Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ta-Nehisi and the Mad Dog?

A few weeks ago, Andrew Sullivan, in a Dish post about the NRA, threw out a pretty funny line about Plaxico Burress, which kind of blew my mind. Sullivan is literally the last Atlantic voice I'd expect to write about, even tangentially, contemporary American sports. Dead last. Even behind Barbara Wallraff

In fact, outside of an occasional Ta-Nehisi Coates post, The Atlantic, in my experiencerarely even bumps up against professional sports.

Imagine my surprise then, when I read not one but two interesting sports-related pieces in the December issue of the magazine. The first, in their revamped "Dispatches" section, is about the political significance of patriotic Czech--and former New York Ranger-- Jaromir Jagr lighting the lamp in Siberia. This is at least somewhat in keeping with the Atlantic's provenance. 

The second? Not so much. The feature, written by David Samuels, is a terrifying look at Quentin "Rampage" Jackson, the defending light-heavyweight champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, as Rampage prepared for his July title defense against Forrest Griffin. It's full of interesting tidbits. Did you know, for instance, that Rampage was knocked out twice by Wanderlei "The Axe Murderer" Silva? I, for one, did not.

I wonder if this new attention to the world of sports is just a one-time deal, or if the 150-year-old magazine is going to stick with it, as part of their rebranding.

Perhaps a call-in radio show is currently in the works.

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