I like sports in general, although I tend to be a little out of the loop with the big American sports—because I decided at some point to be a pretentious soccer fan.
Among my carefully curated group of soccer-loving friends, this is just fine. (We actually have conversations about the international transfer market, for example.) But at, say, children's birthday parties, when the subject of the NFL comes up during conversations with other parents, I come off as a terrible American and less of a man.
Therefore, I am grateful to former ESPN columnist Dan Shanoff for his newish Quickish.com, which is rapidly becoming one of the sites I'm constantly checking on my phone instead of talking to people. Quickish offers regular short bursts of sports news, covering both the sports business and actual games, with both tweets and links to stories from various websites and newspapers.
You could simply read Quickish and gain enough info to fake your way through pretending to be a sports fan—but there are also a lot of opportunities to dig deeper and learn more.
There's probably some downside to this sort of instantaneous news—with minimal commentary—since it makes every story seem like the most important thing to ever happen in the sports world, but for now, this is exactly what I want from new media: entertainment that also has the side benefit of making me feel like a well-rounded person.
THE WEEK ON THE RANGE
We shared a clip of Congressman Jeff Flake telling CNN that birthers "ought to get off this kick" (and shared Flake's first ad for his U.S. Senate campaign); let you know that Congressman Raúl Grijalva supported the union workers in Wisconsin and opposed cuts to NPR and PBS; told you Marcia Ortega and Mike Jenkins abandoned their nascent campaigns for the Tucson City Council; and—as you'll discover on Page 9—followed the action at the Capitol in our all-new Blogislature feature.
We noted that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' friends were raising money on her behalf while she recovers from a gunshot wound to the head; told you that Ron Barber, Giffords' district director, launched a new Fund for Civility, Respect and Understanding while he recovers from his own gunshot wounds—and was bringing a big concert featuring Jackson Browne, Alice Cooper, Calexico and many others to Tucson next month; informed you that the Pima County Board of Supervisors had renamed trails after Gabe Zimmerman and Christina-Taylor Green, who were both slain in the shooting rampage; and let you know that spring training would be returning to Tucson for one day this year, as the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Chicago White Sox play a charity game to raise money for the Christina-Taylor Green Fund.
We shared artwork by Francois Robert at Etherton Gallery; told you what was worth watching on TV this week; warned you that Tiger Woods was coming to town; posted a new Radiohead video; and let you know that the Borders bookstore on Oracle Road was closing.
We savored the opening of Tucson's Pita Jungle; told you that Janos Wilder and Sam Fox were both finalists for James Beard Awards; delivered another dispatch in the Food Truck Diaries; and noted that although Dr. Charles Gerba might have discovered that bachelor pads have more germs than bachelorette pads, he'd probably find a lot more germs in a house that includes kids.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
"I just thanked him for having a brain."
—Facebook commenter Victoria Falcone-Camey, appreciating the fact that U.S. Senate candidate/Rep. Jeff Flake doesn't feel the need to see Obama's long-form birth certificate ("Flake Denounces Birthers," The Range, Feb. 17).
BEST OF WWW
In December 2010, we published a series of stories from Beyond the Border—a student-journalism project developed by Dr. Celeste González de Bustamante of the University of Arizona School of Journalism, and Prof. Yvonne Latty of New York University—which took a look at the human faces of immigration. This week, we have an additional video feature from that project, by Austin Counts and Clayton Norman, both of whom spent time in the New York City borough of Staten Island.
Also, we have a slideshow of photos by Lisa Healey featuring the renovation of Fourth Avenue live-music hotspot Plush. It's going through a massive transformation, including a wall quilt/decoration made of T-shirts from local musicians.