How do we grapple with a life that inspired so much joy, but also brought about pain?

Photo by Olivier Collet on Unsplash

It’s taken me a little while since the news broke about Kobe Bryant to come up with the words to write. Admittedly, I’ve kept up with the tributes, montages, and remembrances for him, his daughter, and the seven other victims in the horrific helicopter crash. There’s been a careful balance — a dichotomy, you might say — between Kobe the unwavering, ruthless basketball poet and Kobe the accused perpetrator of sexual assault. It’s that legacy that has left me so out of breath in the wake of the tragedy.

Today, Netflix released Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez. The story itself is highly compelling and offers an array of evidence surrounding Hernandez’s mysterious downfall. Yet, the documentary uncovers the most tragic reasoning right under its own nose.

Courtesy of Netflix

During the opening segment of the second episode of the series, Aaron Hernandez is on the phone with his agent. During the call, which is audibly played over a slow-motion video of a prisoner in handcuffs and chains, his agent, Brian Murphy, jokingly says that he’s having trouble securing marketing deals with Nike, claiming that they said it would be tough to put the swooshes on orange jumpsuits.

The Rise of Skywalker proves that asking too many questions in the finale without explanation is a faulty web to finish.

“It should be all rise, baby,” are the words that Barney Stinson declares in an episode of How I Met Your Mother. He’s referring to a mixtape he made — remember those? — and how there’s a misconception that mixtapes should inevitably rise and fall to keep people pumped and wanting more.

Mikey Taylor was once synonymous with professional skateboarding. He has since retired from skateboarding and is pursuing his own business endeavor to continue to provide for his family. Yet, balancing skating and fatherhood proved to be worthwhile for his personal growth, which has lasted beyond his days as a professional skateboarder.

Courtesy of Mikey Taylor

There’s a moment in any career — let alone a professional skating career — where you have to stare down the barrel of a gun that is retirement. For most people, this is a momentous occasion, full of celebration. But, for Mikey Taylor, it was troublesome as the choice was outside of his own volition.

The Nationals completed a previously unseen postseason run by topping the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the World Series. Perhaps, like no others before them, they were the Team of Destiny.

Courtesy of David J. Phillip/AP

Let me preface this with a fact: I am no baseball savant or aficionado. I only ever really watch baseball in October, but have found a recent liking to the sport. Yet, what the Nationals just thrillingly accomplished was exactly what I hoped for heading into October baseball.

While the skate world waited impatiently, Mark Suciu finally released his part “Verso.” The part, in itself, was perhaps weirdly dissatisfying albeit awe-inspiring, which is very much like the man himself.

Mark Suciu

Suciu isn’t as heavily regarded as his counterparts, Shane O’Neill or Paul Rodriguez, who make their due with flip-in, flip-out types of tricks. Methodically, both O’Neill and Rodriguez attack their prey with a slow roll, but tenacity nonetheless. Suciu, I’d argue, looks not nearly as technical as these two, but upon closer look and review actually uses his quick feet to attempt and complete tricks that are unlike other skateboarders.

Quick Footed Attack

Suciu has some gravity-defying tricks up his sleeves in “Verso.” But, there are a few that quickly points out his approach to precision in his tricks.

Courtesy of Thrasher Magazine

Tebow’s recent claim that college athletes should remain unpaid perfectly summarized his privilege as an unknowing, white male among a sea of marginalized groups.

Photo by: Kim Klement (USA TODAY Sports)

Tebow made his way back into the headlines by claiming a belief that college athletes should remain unpaid. His opinion isn’t unheard of per se — but it perfectly summarized his privilege as an unknowing, white male among a sea of marginalized groups.

Where do you turn when you have spent your whole life indulging in a variety of passions?

Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

When I was six years old, my first-grade teacher had an interesting book project for my class. We designed our own stories and illustrated them. She then took our pages and bound them to create a version of a softcover book. At six years old when you see your name prefaced with the title “Author” your imagination lights up like fireflies on a humid summer night. In turn, it summons an unknown, yet inherent drive from deep inside. It also sets you up for a future of uncertainty, depression, and failure. But, these may not all be bad things necessarily.

With their recent fourth quarter fallout (and subsequent loss) to France, the question looms large: What will become of Team USA? The answer lies in recent history.

Photo by: CBS Sports

Dan Woike floated a photograph onto Twitter that showed the roster of the last Team USA to lose in international competition. The names are quite astounding: LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, and Chris Bosh all graced their presence on the team.

After a tumultuous season with the Hawks and Raptors, ending with a title, Jeremy Lin is moving on from the NBA to China. What kind of legacy does Linsanity leave behind?

Photo by: Sports Illustrated

Jeremy Lin broke the news himself that he was signing with the Beijing Shougang Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association, while other outlets uncovered his annual salary. At $3 million per season, that’s about $750,000 more than a minimum contract he would have earned in the NBA, according to Dan Devine of The Ringer. Also, the CBA season is one that conveniently finishes in March, which would leave the door open for an injury-plagued NBA team to perhaps give him a call.

Yet, the idea of that phone call coming in March or beyond in 2020, seems increasingly unlikely…

Andrew Hughes

Writer and blogger — a mix of sports, pop culture, and sometimes about myself. Email for inquiries:

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