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Feb 18 / King Kaufman

Shoutouts: Olympics, fax machines, an Aussie NBA prospect and Dana White

Lindsay Gibbs leads off today’s edition of Shoutouts with a good story from the Winter OIympics. She did a great job of weaving biographical information into this recap and commentary on the women’s downhill in Sochi, the race that ended with a gold-medal tie.

That’s important in Olympics coverage, because as much as we all quickly become experts on these events and athletes, the vast majority of us had never heard of most of these people until a few days before the Games started—if not later than that.

The Fighting Life: The Fire of Dana White by Duane Finley put our new profanity policy to a severe test, but that’s what you get when you talk to the UFC president. Finley looked at the evolution and meteoric rise of White, showing why he’s one of the most compelling executives in sports.

Roughly 364 days out of any given year, fax machines are antiquated technology. Whenever I’m forced to use one, usually by some bureaucratic entity, I think, “Why are these people still using fax machines?”

But on National Signing Day, the humble, anachronistic fax machine is a star. Adam Kramer gave the old workhorse its props in An Ode to the Fax Machine, National Signing Day’s Oldest Recruit.

Jared Zwerling brought one of the most intriguing NBA draft prospects to vivid life in Behind Dante Exum’s Decision to Enter the NBA, and What’s Next for Aussie Phenom, about the Australian teenager whose dad was a college teammate of Michael Jordan.

Update: Zwerling advanced the Exum story today by publishing In Australia with Dante Exum: Life as a Top NBA Prospect, Outside the Spotlight.

In The Advanced Stats 2014 NBA All-Star Teams, writer Adam Fromal stated the criteria cleanly and frankly, and did an excellent job of contextualizing each player’s notable stats.

And finally, Russell S. Baxter ran down the Biggest Snubs and Surprises of the 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. He deserves high praise just for using respectful language in describing Canton’s annual absurd choices, but also for the detailed descriptions of players from different eras.

What gems from the last two weeks should I have mentioned?