Don’t call it a comeback

So…haven’t posted in a while. It’s 6 p.m. on a Tuesday night, so I’m not going to post anything all that incredible, so let me just clear out some things I’ve marked in my Google Reader account in the last few weeks.

Read until your brain creaks. Doug Wilson of Blog and Mablog had a great post a week or so ago about how writers should read. Below is one particularly helpful point:

The first thing is that writers should in fact be voracious readers. We live in a narcisstic age, which means that many want to have the praise that comes from having written, without the antecedent labor of actually writing, or the antecedent labor before that of having read anything. Mark Twain once defined a classic as a book that nobody wanted to read, but which everyone wanted to have read. It is a similar situation here. Wanting to write without reading is like wanting to grind flour without gathering wheat, like wanting to make boards without logging, and like wanting to have a Mississippi Delta without any tributaries somewhere in Minnesota. Output requires intake, and literary output requires literary intake.

Most aspiring writers/literature aficionados know what it feels like to write or read in order to say “I’m a writer,” or “I’m a big reader.” It’s a cultural badge of significance to say you are well-read, and it’s cool and mysterious to say you like to write (whatever that really means). Wilson does well to remind us: Save yourself the time of trying to look like a proficient reader and actually read carefully and sufficiently in order to be a good reader. Ditto for writing. Wilson’s son, N.D. Wilson (a children’s fiction writer) once wrote that he knows all kinds of people who call themselves writers but have never actually written a full short story. Don’t be that guy.

Wizard of Westwood. As you likely know, legendary basketball coach John Wooden died last week at 99 years old. Here’s an incredible video by SI’s Rick Reilly on Wooden’s commitment to his late wife, even years after she passed away. Wooden was also a strong Christian with faith he was not afraid to pass on.

Convergence Journalism. For my journalism friends, check out this piece in digital journalism — an interactive documentary that tells the story of Canon City, Colorado, a small town with 13 prisons. The content is interesting, but the style is fascinating. Check it out.

(HT: 10,000 Words)

Follow Friday. It’s not Friday and this isn’t Twitter, but my journalism prof from Cedarville is reading through the Harry Potter books for the first time. Observe his thoughts at the provided link. I think he’s somewhere in the third book right now.


New Stadiums, New Memories

NEW YORK CITY — In 2009, a combined 131 years of New York baseball history were torn down and replaced.

Both the Yankees and Mets – the two New York representatives in Major League Baseball – built expensive new stadiums over classic old ones.

The Yankees built their stadium in 1923, and it was soon named “The House that Ruth Built” because of how legendary star Babe Ruth helped established the Yankees as a dominant baseball organization.

Eighty-three years and 27 World Championships later, some fans are calling the new Yankee Stadium “The House that Jeter Built” after Hall of Fame-bound shortstop Derek Jeter helped the Yankees win the World Series in the ballpark’s inaugural season.

“Carrying the same players over and having Jeter, it’s kind of like a nice transition from old to new,” said Joe Kelly, a Yankees fan from Connecticut who was born and raised in the Bronx. “You’re mixing some of the older veterans with some of the newer players.”

“I miss the old stadium,” he said, looking over at the giant crater where it used to be. “But I think there’s going to be a lot of good memories built in this stadium.”

For Mets fans, the good memories have yet to make the short trip from the bulldozed Shea Stadium to the sparkling Citi Field. While the Yankees were clearly baseball’s best team in cruising to the 2009 World Series title, a case could be made that the Mets were baseball’s worst, since the injury-riddled team lost 92 games.

Fan reaction to the new stadium wasn’t much brighter than the season. Ever protective of their unique history (and unique items like the Home Run apple), some Mets fans had a hard time understanding why the team would build a stadium to look like the Brooklyn Dodgers’ old Ebbits Field.

“I was disappointed last year that there wasn’t much about the place that reminded you that this was the home of the Mets,” said Kerel Cooper, a Mets fan who writes the fan blog On the Black.

Greg Prince, author of Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets, said the extra restaurants and walking space can distract fans from watching the game.

“Before you know it, you’ve got the whole family away from action for two innings, three innings,” he said. “I wonder what the long-term effect of that is…does it really engender fan loyalty?”

Ted Berg, editorial director for SportsNet New York (SNY) and life-long Mets fan, said the Mets will have to win more often at Citi Field before fans become comfortable with it. Berg said he loved how Shea used to physically shake during a particularly exciting moments, and that the problem with Citi Field is that there haven’t been too many exciting moments yet.

“I spent some time in Citi Field, looking around and thinking, ‘This place feels almost sterilized, and it doesn’t have enough character,’ but I don’t think that’s the case,” he said. “I think it doesn’t have those memories. I think that it will take years for people to develop that.”