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Ladies and gentlemen: DIGITAL SPORTS

Defense of the Ancients is a MOBA (what's a MOBA? | comprehensive history of MOBAs) that has skyrocketed in recent years from a humble Warcraft multiplayer mod to a genre-defining megahit whose worldwide competitive bracket The International (whose finale airs tonight) boasts a prize pool of more than $10 million dollars. While publisher Valve is determined to help mainstream the esports craze with helpful noob newcomer-friendly broadcasts of the final and a simulcast on ESPN, the community has been dogged by accusations of hostility and a very steep learning curve. Luckily, you don't have to know anything about DOTA to enjoy the best thing to come out of it so far: 45 minutes of witheringly sarcastic in-game meta-commentary [playable transcript] in the dulcet tones of Kevan Brighting, the very charming (and very British) narrator of beloved metagame The Stanley Parable. Once you're finished with that delightful deconstruction of esport tropes, you might also enjoy perusing similar announcer packs for Portal's GLaDOS, Bastion's Rucks, and... a pirate. DIGITAL SPORTS!
posted by Rhaomi on Jul 21, 2014 - 47 comments

Fitness is feeling great!

#HuskyTwitter may have started out as a dog appreciation tag, but got a boost in recent days after ESPN Magazine revealed that Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder, at a fit 275 pounds, would be featured on one of the six covers of the 2014 Body Issue (possibly NSFW). previously
posted by psoas on Jul 9, 2014 - 12 comments

all the young black sportswriters

Betrayal is what led to his defenestration from ESPN the last time around. Betrayal is why his best piece of writing never found the audience it deserved. And betrayal is at the heart of why the most prominent black sportswriter around is also the most hated sportswriter in the black community, and why, 10 months after Jason Whitlock first announced his new endeavor, a black sports and culture site that he'll run under the aegis of his old enemy ESPN, the project is still struggling to get off the ground.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jun 13, 2014 - 21 comments

Bill Simmons' Big Score

Bill Simmons, Grantland boss and 30 for 30 executive producer, went from a little known Boston blogger to one of the most successful sports writers in the history of American media. Rolling Stone's Rob Tannenbaum took a deeper look at Simmons.
posted by reenum on May 1, 2014 - 14 comments

Thirty Errol Morris movies that can be streamed

Inside, please find a list of twenty-eight movies, TV episodes, and short subjects by Errol Morris and two movies about Errol Morris, all of which can be streamed, along with some short descriptions of their content. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on Apr 23, 2014 - 27 comments

Gimme an R! Gimme an A! ... Actually, just give me my paycheck.

The salon visits, the makeup, the eyelashes, the tights were almost exclusively paid out of her own pocket. The finishing touch of the Raiderettes' onboarding process was a contract requiring Lacy to attend thrice-weekly practices, dozens of public appearances, photo shoots, fittings and nine-hour shifts at Raiders home games, all in return for a lump sum of $1,250 at the conclusion of the season.
A Raiderette has filed a class action suit alleging that the Raiders' practices violate the California Labor Code.
posted by rewil on Apr 3, 2014 - 59 comments

It would look A LOT like the NFL.

What if the Major League Baseball season were only 16 games? [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead on Apr 2, 2014 - 93 comments

'You need to say, 'I'm Devin Wang and I'm the person in that picture."

Portrait of a Rescue (marathon bombing photos) [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 31, 2013 - 14 comments

Frontline's "League of Denial:The NFL'S Concussion Crisis" Airs

The much-anticipated Frontline documentary "League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis" premiered on PBS last week. In August, ESPN pulled out of the project, reportedly due to pressure from the NFL (as previously discussed on MetaFilter here), while the NFL itself only days later announced a $765m settlement with over 4500 former players for claims of concussion-related disability. Reaction to the Frontline program was unsurprisingly mixed from factions involved with the issue, but generally well-received by journalists and TV critics. [more inside]
posted by briank on Oct 14, 2013 - 128 comments

League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth

The New York Times is reporting that pressure from the NFL led ESPN to pull out of an investigative project with FRONTLINE regarding head injuries in American Football. The two-part investigative report and book will reveal how the NFL, over a period of nearly two decades, sought to cover up and deny mounting evidence of the connection between football and brain damage. ESPN has a $15.2 Billion deal with the NFL. (Football concussions previously: 1, 2, and 3)
posted by Public Policy on Aug 23, 2013 - 84 comments

"On my great steed Sabermetric, I venture forth to distant shores."

Nate Silver will move FiveThirtyEight to ESPN when his contract with the New York Times expires in late August. Silver's new site will look to Bill Simmons' Grantland as a model for existing under ESPN's umbrella. His new move could be "genius," with a role at ABCNews and a larger audience, but did the New York Times know what it had in Silver? ESPN press release & Nate Silver 2.0 quote
posted by gladly on Jul 22, 2013 - 67 comments

"The one with no legs, being carried by the one who could not see."

In 2009, ESPN producer Lisa Fenn worked on a story about two high-school wrestlers, Leroy Sutton and Dartanyon Crockett. Sutton was hit by a train when he was a child and had both his legs amputated; Crockett is legally blind. After the story aired, Fenn stayed in Sutton and Crockett's lives, and the three formed a surprising, enduring bond. [more inside]
posted by Charity Garfein on Jul 9, 2013 - 26 comments

Do I ever get to go back to my life? Or have they erased it for good?

Football coach Todd Hoffner took a 92 second cell phone video of his children goofing around after bathtime. [autoplaying (sfw) video] A few months later, he lost his job and was under investigation for child pornography. [more inside]
posted by desjardins on May 30, 2013 - 126 comments

Well I walk into the room, passing out hundred dollar bills

When We Held Kings: The oral history of the 2003 World Series of Poker, in which an amateur named Moneymaker turned $39 into $2.5 million and the poker boom was born.
posted by Horace Rumpole on May 25, 2013 - 18 comments

I Took That Punch as a Man

23-year-old Garrett Holeve is an aspiring MMA fighter from Cooper City, Florida, just north of Miami. He trains six days a week, and has fought in amateur exhibition matches. He also has Down syndrome. This is his story [more inside]
posted by ob1quixote on Mar 29, 2013 - 33 comments

"Len Bias would become the Archduke Ferdinand of the Total War on Drugs"

Len Bias has been dead for longer than he has been alive. For ESPN Michael Weinreb examines how the tragic death due to a cocaine overdose of this young, up and coming basketball star affected both the sport and American drug policy. Meanwhile at Deadspin, Tommy Craigs explains how twentytwo years after his death Len Bias still makes everyone crazy.
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 7, 2013 - 16 comments

The betting machine

Meet The World's Foremost Quantitative NBA Sports Bettor: Raconteur and humorous tweeter Haralabos Voulgaris
posted by Potomac Avenue on Feb 22, 2013 - 3 comments

The Bobcat in Winter

Michael Jordan Has Not Left The Building. Wright Thompson of ESPN: The Magazine profiles Michael Jordan as he turns 50 and finds himself in a world where his body may age, but his obsessive drive to compete never goes away.
posted by workingdankoch on Feb 18, 2013 - 38 comments

The Book of Coach

"For those who coached under Walsh, Finding the Winning Edge was a study of the genius beyond his playbook. For those who coached against him, it was a window into the mind of their nemesis." -- The Coaching Philosophy of Bill Walsh. The book is now out of print and even a used copy will cost you $1,249.99 on Amazon.
posted by MattMangels on Jan 29, 2013 - 10 comments

What you are about to read..is fucking awesome

ESPN NBA blog The Hardwood Paroxysm has released a 2012-2013 Season Preview Guide [PDF] full of clever, opinionated (or sometimes data-driven) previews of each team and star player. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 24, 2012 - 29 comments

Too weird to live, too rare to die

"2. Airman Thompson possesses outstanding talent in writing. He has imagination, good use of English, and can express his thoughts in a manner that makes interesting reading 3. However, in spite of frequent counseling with explanation of the reasons for the conservative policy on an AF base newspaper, Airman Thompson has consistently written controversial material and leans so strongly to critical editorializing that it was necessary to require that all his writing be thoroughly edited before release." - A memo regarding Airman Second-Class Hunter S. Thompson's reporting for the base newspaper. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 13, 2012 - 27 comments

I'm completely capable of anything

Nico Calabria plays soccer and wrestles for Concord-Carlisle High School in Massachusetts. He summitted Mount Kilimanjaro at 13 [Vimeo] as a fundraiser to provide wheelchairs to people in Tanzania, he does some parkour, and this week he's in a race to have the "Best of the Best" video on ESPN's SportsCenter for a goal he scored in a recent game. Calabria was born with one leg and uses carbon fiber crutches when he plays; he's a starting forward on the US Amputee National Team.
posted by catlet on Sep 29, 2012 - 15 comments

I'm as high as a Georgia pine.

The Long, Strange Trip of Dock Ellis. ESPN's Outside the Lines has created a digital reading experience worthy of its subject matter. [more inside]
posted by whimsicalnymph on Sep 12, 2012 - 18 comments

as if he just fell asleep watching the game

Team Spirit is a short documentary by Errol Morris about the funerals of passionate sports fans. (SLYT)
posted by Sticherbeast on Aug 16, 2012 - 11 comments

ESPN Body Issue 2012

ESPN: The Body Issue 2012 (nsfw)
posted by Cloud King on Jul 10, 2012 - 131 comments

"Never Be Satisfied"

"I'm just looking for a second chance. Other people get second chances. Alcoholics. Drug addicts. Spousal beaters. Not gamblers, though. But, if you want to put something on my tombstone that was very important to me, it’s 1,972. That’s how many winning games I’ve played in. So that makes me the biggest winner in the history of sports. No one else can say that." Here, Now is a short documentary that looks at baseball legend Pete Rose, as he lives his life today. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 23, 2012 - 45 comments

The Worldwide Leader

Is ESPN columnist Sarah Phillips scamming people on the internet? Eight months ago, a writer who specializes in sports-betting was hired by ESPN, sight-unseen. Fast-forward six months and accusations are swirling that she is either not who she says she is, or she is using her platform to grift internet gamblers and content creators. A story that's about fifty percent JT Leroy and fifty percent Nigerian prince.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates on May 1, 2012 - 98 comments

The Announcement

Mr. George said in a telephone interview that his goal for “The Announcement” was not only to tell the inside story of Mr. Johnson’s personal deliberations but also to “make people aware this thing hasn’t disappeared.” He added: “People are still dying of the virus. People are living very tough lives because of it. It’s falling off the national agenda, I believe, and this in some way helps us reintroduce it.”*
On March 11, 2012 at 9pm Eastern, ESPN will air the documentary The Announcement, about Magic Johnson's diagnosis with HIV and his decision to go public with his diagnosis. The film is directed by Nelson George, a award-winning author and noted filmmaker whose sister is Andrea Williams, an HIV+ activist for AIDS causes in Brooklyn (and who inspired George's HBO movie Life Support, which won Queen Latifah several awards for her role as a fictionalized version of Williams).
posted by hippybear on Feb 20, 2012 - 14 comments

Slumdog Golfer

The Golf Course and the Slum
posted by vidur on Dec 11, 2011 - 9 comments

Don’t Give Up . . . Don’t Ever Give Up!

Jim Valvano and 6th seeded North Carolina State completed one of the all time greatest Cinderella upsets in basketball history, winning the 1983 NCAA tournament title over the top ranked "Phi Slamma Jamma" out of Houston, featuring two future Hall of Fame and Top 50 all time NBA superstars Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon. On March 3, 1993, shortly before his death from bone cancer diagnosed the previous year, Jimmy V delivered an iconic speech at the inaugural ESPY awards announcing the creation of The Jimmy V Foundation, an organization dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. Jimmy V week is celebrated each year on ESPN and has since raised over $100 million for cancer research.
posted by T.D. Strange on Dec 2, 2011 - 14 comments

49ers-least talked about comeback story?

The 49ers are back, but who's paying attention? Sitting on top of a weak NFC West, is the Niner's impressive rise going overlooked? [more inside]
posted by Carillon on Nov 15, 2011 - 77 comments

Ultimately, there is no separating Vick from his circumstances: his race, parents, economics and opportunities.

What if Michael Vick were white? The cover of the September issue of ESPN The Magazine features an image of the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, but another picture might end up getting more attention. [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge on Aug 25, 2011 - 171 comments

Warning: something you have to care about sports to care about

Launching at 12:00PM ET today is Grantland.com, a new site from ESPN's Bill Simmons which will feature longer-form articles and a mix of sports and pop culture, with an impressive roster of contributors, including Malcolm Gladwell, Dave Eggers and Chuck Klosterman. The site takes its name from the legendary early-20th-century sportswriter Grantland Rice.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jun 8, 2011 - 40 comments

It happens

The Tao of Poo We can exhaustively ­explore every aspect of athletic life -- victory, defeat, violence, racism, drugs, brain damage, paralysis, death -- but nothing reveals as much about the physiology, psychology and sociology of sport as the excretory experience of athletes.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Apr 19, 2011 - 48 comments

Sort of a one-man [sports] Metafilter

Quickish is a new site offering "real-time-ish" short-form sports news and analysis links, gathered and recommended by the site's proprietor, Dan Shanoff. Link suggestions from readers are welcome. NiemanLab interviews Shanoff. If his name sounds familiar, it's because he used to do the Daily Quickie on ESPN.com.
posted by beagle on Apr 13, 2011 - 4 comments

Duke vs Michigan

On Sunday, ESPN aired an acclaimed documentary about the University of Michigan's Fab Five. In one segment the members of the Fab Five discuss their hatred of the Duke University basketball program, and Jalen Rose goes so far as to say that at the time he felt like Duke players were "Uncle Toms". Link goes to clip of relevant segment (1:24), after a short ad. Grant Hill, who played for Duke against the Fab Five, responded in today's New York Times. [more inside]
posted by auto-correct on Mar 16, 2011 - 88 comments

32 Posters for the participants of the World Cup

ESPN commisions 32 posters for each of the participants in the upcoming tournement. In addition to the cool art, here's an interactive calender to help you plan your viewing courtesy of Spanish website Marca.com.
posted by Keith Talent on Jun 8, 2010 - 77 comments

"I left my stamp."

I scored a goal in the FIFA World Cup Final. A series of short films produced by ESPN about players ranging from Uruguay's Alcides Ghiggia in 1950 to Italy's Marco Materazzi in 2006. [more inside]
posted by The Card Cheat on May 31, 2010 - 25 comments

Joe Gaetjens scored a goal in the World Cup, died as a political prisoner of Papa Doc Chevalier

A heartbreaking 10-minute documentary on Joe Gaetjens who scored the single goal in the USA's shocking victory over England at the 1950 World Cup. Gaetjens was a Haitian accounting student at Columbia University who went to Europe shortly after the 1950 World Cup and returned to Haiti a few years later. His story, and the story of the upset victory, was until recently largely unknown in the US.
posted by Kattullus on May 31, 2010 - 12 comments

Title IX Months

Pregnant Texan honors student Mackenzie McCollum was barred from playing on her school's volleyball team specifically because of her pregnancy. After the school allowed her back on the team, McCollum's coach cut her playing time and disclosed the pregnancy to all her teammates. The US Department of Education is now investigating the school for Title IX violations, and both McCollum and her family are on the receiving end of some pretty nasty invective. (ESPN video profile, ESPN comments)
posted by bitter-girl.com on Dec 10, 2009 - 197 comments

The Cincinnati Bengals' Car Wash

At the insistence of Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown, the FAA is apparently targeting a pilot who was hired this month by disgruntled fans to fly messages like "Hire a GM!" over the team's training camp. A "Mike Brown Step Down" banner was flown over games last season. Brown's futility (1 winning season in 18 years) in Cincinnati has spurred fans to pay thousands for billboards and distribute urinal cakes, while HBO's Hard Knocks series has recently shown insight into his cluelessness. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Aug 26, 2009 - 63 comments

Taking aim at ESPN

Sports Business Journal has a detailed look behind the buzz over "The Emperor’s New Clothes: How ESPN’s Multi-Platform Strategy Hasn’t Improved Ratings," a sharply critical PowerPoint presentation making the rounds of sports league offices and advertising buyers in recent months. A good read for folks interested in the business of sports, decreasing TV ratings for many leagues, the blurriness of the ad/news line and the difficulty of measuring eyeballs across media. [via Romenesko]
posted by mediareport on Mar 17, 2008 - 18 comments

That was a dumb move, wasn't it?

The Naga Jolokia is the hottest pepper in the world, at 1,000,000 Scoville Units. One seed from a Naga Jolokia can sustain intense pain sensations in the mouth for up to 30 minutes before subsiding. Imagine what eating an entire pepper will do? One intrepid ESPN reporter finds out.
posted by empath on Nov 11, 2007 - 84 comments

Easterbrook returns to ESPN.com

FollowupFilter - After a two year hiatus (read: punishment ban), Gregg Easterbrook (founder of Beliefnet, Brookings scholar, ex of Slate & NFL.com) one of ESPN's most popular football writers returns, with no acknoledgment of where he went or why. Hopefully he'll keep his mouth shut about ABC and/or Disney related projects this time. As a side note, his two seasons worth of back articles are apparently not available, as they were purged (permanently?) when he was fired.
posted by jonson on Apr 25, 2006 - 16 comments

Are you ready for some Dominoes!

Dominoes now on ESPN! What's next? Watching Solitaire?
posted by usedwigs on Apr 3, 2006 - 57 comments

What have you told your children about Muhammad Ali?

What have you told your children about Muhammad Ali? "I was frequently left with tingling all over because I had been in the presence of such a great man and still humbled by his compassion, tolerance and understanding." Inspired by this weekend's airing by ESPN Classic of most of Tyson's fights, I started thinking about the difference between these two men. Ali obviously transcended his sport and has become more than just a boxer while Tyson is clearly a lost and troubled soul. And yet Tyson's story still inspires reflection. Nietzche's statement that "What someone is, begins to be revealed when his talent abates, when he stops showing us what he can do" is perfectly illustrated by the twilight years of these two legendary boxers.
posted by spicynuts on Nov 27, 2005 - 47 comments

Ma ma ma my Sharapova!

Happy 18th Birthday Maria Sharapova! A music video by ESPN's Bristol Bob and the Page 2 Crue, made in honor of Maria Sharapova's 18th birthday. Make sure you crank the volume knob up to 11, because now you, too, can sing along to the tune of The Knack's "My Sharona."
posted by MmmKlunk on Apr 20, 2005 - 25 comments

The NHL? Fix it for forget it

The NHL? Fix it for forget it. ESPN suggests how we could start over.
posted by tranquileye on Jan 12, 2005 - 70 comments

Bystanders to History

I saw a feature on ESPN last night about Britt Gaston and Cliff Courtney, two Georgia teenagers who are indelibly linked to history as the kids who ran alongside Hank Aaron after the famous 715th home run. Then I googled around a bit and discovered Jim Leavelle, the former Dallas cop who will forever be known as the guy in the hat watching Ruby take care of Oswald in the precinct basement. And then there's Mary Ann Vecchio, a 14-year-old runaway who was photographed wailing over a dead body at Kent State in 1970. And, of course, there's Afghanistan Girl. Can anyone think of other bystanders to historical events whose faces we all know but identities remain anonymous? Is there anyone who has not yet been rediscovered?
posted by PrinceValium on Apr 7, 2004 - 25 comments

Wait till one breaks a record ...

Here's a can of worms: transsexuals who engage in pro sports
posted by magullo on Mar 4, 2004 - 20 comments

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