Reads Listens Views 6/14/13

If you read the David Eggers book, then you know this picture. Photo by Screen Punk.
If you read the David Eggers book, then you know this picture. Photo by Screen Punk.

Another Friday, another Reads Listens Views. This week has its routine mix of football and non-football content. The real world content (as usual) is often so quietly disturbing that I know 99 percent of you won’t even read it. That’s okay, I share it for the handful that do because fortunately for me I don’t have to always blow sunshine up people’s hind parts.

Some people hate covers. I’m not one of them. Sometimes you learn more about the quality of a song when someone other than the artist that introduced it to the public performs it. I couldn’t think of a better artist to cover a Sting tune than Stevie Wonder. Whether or not ballads with a bossa nova feel is your thing, I think you can appreciate the craftsmanship of the lyrics and music. On another note, if Sting is just a few years younger than my dad and looks like that, I’m getting back to doing yoga every day. Here’s Sting talking about his yoga experience just a few years after he started it.

I was planning to anyhow, but this was just another source of inspiration.

Of course musicians who make improvisation a high art form have no problem with playing covers . Here’s one of my recent favorites of one of some of the greatest modern performers at their individual instruments playing the Thelonius Monk Blues Straight, No Chaser.

Thank You

Normally, this is my weekly ritual to thank my readers for visiting the Rookie Scouting Portfolio blog and/or buying the Rookie Scouting Portfolio publication. Today, I want to thank a subset of my readers that do a lot of positive things for me – the blogging, web, and Twitter community. You have been a source of inspiration, camaraderie, and assistance since I started this blog two years ago.

Writers like Robert Miller, Doug Farrar, Chris Brown, the Dynasty League Football crew, Ryan Lownes, Josh Norris, Sigmund Bloom, Cecil Lammey, and a host of others have routinely sent people here. I don’t participate often in Twitter’s ‘Follow Friday’ ritual, but thanks to all of you who mention me in your lists. I’ll defer to Cian Fahey’s excellent list of people to follow on Twitter that even includes humorous and informative example tweets with each person he recommends (and by the way, Fahey caught me on a good day).

If you’re new to the Rookie Scouting Portfolio look around. There’s a lot of work that I believe you’ll find worth the read. Here are a few suggestions:

If you’re one of the many who have bought the 2013 RSP and it was your first time, I appreciate all the great feedback about your experience reading it. If you haven’t downloaded the RSP yet, you can click these links to learn about it and the post-draft add-on. If you’re not aware, the RSP donates 10 percent of each purchase to Darkness to Light, a non-profit whose mission is to train individuals and communities on sexual abuse prevention and how to address the tragedy when it happens. I have many reasons for believing in this cause, but the Penn State scandal is a perfect illustration that a significant part of the problem are everyday people like us who make mistakes with how to handle it when it happens.

This week is going to be heavy on the ‘listens’ and ‘views’ part of this Friday ritual.


  • I rarely get to post something that Joe Bryant writes, because he’s usually too busy running a business called However, I enjoyed his post about Bill Belichick’s handling of the post-Tebow press conference. And I agree, it isn’t that hard.
  • If you follow Bryant or Chris Brown then you probably saw this tackling drill, but I want to talk about it a little more. It doesn’t require me to tell you that it’s safe, teaches good form with the hips, knees head, and arms. If someone can invent or modify a ball that can change direction, it could be even better.
  • Beyond hats, I’m not big fan of consumer football apparel. I have a couple of jerseys and I never wear them. However, this is a good marketing concept by the NFLPA. Hopefully, they’ll put their money where their mouth is when it’s time to back up the good vibe.


  • This Guy Reinvented the Wheel – I don’t know many skateboarders, but this concept has wide-ranging applications beyond the hobby. Fascinating use a cube shape to create a better wheel.
  • This site Invisible People is a great project where a movie director interviews the homeless in the Seattle area. Here is a very short video profile of Mark, a man probably close to my age who suffered a nervous breakdown after his wife and daughter died and when he was released from a psychiatric hospital he had lost everything. The director always asks the people he profiles to share three wishes. Most of them can barely think of more than one and often the wish is rarely about themselves.
  • If you’ve made it this far then you realize that my non-football links are rather depressing. This is why I love having a blog. I can’t share this stuff elsewhere without someone telling me to spout more sunshine. They can blow that sunshine where the sun don’t shine because this is real shit that we ignore all too often. This story on our prison system is a necessary read. For a less graphic, but even scarier true account of what happens when an innocent man winds up in prison – and it’s chilling as hell – read Dave Eggers’ book Zeitoun.

Blackfish looks like a quality whistle-blower story about a common sense issue that the movie ‘King Kong’ addressed nearly 100 years ago. I loved going to Seaworld when I was growing up and seeing Shamu was a thrill. It was also a bad idea.


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