Let’s Retire ‘One Shining Moment’ Before It’s Too Late (The Loop / Golf Digest)

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The Loop / Golf Digest — “One Shining Moment” is not a great song, but you know that already. It’s not required to be a great song, or even a good song. Technically it’s not even required to be a song at all — the people who wrote it (a guy in a bar) and recorded it (according to canon, only Luther Vandross) needed only to lay out some sweet velvet sheets for some hardcore montage-ing. It’s ambient lighting, blithely stirring background sounds by which to recap the passingly important memories you and your TV made in the past three weeks. It’s “arguably the most famous song in sports,” according to the Wall Street Journal(betraying its anti-“Super Bowl Shuffle” bias AGAIN). But it’s also pretty much “The Touch,” a preservative-stuffed platter of Max Headroom-era cheese, and about 85% of its value derives from the fact that it reminds people of the late ‘80s, which is the sole reason anything gets made anymore anyway.

That said, can we all resolve to try real hard not to kill it?

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Help! My Son Doesn’t Give a Damn About Social Media! (via On Parenting at the Washington Post)

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On Parenting at the Washington Post — My son, now halfway through his eighth-grade year, does not appear to have the slightest whiff of a care about social media, and until about two weeks ago I did not realize the severity of this problem.

Newly 14, my son is attached to his phone on a seemingly molecular level, but he has no Facebook account, no Twitter, no Snapchat, no social media presence to speak of (at least outside the world of Minecraft, where, I am told, he exists as a shipbuilding contractor of some repute).

For us, that’s fine, bordering on glorious; if we had to rank all the things we’re excited to deal with from a male teenager, The Hideous Labyrinthine Terror of Formative Years with Social Media is near dead last, right under Researching Tuition and Explaining Who Stormy Daniels Is. Yet when I mention this mysterious void to people, his seeming disinterest, I get a sort of head-cocked curiosity and a response on the order of, “Is that okay?”

Here’s what we figured out about it. 

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There Are 57,000 Hoops in Indiana, But Only One Hoosier Gym (The Loop / Golf Digest)

Welcome to Indiana basketball.

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The Loop / Golf Digest — To find baseball from before, the wool-clad, leather oil-smelling, faded-yellow version that predated whatever you feel corrupted it, you go to Cooperstown, and you lope through ice cream parlors and hand-painted memorabilia shops and maybe into Doubleday Field, where a sleepy game of aging locals may be living out unclaimed dreams. Doing it for basketball is a little easier: Drive to Knightstown, Ind., an hour east of Indianapolis, just three miles off the I-70 exit, where the price of basketball Americana is exactly zero dollars.

Knightstown houses the Hoosier Gym, built in 1921, polished up in 1936, shuttered in the 1966 and revived in 1985 for the filming of Hoosiers, where it played the home court of Miraculous State Champions Milan (renamed Hickory in the fictionalized version) and enshrined itself as an evocative hoops-tourism destination, once the cast and crew got over thinking they’d just shot an audienceless throwback bomb.

It wasn’t. Here’s what basketball is like inside the Hoosier Gym. 

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Who the Hell Are These 2018 NCAA Tournament Mascots? (via The Loop / Golf Digest)

Are those real puppies? Lord.

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The Loop / Golf Digest — Every spring, March Madness once again proves that it’s good at enabling three things: Getting paid for watching small schools lose on your phone, pointing at Louisville and laughing, and introducing you to a handful of historic, tradition-rich universities you have never heard of in your life. But did you know that in addition to students, degrees and decades upon decades of history, these schools also have their own mascots? Read on to learn the mysterious nicknames of some of the teams who are traveling thousands of miles to lose to North Carolina.

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Armageddon It: Which of These Movies Are Not Actually Disasters? (The Loop / Golf Digest)

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The Loop / Golf Digest — This weekend sees the release of the new movie “The Hurricane Heist,” which has the welcome manners to not go screwing around with some precociously clever English grad-student title. Oscar or no Oscar, no one here at The Loop is remotely going to the “The Shape of Water” or “Darkest Hour” without some CLARIFICATION, or at least someone telling us how and when Black Panther is involved.

Anyway, in addition to being this weekend’s No. 4 movie, “The Hurricane Heist” is something more: The latest and probably wettest entry in the field of Damp and/or Apocalyptic and/or Cattle-Flinging Meteorological Catastrophes, a genre that stretches back to the 1897 silent-film classic “Remarkable Day of Wind in Tulsa!” There have been so many of these films that Hollywood has physically run out of planet-splattering meteorological phenomena to base them on, which is why they’re just making “Avengers” movies and films described as “sea creature romances,” ugh, whatever.

As such, we decided to take over and write a few of our own: See if you can separate the four VERY REAL DISASTER MOVIES below from the ones that we invented by deep-diving into the clickbait suggestions on the Weather Channel site for like 10 minutes. (To make things fair, we’ve excluded the super-easy go-tos, like “Titanic” and “Deep Armageddon” and “Twister”. Everybody laughs when the cow goes soaring by, but I’m from Indiana, man, those are no joke. Airborne cows crash into the Mellencamp’s infinity pool like three times a spring, but you never hear about it because of how he controls the media.)

Anyway, find the fake ones!

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The Selfie Bunny is Here to Basically End Easter Forever (The Loop / Golf Digest)

The Loop / Golf Digest — Meet the Selfie Bunny,  a precious blue-eyed demogorgon who is wearing a umpire’s pink chest protector and snapping a snappy snap that says, “You thought you had issues before, The Pope?” It’s a festive holiday snackable that is sweet and vaguely blasphemous and easily the most 2018 way to celebrate Easter, unless they make a chocolate porn star who sues the actual president, which is actually not a bad idea, patent pending, you vultures. And it’s available at — well, I’m not really sure where it’s available, but I’m guessing Dollar Tree is a solid bet.

Say hi to your newest enemy.

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The Eighth-Grade Karaoke Party: A Horror Story, Obviously (via Fatherly)

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Fatherly — If there’s a more potentially socially-ruinous situation than Eighth-Grade Karaoke Night at the Middle School Cafeteria, I simply do not know of it. The phrase alone has caused visible reactions and exhumed latent formative-year terror in friends and family members. At my son’s age, I would have crawled into a cafeteria heating duct to escape singing karaoke. I would have burst through a wall, leaving a me-sized hole in the bricks.

This is not what my son did.

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Here’s Where “The Hamilton Polka” Fits Into Weird Al’s Rich Polka Catalogue (The Loop/Golf Digest)

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The Loop / Golf Digest — Rejoice, my friends, for though the world is dark and increasing Russian today there is cause for UNABASHED GLEE, because not only has “Weird Al” Yankovic released a new single BUT it’s also a polka medley AND the polka medley is all songs from “Hamilton,” and YES the ricochet-bang sound effect is used right when it should be in “My Shot” and then it’s used LIKE 20 MORE TIMES. God, it’s like my brain had forgotten which synapses turned on the joy. 

Fans of “Weird Al” know, of course, that the polka medley is generally one of the three high points of every album, although arguably it might be fourth on Dare to be Stupid, owing entirely to “I Want a New Duck.” (Only two albums lack them: his debut and “Even Worse,” which has “Stuck in a Closet With Vanna White” so it’s OK.) He also occasionally produces political ones. If you dig “The Hamilton Polka,” you might be wise to check out his other polka offerings, which can be found on his accordion-shaped box set Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of “Weird Al” Yankovic.

ALL OF THE POLKAS.

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The Best and Mostly Worst Nintendo Golf Games for the NES (via The Loop / Golf Digest)

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The Loop / Golf Digest — The classic Nintendo Entertainment System was great for games in which overdramatic and cliched Italians hurled turtle shells around subterranean drainpipes, but real bad for golf. Between the years of 1984 and 1992, the original NES spawned a handful of golf-oriented video games, all of which attempted to capture the majesty of the sport and none of which, to our memory, came within a country mile of Ninja Gaiden or Metroid or even Golgo 13, and yeah, I see you out there, my Golgo 13 people.

But was that memory false? Did the games hold up better than we remembered, in our decades-old Super Tecmo Bowl-themed fog? This week we set forth to find out, using a Raspberry Pi, a customizable and probably legal device on which you can basically play every video game released between 1860 and 1993. (Indeed, the entire vast breadth of your video-game childhood now fits on an SD card the approximate size of a Wheat Thin, although of course they taste entirely different.)

With that in mind, a revisiting of Nintendo’s Finest and Only Occasionally Racially Insensitive Golf Moments.

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The Slovak Olympic Bandwagon is Now Boarding (via The Loop / Golf Digest)

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The Loop / Golf Digest — I am flush with homeland pride because last night, or possibly tomorrow morning, I don’t really understand time zones, the Slovak Olympic hockey team upended the much-favored squad from the proud nation of Olympic Athletes of Russia, which has many citizens, four million conservative Twitter bots and is known to be pretty good at hockey. This is a very big win, akin to … OK well no other major Olympic Russian-related hockey upsets come to mind, but it’s a big deal. (As it happens, the non-NHL U.S. team lost to Slovenia, so basically Olympic hockey just got its bracket busted, or, as we say in Slovakia, bjysykd.)

The bandwagon is boarding, choo choo. 

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