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rantnrave:// I wasn’t lucky enough to be able to open up Sports Illustrated every few weeks and find a new Frank Deford story waiting for me, but I can still remember opening up “The World’s Tallest Midget” and reading his lyrical prose for the first time. Deford didn’t write for sports fans — he wrote for those who loved language and wanted to understand the depths of humanity, and also, maybe, sports. He could burrow into a subject’s psyche as well as he could read a box score. Deford saw sports not as a diversion but as a reflection of society, and he proved that sports journalism, when done well, could resonate with anyone. He wasn’t just a sportswriter — he was THE sportswriter. SportsSET: “The Coolest Writer in the Room.” … Colin Kaepernick remains unemployed. Maybe he’ll get a job at some point before the start of the 2017 season, but if he doesn’t, it will still be a testament to his character. Kaepernick has never shied from controversy — following his convictions when it would be easier not to — and controversy has also found him even when he hasn’t courted it. Is he a good QB? Does he have too many tattoos to lead a team? Is he being blackballed from the NFL? Some of those questions have pestered him throughout his career, and still do. Simply by being himself, Kaepernick has exposed deep issues in both the NFL and the media covering it, and started conversations more crucial than the ones on sports radio. SportsSET: “The QB Who Risked His NFL Career to Do It His Way“. … Bryce Harper is the best asset MLB has in the war for eyeballs and attention — the yin to Mike Trout‘s yang. He’s brash and vivacious on the field. Starting a bench-clearing brawl Monday doesn’t hurt that argument, even if it is silly. … Tiger Wood’s DUI arrest is another low moment for the golf legend. There’s no need to find greater meaning, especially if we don’t know what led to it. Impaired driving is sad and dangerous, period. … When life isn’t about candy, it’s about hockey.
Are we doubting LeBron James and Cleveland again? (subscription required)
LeBron James and the defending champion Cavaliers are in a third consecutive NBA Finals with the Golden State Warriors — and once more, the overwhelming opinion is that this championship is the Warriors’ to lose.
Jason Gay | WSJ
Nello Ferrara was being groomed to take the reins of a famed confectioner, but chose to cobble together a decade-long career with 19 minor league teams.
Jason Buckland | The New York Times
Famously cold and frighteningly massive, Lake Superior contains 10 percent of the world’s surface freshwater, holds the remains of 6,000 shipwrecks, and offers a lifetime of adventure. Stephanie Pearson sets out to circumnavigate America’s most overlooked playground.
Stephanie Pearson | Outside Online
Hanah One is the natural way to get pumped up.
Gordy Megroz | Bloomberg
In the second part of our series, we talk to the boxer about his 1974 loss to Muhammad Ali and how it changed him forever.
Michael May | NPR
“It’s not enough to be smart. You have to be curious.”