson on Dirk Nowitzki, the man who would be the MVP, is a sight to behold.

A University of Pennsylvania (Justin Wolfers) and Cornell University (Joseph Price, graduate student) study finds racial bias in NBA referees through the disparity on fouls called on black players. David Stern decries the study, but it turns out that the NBA privately gathered similar data.

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2007: The Year In Retrospect; January-February

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bondsbell.jpgLet’s see, I’ve tasked myself with rehashing 2007. So, for the next week I’ll be chronicling the stories that made 2007 what it was. I’m sure my list will look, in total, quite a bit different from anyone else’s. But here’s to taking you through the year SOMM/TSF/SOMM/DWil-style…..

January, 2007

January 1: The year began in the wee hours of the 1st. Darrent Williams was killed when his limousine, which also contained Jevon Walker, was shot up. On January 1, the story was breaking news. As the day wore on the full details surrounding his death were just beginning to be reported. The story culminated in this article.

Also that day, both then Arizona Cardinals head coach, Dennis Green, was fired. Oh yeah, in a harbinger of things to come, so was Atlanta Falcons head sideline prowler, Jim Mora.

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LeBron James and “the Bump”

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All eyes were on Isiah Thomas, the ornery crowd attending the game, and the “Dump Isiah protesters outside Madison Square Garden. After the tipoff all eyes shifted to the New York Knicks’ performance (a 108-90 win). In the midst of the circus that is now the Knicks, a more important event took place. It was one that few noticed and when they did it was mentioned in passing – and it did not involve anyone with anything to do with New York.


One antagonistic shoulder bump, player to coach, would ruin most NBA players, even stars. It is a show of unmitigated disrespect for the man charged with directing the team. When a non-verbal confrontation like this takes place during the 48 minutes of business in front of 19,000 spectators, the entire team understands its message loud and clear – far louder and clearer than a shouting match, than a stream of expletives and a scowl.

A bump of this sort is the type that tells a general manager that it is time to begin texting other team’s GMs; time to put out the word: If we were to let this guy go, in a perfect world what would you give for him? At the same time the GM is and will continue to watch the coach and the other 14 players that much closer; perhaps it is the coach who must move on.

A bump of this sort, with 8:49 left in the game and the team down 21, can go a long way to explaining a team’s 2-9 record in its last 11 games.

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Written by dwil

December 20, 2007 at 8:16 am