Cool Things I’ve Read, Vol. 7

Featuring football, the other football, and Dwayne Johnson

Ryan Murtha
Feb 26 · 3 min read

Sorry again for not writing more posts. If it makes you feel better, know I constantly feel guilty about it at least. But I’m working on some longer stuff that I think has a chance to be ~very cool~. So keep your eyes out. Anyway, this collection is sort of all over the place, so without further ado:

Nuns (and Priests) on the Run — The Telegraph

The Vatican has established its first ever running team, which plans to compete internationally. Made up of not just religious, but also non-religious Vatican employees and even two Muslim refugees currently living in Vatican City, the club is also billed as a tool for building inter-religious connections. The link between religion and sport is a fascinating one, but it’s a topic I don’t feel very well versed in personally, so if you’re interested in reading more I might suggest this blog as a good place to start.

Cork City’s Lisa Fallon: ‘The Lads Don’t Make Exceptions. I’m Just a Coach’ — The Guardian

She’s not really just a coach though. Lisa Fallon is Ireland’s only female coach working in pro football (read: soccer). Here, she talks about her journey through the ranks of professional football and the sexism that she predictably faced.

The White Flight From Football — The Atlantic

This piece, a written accompaniment to last week’s parallel segment on HBO’s Real Sports with Brain Gumbel, is about the growing trend of white families taking their kids out of football, but black families keeping their kids in. If you’ve read John Hoberman’s 1997 book, Darwin’s Athletes, this shouldn’t be anything new, but the article certainly adds another level to the moral questions surrounding America’s most exploitative sport.

The Rock Has Made a New Sport. Thank You, The Rock — The Outline

Here, the writer muses over what I find to be a fascinating idea: in our pursuit of perfect efficiency in sport, uniformity has robbed it of some of its joy. We can see this happening clearly in basketball, with the growing uniformity of play from team to team. Athletic experimentation has taken a backseat. Basketball is no longer jazz; it is rigid and fixed, an imperial march.

The antidote, the author discovered, is the new show The Titan Games. With its unconventional competitions, these Games offer no opportunity for preplanned strategy, again giving us the chance to see athletic excellence performed outside of the strict confines that our other professional leagues have become.

How To Make a Waste Incinerator Popular? Put a Ski Slope On It — The Guardian

And that’s just what they did in Copenhagen. Scheduled to be opened permanently by May, the building christened ‘Copenhill’ combines a trash incinerator with a giant rooftop artificial ski slope. The uncommon addition surprisingly only added a few million dollars to the cost of construction, and provides two distinct benefits. First, obviously, it makes the municipal incinerator less of a blight on the surrounding community. But more interestingly, it provides urban access to one of the more exclusionary sports out there. Hopefully, this sparks a trend that brings urban skiing and snowboarding to more and more cities.

Talkin' Bout Praxis

Sports, Theory, and Maybe Other Stuff

Ryan Murtha

Written by

Philadelphia expat

Talkin' Bout Praxis

Sports, Theory, and Maybe Other Stuff