Thanks to Pat Ryan and WISE Sports Radio (the Asheville station where I do baseball and movie segments each week), I got to attend the Southern Conference tournament final between Wofford and UNC Greensboro. Asheville has hosted the tournament for the past eight years and it seems to be more popular each year. It’s not just a fringe sporting event; it’s something the town takes pride in.
— If you missed the last Overzealous Recycling, you can read it here —
Maybe the surge of interest in mid-major college basketball has something to do with that. But like other small towns and cities, Asheville wants to feel like it matters and an event like the SoCon tourney, which gets broadcast on ESPN, contributes to that.
I don’t go to many live sporting events anymore, other than a baseball game or two over the summer. Being at the SoCon final reminded me of how much fun a big game can be. And sitting in the media section reminded me of how much I’ve wanted to make my living there. Maybe this was kind of a nudge to pursue and enjoy those things a bit more than I have in recent years.
I was going to embed a video of Sean Brock taking Anthony Bourdain to Charleston’s Waffle House, but already used that in Overzealous Recycling 004.
** The first time I discovered how pervasive Waffle House was across the South was during a spring break road trip to Daytona Beach. My friend and I even got into an argument over whether we passed the same one getting back on the freeway or a different one.
Since moving to the South, my appreciation for Waffle House has grown. (Scattered, Smothered and Covered, please.) There’s something comforting about knowing a solid breakfast and good mix of people aren’t far away. But every location has a story to tell, sometimes outside the window. [The Bitter Southerner]
** I’ve been trying to listen to more new music this year, while also reading more about new music to help me with that. The NYT does a great job with interactive features like this, letting you listen to clips of “The 25 Songs That Matter Right Now” as you read about them. Unfortunately, one of the writers picked “Baby Shark.” [New York Times]
** I often wonder if anyone buys cookbooks with so many recipes available online now. (I’ve bought a few, but more for the stories from chefs like David Chang, Roy Choi and Anthony Bourdain.) But chefs keep writing them and the cooking sections at bookstores are full, so the answer must be yes. Micheline Maynard explains how the cookbook business is a-boomin’. [Forbes]
OK, I did buy Vegetables Illustrated recently because I want to cook more vegetables, but don’t know if I can commit to vegetarianism.
** Always happy to see Sean Howe, author of Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, write about comic book history. With the outstanding artwork he produced for both Black Panther and Luke Cage, more fans should know who Billy Graham is. He was the one black artist on Marvel drawing the adventures of the publisher’s prominent black characters. Graham probably didn’t want his art to be defined by that work, though. [New York Times]
** Newspapers have been dying for a long, long time. But local journalism has really suffered. Here in Asheville, Gannett cuts have left the Citizen-Times thread-bare. This is the sad story of Waynesville, Missouri’s Daily Guide finally shutting down. [Associated Press]
** I read a bunch of Captain Marvel comics before the new movie was released, since Carol Danvers had been significantly overhauled from what I was familiar with as a kid.
— Captain Marvel takes a while to click, but eventually comes together for a payoff —
Kelly Sue DeConnick redefined Danvers into a really great character: tough, funny, vulnerable, and assertive. In this interview, she explains what she wanted Danvers to be. I’m not sure we’ve seen the best of Danvers in the movies yet, but hopefully Marvel gets there. [The Hollywood Reporter]
** The sportswriting world lost a titan when Dan Jenkins passed away on March 7. “Know what to leave out” is advice I’ve never followed well. But Dan also gave us his daughter, Sally, who is one of the best columnists working today. Here’s her tribute to her father. [Washington Post]
** At one point in my childhood, I bet I thought Jan-Michael Vincent was pretty cool. He was the pilot in Airwolf! (I had to look up his character’s name, Stringfellow Hawke.) It was an era where specialized cars and aircraft were popular. G.I. Joe. Knight Rider. Blue Thunder. Firefox.
Anyway, I remember Vincent being kind of a thing on movies and TV because he was ridiculously good-looking. It was so weird to read that he died in Asheville, at Mission Hospital. According to the Citizen-Times, however, there’s no record of Vincent owning property here. [Deadline]
** The incident between Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook and a Utah Jazz fan in Salt Lake City was extremely troubling. Westbrook looked bad for threatening the fan, but what the spectator said to provoke that response (and his history of vitriol directed at Westbrook) had to be addressed too. Is the NBA destined for another “Malice at the Palace” incident, when Indiana Pacers forward Ron Artest went after a fan who threw a cup at him? [Yahoo Sports]
** I’ve gotten back into comic books in a big way over the past year, and enjoyed getting to know a couple of local retailers. I’ve tried to pick their brains a bit about the business of running a comics shop. This column is very inside baseball, but says quite a bit about how publishers like Marvel and DC try to sell to the same audience, and take more of their money, rather than pursue potential new readers. [The Beat]
I wouldn’t have expected comedian Gary Gulman to be a source of writing inspiration, but his Twitter feed is exactly that! Lots of good advice on the craft and work of writing.
Gulman’s going to perform in my hometown next week, at the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase. I wish I could see him and thank him for the help.