5-POINT FRIDAY, MARCH 29th, 2019
Updated: May 26, 2020
This article was originally published on March 29th, 2019.
Here is this week's dose of “5-Point Friday”. A weekly round-up of the sports news and stories that I find most interesting and enjoyable.
What I'm reading -
This Is Your Brain on Sports: The Science of Underdogs, the Value of Rivalry, and What We Can Learn from the T-Shirt Cannon, written by L. Jon Wertheim and Sam Sommers. The book ushers the reader from professional football to the NBA to Grand Slam tennis, from the psychology of athletes self-handicapping their performance in the boxing ring or the World Series, to an explanation of why even the glimpse of a finish line can lift us beyond ordinary physical limits. They explore why Tom Brady and other starting NFL quarterbacks all seem to look like fashion models; why fans of teams like the Cubs, Mets, and any franchise from Cleveland love rooting for a loser; why the best players make the worst coaches; why hockey goons (and fans) would rather fight at home than on the road; and why the arena t-shirt cannon has something to teach us about human nature.
Athlete I'm learning about -
Sky Brown was earlier this month named in the five-strong British skateboard team that hopes to reach the Olympics in Tokyo 2020. Brown aged only 10, hopes to become Britain's youngest ever summer Olympian. Brown first came to public notice when she became Nike's youngest signing, with giant posters of the pint-sized skater appearing in stores all over the United States. She also appeared in their most recent campaign, featuring icons of women's sport, including gymnast Simone Biles, and athletes Caster Semenya and Dina Asher-Smith. Her skateboarding skills have also racked up thousands of views on Youtube while she has 300,000 followers on Instagram.
Government action that I am monitoring -
This week Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced her intentions to eliminate funding for the Special Olympics. The president later in the week chooses to reverse the budget request, stating "I heard about it this morning. I have overridden my people. We're funding the Special Olympics.''
Sport I'm looking forward to this weekend -
This weekend will see the Grand Final of the AFLW. The game between Adelaide Crows and Carlton will be held at the Adelaide Oval, on Sunday. Conventional wisdom says Adelaide should win, however less than stellar semi-final performance has offered some doubts.
Carlton has the best fast hand-balling around the stoppages that I’ve seen this season, and it was on full display against Fremantle, in the semis. My prediction Adelaide to win by a goal, however if Carlton can play at their best, could easily go the other way.
What I've been watching -
42, the 2013 film by director Brian Helgeland. The biopic focuses on baseball legend Jackie Robinson, who in 1947 became the first black Major League Baseball player of the modern era.
Have a wonderful weekend, all! Jonathan