A few thoughts on the lonely, essential, terrifying, clarifying, insane and secretly simple and utterly unique job of pitching.

Bodybuilders run wild in the streets and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jeff Bridges pose off for the love of Sally Field amid an atmosphere of general genial buffness. (It's good.)

For some at the University of Illinois, Chief Illiniwek remains a symbol of tradition and unity even after his official retirement in 2007. For others, The Chief is a symbol of thoughtlessness and ignorance. For Alex Dozier, who still performs as The Chief at Illini games, he means something else entirely.

An excerpt from "Here's Your Chance, Do Your Dance," Miles Wray's upcoming ebook on the Michael Jordan/Bugs Bunny anti-classic Space Jam as a movie and non-movie.

Knowing that the NFL is sinister-unto-evil is one thing. But doing something about it -- something like, say, not watching -- is another thing entirely. In the end, what the NFL is selling might be stronger than anyone's ability to resist it.

One year ago, in an otherwise unimportant game, a small drama played out between Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Dempster and baseball's stuffier storytelling instincts. The familiar PED hysteria was there. The difference, this time, was how it made the story so much more interesting.

For most of us, the teams we care about are chosen for us, or are accidents of birth or circumstance. For Americans adopting an English soccer team, it's a different story. It's important to choose wisely.

Skating is about a great many things, but it is not about being perfect. For all his idiocies and failings, Ali Boulala knows this, and beautifully enough to help other people know it. Which means he knows a lot, actually.

Burt Reynolds was going through a hard time in his life when he made the 1993 un-classic The Man From Left Field, a singularly vain vanity project dedicated to sharing his personal turmoil, Dick Howser fetish, and a bunch of saddish Florida State in-jokes.

Patrick Redford

 et al.

Our national DeAndre Yedlin moment, MLS' status as the most undisputedly major league in world soccer, Andrew Farrell's tubby mastery, those times when DC United is Sunderland FC, and other important (domestic) soccer topics.