Saturday, October 28, 2023

The Philadelphia Eagles's Tush Push


New Yorker - "The N.F.L.’s Rear Guard Is Angry About the “Tush Push”"
By Louisa Thomas

"His glutes were already famous for their exploits. At fifteen years old, he competed in power-lifting meets; after transferring to Oklahoma from Alabama, for his final collegiate season, he was videotaped squatting five hundred and eighty-five pounds, nearly triple his own weight, and double that of a defensive lineman. A nice ass is not a requirement for the quarterback position. (If it were, Peyton Manning wouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame.) But, in an era defined by the run-pass option, having a quarterback who can stay upright while absorbing and exerting force sure helps.

The trick is putting the ass to work. The Eagles were terrible during Hurts’s rookie year, and they began the next season 2–5. Then they started running, more than anyone else, and became a juggernaut. Hurts led all quarterbacks that season in rushing, with seven hundred and eighty-four yards. The following year, he ran for seven hundred and sixty, finished second in M.V.P. voting, and led the Eagles to the Super Bowl. For some of those rushing yards, though—some of the most critical ones—he had help. At some point before the 2023 campaign, the Eagles’ coaches figured out that Hurts’s rear could do more than just make him a great runner. It could also be the perfect target for a big shove.

The modern “tush push” can be traced to a play that came at the end of a 2005 game between the University of Southern California and Notre Dame. Behind by three points, U.S.C. had the ball on Notre Dame’s goal line, with seven seconds left. The quarterback Matt Leinart ran straight into the wall of the Notre Dame defense, on a so-called Q.B. sneak, and appeared to have been stopped. But Reggie Bush, U.S.C.’s star running back, came in behind Leinart and shoved him into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown. At the time, it was illegal in both college football and the N.F.L. to directly aid the runner—most sneaks involve the quarterback diving into a sliver of open space or trying to leap over the offensive and defensive lines—but no flag was thrown. The following year, the N.F.L. removed language forbidding pushing the ball-carrier forward. The N.F.L. has denied that this decision had anything to do with the Bush push; the idea, according to the league, was to save referees from difficult judgment calls, not to give teams the opportunity to try a new offensive strategy.

But, during the first game of the 2022 season, that’s precisely what the Eagles did. As time wound down, the Eagles clung to a 38–35 lead over the Detroit Lions, facing fourth-and-one. Hurts lined up for a sneak and was shoved forward just far enough for a first down. As the Eagles’ campaign went on, the rugby-style scrum on a Q.B. sneak became the team’s signature play. “Sneak,” it should be said, quickly became a misnomer: everyone knew what was coming—but no one could stop it even so. Philly fans soon gave the play a geographically appropriate name, dubbing it the “brotherly shove.” (Somehow there have been no prominent appeals to call the play a “bum rush.”) The Eagles used it forty-one times during the regular season and converted the short yardage thirty-seven times. During the Super Bowl, the Eagles went to it six times, twice scoring touchdowns.

This year, the Eagles have gone to the tush push a league-leading seventeen times, gaining yards on all but one attempt. Other teams are trying it, too, and experimenting with other techniques. The Q.B. sneak has never been so popular. According to The Athletic, there were two hundred and thirty-three sneaks in 2021, a twenty-first-century record that was surpassed the following year. This season, sneaks are on pace to break the record again. Many of these plays are the more traditional sneak—violent and messy, with bodies writhing everywhere. But other teams are trying to copy the Eagles. They are using their quarterbacks as battering rams."

The Ringer - "Is 2023 the Year of the NFL Defensive Coordinator?"

The Benefits of Playing Multiple Sports


Esquire - "Patrick Mahomes Knows Where Football Is Heading"

"“But where you really see it is in high school now. I watch a lot of high school football around Kansas City, and what I see now is completely different from how I think it was even back when I was in high school. You see teams embracing these NFL-type offenses and quarterbacks out there just doing incredible things when it looks like the play is dead.” One thing Mahomes would love to see is less specialization in youth sports. He understands that a lot of young players think they need to specialize to keep up and, later, to excel at a specific sport. And he’s careful not to discourage that. But he believes that playing different sports helps athletes learn to compete and find ways to win.

“So much of what I do is because I played baseball,” he says. “I was a shortstop, and out on the football field I’m doing exactly what I was doing as a shortstop. I’m hitting the first baseman in the chest. All those arm angles, throwing sidearm, underhand, against the body—all of that is stuff I did as a shortstop.

“But playing high school basketball also had a huge influence on the way I play. I was a point guard, and in many ways that’s exactly how I feel now. I’m still the point guard, trying to get the ball to people in space, get the ball to them in a position to score. In a lot of ways, it’s exactly the same thing.” "

The Cash for "Carbon Offset" Racket


New Yorker - "The Great Cash-for-Carbon Hustle"
By Heidi Blake

Why Tupac Never Died


New Yorker - "Why Tupac Never Died"
By Hua Hsu

Kevin Costner's Horizon

Dressing Like Cowboys


GQ - "Why We’re Dressing Like Cowboys Now"
By Chris Black

The (Near) End of Momofuku & Seattle Pizza Guys


Bon Appetit - "David Chang’s Latest Momofuku Closure Marks the End of an Era"

"Opened in 2008 in New York City’s East Village, Ko was Chang’s third restaurant and his first dedicated to fine dining. “Ko looks to the future, ignoring the old rules and beckoning epicures open to new ones,” then Times critic Frank Bruni wrote in an early three-star review, which described the spare tasting menu spot as Chang’s “low-key coronation.” In 2009 the restaurant earned two Michelin stars, which it has retained ever since. Chang showed up to break the news of Ko’s closure at the October 24 staff meeting, according to employees. “There’s nothing the restaurant has done wrong,” he reportedly said. “I think part of it is ending things on a high note.” November 4 will mark Ko’s final dinner service.


He still operates restaurants, including numerous locations of Fuku, his fast food and concession stand fried chicken spot, but you’re more likely to see his name popping up these days in your podcast feed, on your TV, or at the grocery store."

Seattle Times - "How a Fremont pizzeria shook off a bad review and perfected its pies"

"They also thought that anyone would be able to make pizza dough from a recipe.

“I figured, this is a recipe and people can make a recipe like it’s a cookie,” Abbott said, recognizing that notion as naive in hindsight. “But what’s clear is there is some technique.”

So, a year into restaurant ownership, with Lupo’s contracts and finances in order, Abbott took on a role he never expected: He began studying pizza dough.

He read cookbooks, listened to podcasts and ate as much pizza as possible. He and Harcus took classes at Sea Wolf Bakers, watched YouTube videos on making and feeding sourdough starters, and took trips to New York, Portland and San Francisco to eat pizza. They went from mixing their own dough with imported Caputo flour and commercial yeast to creating their own sourdough base. They stopped buying imported ingredients, swapping for Ferndale Farmstead and Samish Bay Cheese mozzarella.

By October 2019, nearly all the Via Tribunali dishes were gone, and they had stopped paying for the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana certification. The neighborhood was still there, cheering them on.

“Once they started making the dough regularly, you could feel an immediate shift. It had more flavor and it just felt different,” Clopper said. “You could see it in their faces, more pride and excitement about it, too.”

McKenzie Smith is another neighborhood regular who has been going to Lupo since it opened. He said the pizza was always good, but “the second they implemented their own dough, it was a huge moment where we really noticed the pursuit of quality.”

“It really did change the pizza,” Smith said. “It was so much better afterwards.”"


"Hanin’s arrival presented Abbott and Harcus the opportunity to focus on a new pizza venture: Stevie’s Famous, the loosely New York-style spot they opened in Burien last November. It has been showered with praise; Seattle Times food writer Tan Vinh wrote that it has “pies that are on par with any top-tier Seattle slice shop anointed by the Yelp algorithm.”"

Seattle Times - "Restaurant review: This slice shop is worth a pizza pilgrimage to Burien"

Monday, October 23, 2023

Outlining the Midwest


Axios - "People who say they live in the Midwest"

"Why it matters: Despite the U.S. Census Bureau's input, defining a Midwesterner is still under debate. But this survey suggests that a large swath of the U.S. agrees it's best to be Midwest.

Driving the news: Emerson College Polling and the Middle West Review recently asked 11,000 people from 22 states if they think their state is part of the Midwest and whether they identify as Midwesterners.


The intrigue: A large share of Oklahoma and Wyoming residents consider themselves Midwesterners. So do some in Colorado (42%), Kentucky (30%), West Virginia (13%) and Pennsylvania (9%).

More than 25% of Idaho residents surveyed think their state is part of the region.

What they're saying: "I think one of the big findings of this study is that American regions are still alive. And people still identify with regions," Middle West Review editor Jon Lauck tells Axios' Linh Ta.

"Midwestern identity is very strong. I think a lot of people have a sense that it's weaker here or people don't really connect to their states or region as much as, say, the South," Lauck says. "But that is clearly untrue.""

The Native American team called the Haudenosaunee


New York Times - "Lacrosse Is Coming to the Olympics. Will Its Inventors Be There?"

"At major lacrosse events, a team of Native Americans called the Haudenosaunee plays alongside countries like the United States, Canada and Australia. The team has been competitive, winning three bronze medals in the men’s competition at the world championships, including one this year.

And why not? Native Americans invented lacrosse centuries ago.

Now lacrosse has achieved an international breakthrough by being added to the Olympics for the Summer Games in Los Angeles in 2028. But despite the long history of Native Americans in the game, the Haudenosaunee may not be there. The Olympics normally allows only teams that represent nations that it recognizes.

The Haudenosaunee team, formerly called the Iroquois, represents the six nations of the Haudenosaunee (pronounced hoe-dee-no-SHOW-nee) Confederacy in upstate New York, Ontario and Quebec: the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca and Tuscarora. But the Haudenosaunee is not a member of the International Olympic Committee or the United Nations. And both the United States and Canada already have lacrosse teams of their own.

Although lacrosse officials seemed eager to find a way to get the team to the Olympics, the International Olympic Committee, which will have the final say, had discouraging words, at least for now. “Only national Olympic committees recognized by the I.O.C. can enter teams for the Olympic Games,” it said in an emailed statement on Thursday. It said the United States and Canada would be able to include athletes from the Haudenosaunee in their respective teams."

Historical Pendleton Blankets in Killers of the Flower Moon


Variety - "‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ Costume Designer Jacqueline West Used Over 1,000 Blankets From Pendleton and Osage Nation"

"In total, West used over 1,000 blankets. The Oregon-based company Pendleton recreated many vintage styles, while others were purchased, and some were loaned to her by members of the Osage community. “There are four different ways to wear a blanket,” O’Keefe adds.

The team at Pendleton sent West color charts and designs made specifically for the Osage tribes in the 1920s. Says West, “I showed them a photograph of [the real] Mollie Burkhart and her sisters in the studio, and they recreated those blankets in the colors they had done back then, right down to the labels they were using in the 1920s.”

Historically, the Pendleton blankets were a huge trade item for the different tribes. West explains that the Osage added fringe and characteristic ribbon work to the blankets. “I felt it became almost armor. It was something to put on yourself, even if you dressed in a modern way. It came from the white man, but the Osage made it their own to make sure everyone knew their pride in it,” West says. “Lily would make sure it was folded in just the right way. And you can see throughout there are different ways she wears it. It becomes a tell of her mood in that particular scene and how protected she wanted to be with it.”

As for DiCaprio, says West, “There is one jacket made from an Osage blanket. Marty loved the idea of that because it was this real blanket from the 1920s that we cut up and made into a jacket. But Leo’s a big guy, so we only managed to get one jacket from it.”"

Best Seattle Food


New York Times - "The 25 Best Restaurants in Seattle Right Now"

Pickleball More Popular Than Tennis for Apple Watch Users


Via @JoePompliano.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

The Pac-12's Last Stand


Killers of the Flower Moon


New Yorker - "Martin Scorsese on Making "Killers of the Flower Moon"
By Richard Brody

GQ - "Martin Scorsese: “I Have To Find Out Who The Hell I Am.”"
By Zach Baron

Vulture - "Every Martin Scorsese Movie, Ranked" (Nov. 2019)
By Tim Grierson and Will Leitch

Oscar Contender Trailers

The Killer (Sep. 2023)
Ferrari (Sep. 2023)
Oppenheimer Preview (Jul. 2023)
Napoleon Trailer (Jul. 2023)
Killers of the Flower Moon (May 2023)
Next Goal Wins (May 2023)

Stagnating Culture


New York Times Magazine - "Why Culture Has Come to a Standstill"
By Jason Farago

Invincible Season 2

Profile - National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan


New Yorker - "Jake Sullivan’s Trial by Combat"

The Eastern Montana Burger and Beer Trail


Friday, October 6, 2023

FIFA Selects Spain, Portugal, and Morocco to Host 2030 World Cup.. and Clears Way for 2034 Saudi Arabia


The Independent - "2030 World Cup will be hosted by six countries across three continents, Fifa announces"

The Independent - "Fifa clears the way for Saudi Arabia to host 2034 World Cup"

Wikipedia - "Spain–Portugal–Morocco 2030 FIFA World Cup bid"

Seattle Sounders FC New Branding


Building Movie Sets


New York Times Magazine - "The Genius Behind Hollywood’s Most Indelible Sets (Jack Fisk)"

The A's Missing Crossbar


Fast Company - "Why KIA’s confusing logo is part of a growing design trend"

"The crossbar-less “A” seems to have first started cropping up in the ‘60s. In 1964, rookie designer Bart Crosby was working on his first big project, a new corporate identity for Arvin Industries, a manufacturing company based in Columbus, Indiana, a town with a budding design heritage thanks to a 1950s architecture program subsidized by local engine behemoth Cummins. For the Arvin wordmark, Crosby dropped the crossbar of the initial “A” in order to have it visually reflect the “v” in the name. “I thought it might be too radical for the client,” he recalls, “but the reaction to it was, surprisingly, that they loved it.” He had created an early, if not the first, crossbar-less “A” wordmark.


The appeal of the crossbar-less “A” seems to lie in its ability to suggest an air of futuristic high technology; its inclusion in NASA’s 1974 “worm” logo certainly went a long way in this regard. At a more basic level, the “A” freed of its crossbar transforms from a mundane, workaday letter found on every office keyboard into a symbol; a sleek chevron, a zenith, a pinnacle, an arrow forever pointing upwards. That may be why Disney went with a crossbar-less “A” for its recent Star Wars series, Andor. Using a crossbar-less “A” in a word adds an allure that is exotic and unfamiliar, which is why reinserting the bar into the Kia mark for the sake of clarity would be such a mistake."

The Most Walkable NFL Stadiums


Axios - "Lumen Field ranked America's most walkable NFL stadium"

Las Vegas's New Sphere


New York Times - "Las Vegas and Its Big, Big Ambitions"

"This shape-shifting desert city is in the middle of a reinvention that involves sports stadiums, Formula 1 and the Sphere: a 360-foot-tall, high-tech, traffic-stopping amphitheater clad in 1.2 million LED screens."


“The Sphere will define Vegas architecture,” said Brian Alvarez, who goes by Paco, a former city cultural commissioner and tour guide. “It’s not a themed building like some of the other spots on the Strip. It’s on par with the Sydney Opera House or the Eiffel Tower for becoming a unique city icon.”

Las Vegas Sphere at The Venetian Resort (Jul. 2023)

Chasing Fall


"Blame it on Instagram? Perhaps, but Americans have long been avid for fall’s slow, showy reveal. As Emily Dickinson wrote in her 1896 poem “Autumn”: “The maple wears a gayer scarf / The field a scarlet gown.”

Henry David Thoreau penned similar hymns to fall. “How beautiful, when a whole tree is like one great fruit full of ripe juices, every leaf from lowest limb to topmost spire, all aglow, especially if you look toward the sun!” he rhapsodized in an 1862 issue of the Atlantic. On the internet of foliage, he would have killed."

Flamingo Map