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George Orwell died at the age of 46 on January 21, 1950.

January 21, 2017.

I had all sorts of thoughts set up to write about today, about the inauguration, about how I couldn’t watch, about how deeply humiliating it was to know that that person is now the President of the United States, about helplessness and impotence and fear ... and then today happened.

Today is the first day since the election that has felt good. To see the millions of millions of people out there, in Washington, in New York, in Denver, in St. Louis, in Asheville, North Carolina, in the streets and in their homes, standing together to say “NO” has been the most inspiring thing I’ve seen in months. Honestly, forget just Election Day: It’s the sort of mobilization and unification and collective action that we needed during the campaign. The hardest part of Trump’s election was this terror that, somehow, this was the way we actually were ... that progress wasn’t just going to be slowed, but rolled back entirely. To see this today, to contrast the lack of enthusiasm yesterday with the explosion of it today, is to see millions of people saying, as one: We Do Not Want This.

Washington.


Denver


Chicago


St. Louis


It is happening all across the country. This is the first time I’ve felt much hope since Election Day. But it is real, powerful hope. This is what I was afraid we’d lost. We all needed this. And we all need it to keep going beyond today.

Their action and their words speak so much louder than anything this 41-year-old white guy could say today, so I’m just going to shut up now and encourage you to follow this day that already feels somehow more historic than yesterday. I’m gonna shush and listen to them speak. I don’t need to say anything more than what they’re saying. They speak for me too.

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. Saying Goodbye to the Georgia Dome, Sports On Earth. I won’t be there tomorrow, but in honor of my adopted home state, go Falcons.

2. The NFL Doesn’t Care if No One in Los Angeles Cares About the NFL, Sports Illustrated. Magazine only, it’s the one with Tom Brady on the cover.

3. In Defense of Sports Villains, Sports On Earth. I should have included Connecticut women’s basketball int his.

4. Remembering Jeff Bagwell and All Those Great Astros Teams, Sports On Earth. This piece didn’t quite work out as well as I hoped it would, but it was a good idea, anyway.

5. What’s on the Line for the Final Four Quarterbacks, Sports On Earth. Sometimes, on a tired Friday, you just need to knock one of these out.

6. Patriots-Steelers AFC Championship Game Preview, Sports On Earth. I picked the Steelers.

7. Falcons-Packers NFC Championship Game Preview, Sports On Earth. I picked the Falcons.

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 three podcasts I do. You don’t even have to listen to them! Just download them. Here they are:

Grierson & Leitch, previewing the Oscar nominations and discussing Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York” and Gus Van Sant’s “To Die For.”

The Will Leitch Experience, I lost a podcast with the great Sigmund Bloom because of audio issues that were entirely my fault. I did end up talking with Matt Giles about his terrific story in SoE this week.

Waitin’ Since Last Saturday, we recapped the Georgia win over Vanderbilt. I’m watching them be up by seven on Texas A&M right now, actually.

Also, here’s Pro Football Now. This first video is another one of me yelling into the camera.

OK, one more:

I don’t know if it’s all going to be OK. But it’s nice to feel, for the first time in a while, that it might be.

Be safe out there. We might make it after all. Going to go back to listening now.



Best,
Will