"[Armstrong] was the guy who sat down and was rigorous and focused and thoughtful and intelligent and cutting edge in how to use [PEDs] and apply them and make himself better ... so is that a bad thing?"
—Bill Simmons Report podcast, Oct. 5, 2012
Out-on-a-limb contrarianism is Gladwell's stock-in-trade
BUT STILL ...
Argument collapses in face of Armstrong's exclusive deal with cycling's top dope doctor; the way PEDs help different people to different degrees; and Armstrong's harassment from peloton of clean riders who decried drug culture
Thinking Fan's Guide to Footy
FourFourTwo, the world's preeminent soccer magazine, has grown as outdated as the eponymous bread-and-butter formation: At the core, it's a laddy mag with little of the depth expected—in the States, at least—by such a cerebral crowd. Which makes
(launched in October at $15 per issue) a revelation, like the sexy 3-5-2 alignment that Man City started fiddling with this spring—ups and downs and all. Dolled up with clever charts, beautiful illustrations (Wayne Rooney and Vincent Kompany painted as 19th-century gents) and playful pullouts (a paper Clint Dempsey doll), Howler is a literary work-in-progress. Issue One was buoyed by a meditation on "What is American Soccer?" and weighted down by puffier pieces on Stuart Holden and the MLS All-Star Game. But the quarterly also represents progress for the soccer set, proof that the fan base extends beyond the pint swillers they've been associated with for decades. Onward and upward.
— Adam Duerson