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When I arrived at the clubhouse at noon, I was prepared for the sort of stuffy and overlong awards ceremony that dulls the spirits of parents everywhere. I was also afraid we’d miss the opening of the U.S.-England match. Happily, my natural pessimism was misplaced. Pleasant smells of charred cowflesh met me as I made my way through a chaos of bouncing balls and darting children; the barbecue was in full swing, and a soccer game was stirring up tremendous clouds of dust from the courtyard. I quickly made my way into the cool and musty shadows of the main hall, with its impressive display of 99 years’ worth of trophies and plaques. My eye drifted along the endless glass cases, and though I could discern no obvious scheme of organization, it appeared that the 1930s, 1950s and 1960s had been especially prolific. At the other end of the hall, I was startled by the immensely smug televised countenance of ESPN’s Alexi Lalas, projected on a screen, when through a doorway I glimpsed the object of my quest. –“Saturday Afternoon Fever,” Roger D. Hodge, The New York Observer
There was no way Bates could maintain an NBA career while slipping into full-blown alcoholism. So what did he do? Get clean, pull himself together, and take another shot at the big leagues? Nope. By the looks of things, he found a place where he could keep playing without giving up the bottle. That place was the Philippines. In the PBA, Bates’s talent was so overwhelming that he probably could have played in a drunken stupor and averaged 30 points per game. By most accounts, he always dried out before tip-off. His career average of 46 points per game is the highest of any PBA player, import or local, and Bates will probably always be remembered as the best import in league history. Throughout the ’80s, he was a superstar in the Philippines, one of the nation’s most famous and infamous ballers, whose legacy lives on today. –“The Legend of Black Superman: Billy Ray Bates, Flying High in the Philippines,” Rafe Bartholomew, Deadspin
Anthologizing is a dusty sport, half antique hunting and half literary gossipfest, and I love it. I went home and prowled my shelves and realized how many of the Victorian-era stories I had already read. Why, here’s that pasty-faced bastard Lord Ruthven, by Byron’s doctor and hanger-on, John Polidori, and so obviously based upon Byron himself. Here is Théophile Gautier’s crazy priest, in love with a vampire courtesan and wrestling with his naughty soul. And there were many stories I hadn’t read before—gay vampires, child vampires, even an invisible vampire. –“All the Dead are Vampires,” Michael Sims, The Chronicle of Higher Education
More from Rafe Bartholomew:
In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.
Estimated portion of registered voters in Zimbabwe who are dead:
Honeybees can recognize individual human faces.
Pope Francis announced that nuns could use social media, and a priest flew a hot-air balloon around the world.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”