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Farrah Fawcett died at the age of 62 on June 25, 2009.
June 25, 2016
My travel schedule is about to get brutal. When my wife and I decided to move to Athens three years ago this month — three years! — after living in New York City for 13 years, we knew there would be occasional sacrifices. I work in media, and she works in interior design, and everywhere I worked for was still based in NYC, so it was clear that I’d have to spend some time away from home so I could spent most my time at home. When we lived in New York, there would be days where I’d be so busy that I would see her and William at breakfast, and then when they were sleeping when I got home at night. There’s always something work-related to do in New York. I wanted my life and family to have more consistency. I wanted my life and family to have more me in it.
So we knew I’d have to travel a bit. But this has intensified to a rather ridiculous level over the next four weeks. I’m currently in Seattle with my parents, still reeling from this. I return home on Monday, but then back to NYC on Wednesday. Then it gets really nuts. Buffalo for July 4. San Diego for All-Star Game. Then two quick 24-hour trips to New York. Then to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention. If I don’t die there, then there’s one last week-long trip to New York. Between now and July 28, I will be out of town 24 days, and in my home 10.
One of the odder things about raising children is just how dramatically, and quickly, they change. The person my younger son Wynn, who just turned two, is when I leave for a trip is simply a different human being by the time I return. There are new words, new expressions, new reactions, new realizations. The person he is is constantly emerging. I do not feel I am missing too much of this, not yet. But it is nonetheless somewhat disconcerting that I know this much about Delta miles, and Hotels.com points, and the most efficient routes to the cab line at LGA and JFK and EWR and SEA-TAC, and that the guy at the Hudson News by Gate T3 said, “good to see you again” the other day. Meanwhile, Wynn said “baseball!” the other day, and I turned to my wife and said, “when did he start doing that?” I feel road weary already, and this just started.
The good news is that any son who gets to take his parents out to dinner on their 45th anniversary is a lucky one.
And I’m not sure we quite appreciate the miracle of FaceTime. I spent the first 35 years of my life wondering if we’d ever be able to see the face of the person we were talking to on the phone to now getting irritated if the FaceTime screen goes blurry for a second. It’s an amazing invention that we all started taking for granted, like, instantaneously.
Here is a numerical breakdown of all the things I wrote this week, in order of what I believe to be their quality. (This is an attempt to have an objective look at the value of my work in a way that I suspect will be difficult to sustain.)
1. LeBron Finally Has His Signature Moment, Sports On Earth. Because I actually travel less than most people who write primarily about sports for a living, I don’t get to do a lot of hard-deadline writing. (Also, there are fewer hard deadlines, across the board, when you can publish a story in seconds.) But it’s fun to do. I love the pressure of writing quickly and urgently about an event that everyone experienced together and wants to read about as quickly as possible. I’m notoriously a fast writer — I’d argue it’s my signature skill, and the only reason I’m allowed to do anything professionally to this day — but I truly believe I write better when I’m writing under pressure. I get out of my own head and just let it fly. I don’t think I write that fast. I don’t understand why everybody else writes so slow.
2. Will E-Sports Ever Work on TV?, Bloomberg Businessweek. This is a feature I wrote for Businessweek about eLeague, Turner Sports’ new eSports project that airs on Friday nights. It was a fun thing to research and report, but the highlight was getting to quote a cameraman talking in the bathroom. The crew always knows what’s going on better than anybody else does.
3. “The Neon Demon:” Shiny, Unhappy People, The New Republic. I truly despised this nasty little movie and had a grand old time ripping into it. I’m not here to make friends!
4. Thoughts on Bill Simmons’ New Show, Sports On Earth. Yeah, I dunno: I thought it was sort of good? And I thought Ben Affleck was just being a normal crazy Boston sports fan? Sometimes I think online people are experiencing a different life than I am.
5. Trump’s Troubles Inspire Epic Schadenfreude, Bloomberg Politics. I tried to capture that feeling of relief — that sense that maybe the world is maybe a little more saner than one had been sensing — that Trump’s two nightmare weeks on the campaign trail inspired in those who dislike Trump. This story ran on Tuesday, and it already seems like it was months ago.
6. Ranking the NBA’s Tortured Fanbases in 2016, Sports On Earth. The annual column, always a lot of fun. My favorite thing is the responses I get from people. You have underrated my misery, you jerk! I’m much more miserable than you think!
7. There Is No Downside for the U.S. Against Argentina, Sports On Earth. My argument that even if the USMNT got drilled by Argentina, it would be fine. Well, they got drilled by Argentina! Instant test of my argument!
8. Breaking Down the Baseball Prospectus Odds for June, Sports On Earth. The Cardinals looked a lot better before that nightmare loss last night. My dad just woke up in our AirBNB and is still cursing about Trevor Rosenthal and Mike Matheny.
9. My All-Star Ballot Has a Few Wrinkles, Sports On Earth. My actual All-Star ballot is all Cardinals, of course.
10. The Seven Questions With Will Leitch, Eephus. This is just an interview, but I did write out my answers, so I’m counting it.
11. Favorite MLB Hat Bracket, First Round, Sports On Earth. Yep, starting again.
12. SN, 50, Sporting News. I contributed to Sporting News’ ranking of the top 50 players in baseball, which somehow didn’t have Matt Carpenter on it. Not my fault!
Two podcasts this week. As I say every week: If you are the sort to subscribe to a weekly newsletter, I would have to think it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle to subscribe to one of the four (!) podcasts I do. Here they are:
The Will Leitch Experience, where Alyson Footer went on an awesome rant about Stephen A. Smith.
Grierson & Leitch, this week discussing “Finding Dory,” “Armageddon” and “Road to Perdition.”
Culture Caucus, on a bit of a hiatus as we find a new producer after the Tom Morello debacle.
Waitin’ Since Last Saturday, no new episode.
To close, a photo from 2007, the last time I was in Seattle, for an old Deadspin reader party (that Grierson showed up to; we went to go see Kurt Cobain’s grave, like dorks).
I hope I look better now.
Have a great weekend, everyone.