In Case You Missed It: Week of May 5

In Case You Missed It: Week of May 5

(In Case You Missed It chronicles the funny, the awesome, the provocative and just plain good reading any given week. Because more people should read, you know? If you have any suggestions of things we should read, go to the contact page and drop us an email or comment below.)

Your weekly potpourri. Great profiles abound this week.

Oden on Oden, Mark Titus, Grantland

This is easily the best thing I’ve read all week. A look at one of the most enigmatic basketball careers in recent NBA memory, that of Greg Oden. Beset by injuries, the former No. 1 pick has been largely considered a bust. But here is the story of the personal struggles he suffered along the way. This piece really humanizes Oden and serves as a reminder that you should never judge people because you never truly know what’s going on behind someone’s stone-faced demeanor.

The Junior Seau no one knew, Sam Farmer and Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times

Along the same lines of the Oden story, another reminder that you can never truly know what people are thinking and feeling.

Ignorance: handle with care, The Active Stick

A very important and personal piece about depression, in reaction to Junior Seau’s suicide. It’s a powerful blog post that emphasizes the importance of learning more about mental illness and depression. Educating people about mental illness will go a long way to helping those people; judging them or analyzing their actions (there goes that whole judging other people thing again) or telling them that suicide is selfish will not help. Again, it’s a very important read (I think), so please check it out.

The Case for the 20-Year-Old Age Limit in the NBA, Steve Kerr, Grantland

Steve Kerr has been involved with basketball for a really, really long time. (Hey, I remember those Bulls teams of the early 90s!) He presents a great case here for why basketball players should spend some actual time in college, not the token one-and-done year. It’s also a cautionary tale of what happens when you throw millions of dollars at teenagers but don’t equip them with any life skills.

The Philadelphia Flyers and the Eventual Melancholy of Consistency, Ryan of Flyers Goal Scored By, The 700 Level

A great read from a blogger’s and fan’s perspective. Everyone suffers this crisis at some point in their loyal fandom: What do you do when you’re tired of caring so much? What do you do when your team consistently puts your hopes up and doesn’t quite fulfill them? You can still care, just in a different way. This was a throughly enjoyable (and much more eloquently written) piece that illustrates those things.

Some Ilya Bryzgalov reading…

The Flyers were eliminated earlier in the week, which was a sad time here at The Rebel State because it meant partner-in-crime John Parker and I would no longer be able to send each other hilarious Bryz-inspired text messages. (*moment of silence, please*)

However, there was some great Bryzgalov reading to be had, and really, the world should hope he never loses his quirky personality. It’s refreshing (even though I know people love to make fun of him). Read these and you’ll have a new appreciation for the guy:

Ilya, Win, Ellen Etchingham, Backhand Shelf

On the flip side of the Flyers getting eliminated was the New Jersey Devils advancing to the Eastern Conference final, and the story of Ilya Kovalchuk. The guy plays with a herniated disk (ouch) and is that much closer to reaching the kind of postseason success he was never able to experience early in his career because he was playing in the hockey wasteland formerly known as Atlanta.

My experience with the choice between major junior and college hockey, Justin Bourne, Backhand Shelf

A really fascinating piece about hockey development, and for me, an illuminating piece about a part of hockey I admittedly didn’t really understand. For most of our professional sports, the path is relatively simple and defined: play in high school, get recruited, go to college / go to the minors, go to the pros. Hockey seems to have a more labyrinth-like process. This is a fun read if you want to learn more about the paths hockey players take to pursue their dream.

Some general frivolity and hilarity…

It’s not just all about excellent long-form stuff and depressing topics here at ICYMI! Enjoy these fun tidbits:

Lastly, the 10th anniversary (!!!) of Allen Iverson’s famous “practice” rant passed this week, and to honor one of the best sports rants in world history, here is some of it. Enjoy.