The latest issue, the slightly hyped "Analytics Issue" (as opposed to the heavily hyped "Let's Get Professional Athletes To Take Their Clothes Off Issue") does have some good reading in it. The piece on the efforts Stan Conte is making to quantify injury data? Very cool. The piece on A's pitcher Brandon McCarthy? Great stuff. And then, at the back, there's a thoughtful column from Chris Jones about a time he sat down with former NFL running back and widely mocked iconoclast Ricky Williams.
Jones makes some good points in the piece, most notably talking about how there are very real people who aren't emotionless robots playing the game, and that Williams overcame a lot more than Miami's lack of a decent pulling guard to play in the league.
But before you get to any of the good stuff, you get this:
When I first met Ricky Williams, he was in the kitchen hut in a commune-turned-campground outside Byron Bay, Australia, squeezing the juice out of a giant stalk of celery before he headed back to his tent to finish reading a book called Gardeners, Gurus & Grubs.Great lead, right? And then it's followed by this:
That sentence could not be written about any other athlete in the history of the world.Or at least, any other athlete not named Ricky Williams.