Great Off-Season Performances: Woke Up New Edition

USA TODAY Sports

We continue our run into the off-season with a great performance from John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats.

In the light of yesterday's big news about Jason Collins here are a few reading items of note:

  • Collins played 31 games in a Wolves uniform. His best game was an 8 point, 6 rebound effort in a loss to Phoenix.
  • Here's an article questioning why there was such little media attention surrounding Britney Griner coming out to the same publication that put Jason Collins on the cover of its magazine. Griner is the Wilt Chamberlin of her sport and the new face of an entire league. I brought this matter up on the Twitter machine yesterday and was met with a flurry of "you know whys," "she's not in a major sport," or "people have already accepted lesbian athlete" responses. What remains unspoken of in all of these ideas is an underlying assumption that a man's experience somehow trumps a woman's one. That's bullshit. Yes, parts of those things may be currently in play but there's an explanation for (some of) that and it's bullshit nonsense. Whenever you try to make a distinction about women's sports not counting as "major" you're not just coming from a place that solely says "the game is soooo different" or "it's just not good enough for my tastes." It also comes from a place where many people simply weren't given a chance to compete at all for a very long time and that allows us to take for granted that things are the way they are and what that may mean about, for example, our sports leagues. Male privilege exists pretty much everywhere, even in stories about athletes coming out. (Please don't confuse this as minimizing the importance of Collins' announcement. What he did was important and will hopefully normalize a social standing for many, many others. What I'm saying is that other things are equally important and viewed on a lower scale for reasons of gender, and if we're going to be talking about equality...)
  • Finally, here's an old ESPN article about John Amaechi with a nifty little blurb about current Wolf, Andrei Kirilenko:
The same goes for Andrei Kirilenko, our talented Eastern European small forward. I called him Malinka, Russian for "little one," and our non-American (or "un-American," as I was sometimes accused of being) backgrounds created an obvious bond.

Sometime after Christmas of my last Utah season, in 2002, Malinka instant-messaged an invitation to his New Year's Eve party. Then he wrote something that brought tears to my eyes: "Please come, John. You are welcome to bring your partner, if you have one, someone special to you. Who it is makes no difference to me."
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