Jon Lester Picked a Guy Off, and Other Tales of Athletes Who Beat the Yips (via The Loop / Golf Digest)

Go get ’em, Jon

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The Loop / Golf Digest — Jon Lester, who is an 1860-era Civil War cannon masquerading as a pitcher and part of the Cubs’ really quite unfair 2016 pitching rotation, is known both for being a competitor of unusual ferocity and his inability to throw from the mound to first base, a condition that commonly travels under the deceptively adorable name of the “yips.” Separate from performance anxiety, nerves and good old-fashioned choking, the yips are a mental condition that manifests itself in people who are paid grotesque amounts of money to play a game sudddenly suffering a random, inexplicable and often traumatic inability to perform a small part of it. It’s neither curious nor rare; researchers at the Mayo Clinic have said that the affliction grips between a third to a half of all serious golfers, which translates into a lot of people suddenly unable to do the thing they drove to a club to do. The problem, researchers say, is some as-yet-undiscovered short-fuse in the mind, a mental hiccup or thorn, some synapse firing right instead of left. Watch how many quotes here regard a player’s brain instead of his hands.

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I Tried to Go One Month Without Spending Any Money. This Ended Badly (via Success)

These taste like paper

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Success — I cut out inessential spending for one month. And by that, I mean: I didn’t come anywhere near cutting out inessential spending for a month.

For the record, I tried. My assignment was simple: Eliminate all spending that wasn’t essential to the health of my family, the payment of recurring bills or the survival of the pets. No fancy coffee. No clothes. No cocktails. No movies. Nothing outside of the pure necessities of life in a hardening America. Then at the close of the experiment, I was to report all of my glittering lessons about the value of self-denial, discipline and minimalism.

Here’s what I learned: Life can get crazy, and sometimes you just want a taco.

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An Actual Indiana Person’s Guide to the Indy 500 (via The Loop/Golf Digest)

Super-quiet

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The Loop / Golf Digest —

What is it?

The Indianapolis 500! It’s Indianapolis’s biggest event, the sports pride of the state (pipe down, Paul George, you know it’s true), and a very good excuse for most of here to sit in 1978-era folding chairs and drink room-temperature Hamm’s cans starting at 7 a.m. on the Lord’s Day.

Is this still a big deal?

WE IN INDIANA WILL HAVE YOU KNOW that the 500 is the Largest One-Day Sporting Event in the World, and also the one attended by the smallest percentage of actual athletes. Last year’s plumb sold out with a crowd that reports pegged around 350,000, which meant that one out of every 1,000 people in the COUNTRY OF AMERICA was chilling inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The complete and helpful Travel Guide over at the Loop.

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Latest for GQ: How to Lose Weight By Not Putting Food in Your Body

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GQ — Of all the fad diets to come down the pike, the one we never saw coming was the simplest: Just don’t eat food. The idea of intermittent fasting (i.e., regimented periods of eating and not eating) has gone mainstream. Fans say it works by training your body to burn its fat reserves. It’s also said to decrease the risk of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. And, of course, caloric abstinence is the most cost-effective diet in history. The main downside is the grueling first two weeks, when you’ll probably quit.

How to not eat food, over at GQ. 

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You Will Excuse Us Cubs Fans for Maybe Being a Little Nervous (via The Loop / Golf Digest)

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The Loop / Golf Digest — Chicago Cubs fans are a murderously emotional lot, and by that I mean all of us lined up every spring to be routinely punched in the face for 108 years before finally — FINALLY — enjoying what people in New England call “Yeah, so?” The last time we Cubs fans had to deal with a post-championship hangover, it was 1909 and hangovers basically hadn’t been invented yet, so you will excuse us if we look at Jake Arrieta’s puffening ERA, the pervasive lack of clutch run support and Kris Bryant’s three-day dysentery attack (probably) and think WHELP, SHOW’S OVER, LET’S CHUCK IT ALL AND READ UP ON WHOEVER THE BEARS’ QUARTERBACK WILL BE NEXT YEAR.

It’s probably too early to worry about the Cubs, what with “four months left in the season” or whatever, but, then again, NO IT’S NOT, WE ARE CUBS FANS, WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS.

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Fidget Spinners: Making the End of America a Little More Manageable (via The Loop / Golf Digest)

Whee

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The Loop / Golf Digest — It’s a fidget spinner! You hold it and spin it around, and it spins. It’s like an adorable little propeller/ninja throwing star. You know those prizes you won for crushing 20 straight skeeball games at Celebration Station in 1987? It’s like one of those, except it’s made mostly of Rollerblade bearings, costs $32.99 and will arrive via Chinese steamer in six weeks, after which, in due time, it will end up in a crate in your damp crawlspace making friends with the Tamagotchi.

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How to Host the Andrew Luck Book Club on a Non-$140 Million Budget (via The Loop / Golf Digest)

The Loop / Golf Digest — The Andrew Luck Book Club is, to date, the only consistently active book club captained by a functional NFL quarterback, excepting the one briefly launched by Jim McMahon in 1985. (They mostly read the backs of Van Halen albums.) The Indianapolis Colts QB/only football player on Earth to be regarded favorably as “the team’s librarian” is well-known as one of them fancy readers, and his book club has quietly evolved into a genuine civic joy that promotes literacy and has been adopted by a number of city schools.

The club is currently online, though an audio version is coming to Indianapolis public radio this month. And it’s had the side effect of calming many of our city’s important sports debates about dropping $140 million on this guy. (“A hundred and forty million dollars is ridiculous!” “But ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ is a glimmering parable about the magic of youth and bravery YOU SON OF A BITCH” people will yell before throwing pork tenderloins around.)

Regardless, with Luck as inspiration, you might consider taking it a step further and hosting your own in-person book club. If so, a few tips for getting literate in your very own home:

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What Kind of Long and Painful Run Should You Put Yourself Through? (via The Loop/Golf Digest)

 

The Loop / Golf Digest — If you page back through human history, you’ll find a pretty short list of reasons that people have had to run for long distances, which are all basically some variation of “I was being chased by this thing with blood in its teeth and meat-tearing claws, and what’s with all the questions anyway, Glunk?”

This is, it is logically said, the primary reason our ancestors north on the evolutionary scale developed foot speed in the first place. But in modern times, with the whole hunter-gatherer situation pretty well replaced by a land stuffed with a surfeit of Golden Corrals and/or meat-ish clumps stacked three high and available without your removing yourself from your car, there’s really only one reason people run long distances: they are crazy fools whose brains have been replaced by oatmeal and a deep enjoyment of simply-avoided injury.

Some of us indulge this by running, because when you’re dealing with a thing that basically goes step-step-breathe 400,000 times in a row there’s not a lot of room to get all creative. But there are different kinds of races now: Mud runs, color runs, and our favorite, zombie runs. Which of these would best make your lame boring run more exciting?

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Why Can’t Any Politician Figure Out How Sports Work (via The Loop/Golf Digest)

“Run lengthy and catch this porkskin”

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The Loop / Golf Digest — White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus reportedly emerged from the GOP’s House healthcare victory last week by telling a reporter, “The president stepped up and helped punt the ball into the end zone,” a statement that assumes:

  1. You can score touchdowns while punting.
  2. Punters have helpers, and . . .
  3. Trump wanted to… safely return the ball to the opposing team?

Whatever. We take Preibus’s meaning, and it’s entirely feasible he mixed up metaphors in the giddy thrill of getting a bill a third of the way to completion. But he’s merely the latest example of why politicians should stop with the bringing up of sports.

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Spin Class Forced Me to Confront Many Uncomfortable Truths About Pitbull (via GQ)

GQ — So you’ve never taken a spin class. Well, it’s forty some odd minutes of nonstop pedaling, uphill climbs, perplexing grip-adjustments, gear turns, 74-year-olds, hyperventilating, and a Pitbull track or twelve.

1. There are other guys coming, right? Other guys are coming?

2. I’m sure other guys are coming. Guys are late to things all the time.

3. That’s a girl.

4. Girl.

5. Girl.

6. Girl.

7. That’s a guy, but he’s 74.

 

The rest of the thought process over at GQ.

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