Author TMM

1538 entries (1-100 shown)

Epilogue, The Sixteenth: The Woods

After seven hours of walking, of receiving coordinates and plotting points in the notebook, I hadn’t walked a straight line towards the base at all; it was bent, jagged, crooked.

The Ghost

Maybe you'll read this and have the same moment of clarity we had in Detroit that night; we kinda feel like if you've been with us this long, we shouldn't even need to spell any of this out.

The Evolution

Slamball was a combination of the very best elements of every single thing, even video games. It was like NBA Jam from the 1990s, in real life, with all the players on Turbo mode all the time.

The Community

We cannot stress this enough. You need to understand how this all works.

The Ideas (And Where They Come From)

There's only one person in the world with the perspective and chops to pull something like this off.

The Object Permanence

So now, in this suspended liminal space between the known past and an uncertain future, we ask you this: if the games suddenly stopped being played, what would remain?

The Anthem

Your personal relationship with your nation is a singular fingerprint, and the national song gives you 90 seconds to think about all that.

The Sum Of Odd Numbers

The exact number of players on the court was never sacred, never etched into any kind of stone. But Our Game has always gravitated towards odd digits.

The Persuadables

It would take months, or years, to poll tens of thousands of Nielsen families to figure out why they sometimes watch the WNBA and sometimes don't.

Các‎ Nhân Vật Chính

The buzz and zoom of the city will make you feel small, non-central, left behind. In Saigon, there's a movie going on all around you, and you're not the protagonist.

The Distraction

Can the resumption of games be materially helpful in showing us a way up and out of 2020, instead of a luxurious waste of everyone’s time?

The American Basketball League

A full century after the rigidly restricted movement of basquette, the Columbus Quest brought pure fluid motion to women’s basketball.

The Successor

The TMM Interview: Brian Bennett Brian Bennett is the national mid-major college basketball reporter for The Athletic.

The Curtain

Rule 4.4.2 became known as the “FIBA hijab ban” in the international press, mostly because Muslim women were always the loudest about resisting it.

The Games of the XII Olympiad

And, of course, we're thinking about the profound, outsize effect those cancelled Summer Games had on the evolution of college basketball's premier event: the March Madness of the NCAA Tournament.

The Conceit

The TMM Interview: Tim Burke Tim Burke's name is displayed on the footer of every single page of The Mid-Majority's website.

The Desert

The linear one-way exodus may be the most perfect narrative structure human beings have. It’s a self-defining genre; if an exodus doesn’t contain a third act with a happy ending, it’s not really...

The Sports Bubble (2020)

During Siena College's 1988 winter holiday break, a single male student visited Puerto Rico, where he was infected by the highly contagious virus.

The Incomplete Sentence

Which is more or less acceptable? Seeing the cyborg in its true raw de-fleshed form—disposable free black labor presented for the entertainment of white people—or the pretty protective thin veneer?...

The Cultural Reset

The NBA Summer League: Win or Go Home! Yes, The Pros™ are coming back, despite last week’s two-hour Woj Pod that bullet-listed every single thing that can go wrong inside a “campus environment”...

The Hope Against Hope

Hope always comes from a lower place than the place you want to be; to hope for the best is hope’s default setting. Even if you’re hoping that everything stays the same, or that the good times will...

The Development

The ball was tipped, and there they were. The five men selected to represent the United States wasted little time undoing a century of international basketball legacy, disgracing the star-spangled banner,...

The Panoptica

Sports belong in a Bottom Line that takes six minutes to cycle through. Those are all the games you’re missing out on watching and might only see a few highlights from. And if you’re over 35, you know...

The Sentiment

The Hall of Fame is there so that basketball can tell the best story of itself, the most idealized and polished narrative of its history. We concede that in the post-postmodern world, this is an important...

The Rule That Says a Dog Can't Play Basketball

The TMM Interview: Dan McQuade Dan McQuade is an award-winning writer who has written for countless publications, including The Mid-Majority.

The Mythology

We saw the great Michael Jordan play basketball with our own eyes. Just once, only once. It was November 17, 2002, and we paid some guy outside the Broad Street subway station in Philadelphia 20 dollars...

The Empty City, Episode 2

In New York City, the first sign of spring comes from underground. Sometime in mid- or late March, during your long daily subway ride, you’ll feel a little extra heat and perspiration under your jacket....

The Best Of What's Around

The TMM Interview: Matt Norlander Matt Norlander is a national award-winning senior writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010.

The Failure

“We had our whole lives to prepare for this show but we still blew it. Now we've been booed off the stage. We should be spending this time in QT reflecting on how badly we all suck.”

The Open End

But what if… the game didn’t end? We’re not talking about a what-if with Butler winning; what if Butler simply… hadn’t lost? This isn’t about Hayward’s shot going in; this is the absence...

The Egalitarianism

Basketball Egalitarianism. It’s a movement that transcends politics. Both socialists like Karl Marx and libertarians like John Locke agree: there’s a univeral aspiration towards a common human justice...

The Last Domino?

We need basketball all the time. Basketball is air and water and food to us, and it doesn’t matter where or what level the game is, who or which gender the players are. So these past long weeks have...

The Shared Experience

Do spectator sports give us chapters in our personal stories, mileposts on meaningful journeys where every game links one to another? Or are they a shared experience, tribal exercises of colors and chants,...

The Good Foreigner

There is a long-held assumption that Westerners—Caucasian ones, most especially—hold high rare privilege in East Asia, that we are always treated with deference, subservience and fascination.

The Better World

So much of post-postmodern madness comes when a carefully constructed alternate vision, born and bred in a sealed mind palace, crashes into the hard materiality of real life—sometimes with tragic results,...

The House Of Representatives

How can entities of varying sizes coexist within a greater whole, maintaining a relevant power center that guarantees financial order and lawful oversight?

The Handsome Tigers

You’re going to lose way, way, way more than you win, and you can lose more than games. You can lose money and fans and television coverage and respect and hope. You can lose your memory and maybe even...

The Three Thousand Point Club

Keydren Clark was one of the greatest college scorers we ever saw play with our own eyes. His primary weapon was the pull-up jumper: he’d unleash it after a stutter-step, off a dribble sequence, or he’d...

The End

Moving from childhood memory-building to career stability should be done with an endless supply of wide-eyed optimism, not the dark nihilistic sarcasm that usually comes later.

The Reliquary

As four Jayhawks applied hard pressure, UNI played tic-tac connect-the-dots through traffic to get the ball to Ahelegbe, the point guard. Ali Farokhmanesh back-pedaled straight down the right side. Ahelegbe...

The Beatles

Warning: This newsletter contains major spoilers for Parasite, winner of Best Picture at the 92nd Academy Awards.

The 1995

The urge to rush is etched deep in DNA. The imperative to seek the core is hardcoded at birth, in the orange part of your reptilian brain. Everybody wants to celebrate a huge basketball upset by jumping...

The World Container

They called him Mr. Everything. Explosively energetic with a mohawk hairdo that would alternate colors—gold, red, black or green—he absorbed the entirety of the arena’s attention every time he was...

The Buckaroo Banzai Revelation

We get letters, and we don't care if you walked through a mountain in Texas.

The Cult

I’ve finally figured it out. The secret to why I liked, and like, the Mid-Majority so much. It's that TMM was, and is, not about mid-major college basketball. It is about life, using mid-major college...

The Coordinates

Naming rights: totally worth it if you can afford it. Not only do they give you and your corporation the opportunity to rename an entire building in return for a bag of money, they allow you to relax and...

The Man Machine Poem

Watashitachi’ga tegami uketoru’yo.


Being the guy who, by having too much fun on Twitter with #lastman, accidentally attracted exactly the sort of attention that its founder hates; who then stumbled into a sort of quasi-co-commissioner role,...

The Absolute Boy

The TMM Interview: Will Leitch Somehow, Mr. Leitch had excess time and words left over from living 30-hour days to answer our questions. Which, naturally, turned into a thicket of links to Will Leitch articles.

The Hierarchy Of Sports Needs

Moving on from content that you used to like is a natural thing, a rite of passage in the digital age.

The House

Daft Punk never played at our house, but that scenario has been very nearly theoretically possible for the past five years. Our house is down the street from a medium-sized stadium. Not near enough to...

La Fédération

There is something truly great about being a basketball fan that is hardly ever mentioned by basketball fans, a virtually invisible something that we basketball fans take for granted every day. Unlike...

The Bet On Women

Did we ever mention we get letters? We get letters.

The Statmaster

The TMM Interview: Ken Pomeroy It has been nine long years since our last TMM interview in this series, and we could not have found a better subject to revive the enterprise.

The Chessmaster

The college basketball season maximizes its natural moments of peak anticipation: the leadup to that first tilt in early November, the transition to the new calendar year and the start of conference games,...

The Ladder

“It always ends with a loss, it comes eventually.” This sentence first appeared in the second paragraph of the one hundredth and final game story of TMM’s first season of operation.

The Exploit

College basketball never got its own Joe Morgan, which is a shame.

The Poll

It might have been St. Louis or Cleveland or Indianapolis. It was most probably Nationwide Arena in Columbus, but it was definitely somewhere in the Midwest.

The Chicago Dream

What are dreams made of? Inspiration. Desires. Wishes. Nudity. Unprocessed and unpackaged information being painstakingly processed and packaged. Unshackled memory repression.

The Mid Life

The true meaning of life is causing enormous levels of careless damage and casual destruction to the people and places around you.

The Atlanta Dream

Two Thousand Twenty is an Olympic year, the very roundest Olympic year since 2000 or 200 BC. The Mid-Majority was born in one of these things, a couple months after Athens 2004.

The Product

The Mid-Majority began just over fifteen years ago as a newsletter. It's true.


Epilogue, The Fifteenth: The Sea

This one begins in a failing refrigerator factory, perhaps in the year you were born.

Epilogue, The Tenth: Finisterre

Thinking over the last decade, two key dates come to mind. August 23, 2004: a dry, mild Monday evening after a hot afternoon. I'm sitting outside Wellington Station, the MBTA Orange Line stop in Medford, just north of Boston.

Epilogue, The Ninth: Only Love Can Break Your Heart

I. Bucharest, Romania - February 9, 2013 Admission was free. I didn't think I'd have to squeeze into a first-row baseline corner a full half-hour beforehand, though. This was a country with a basketball legacy summed up in a single gentle-giant folk hero, one who wore his freakish height on his jersey during...

You, Me and Rick

CHICAGO, December 2 -- The World Wide Web in 2004 was a far different world than the one we know now, but it held an eye-glint reflection of things to come. Real-time conversations among strangers were only possible in "Java applets," the term "sports blog" hadn't been coined yet, and "meme" was still a word found...

I Let My Teammates Down

CHICAGO, Nov. 5 - In January 2006, I had the opportunity to spend a Sunday hanging out with Southern Illinois equipment manager Alvy Armstrong. These were the types of days I appreciated most when I was on the road, killing myself slowly by zipping from game to game: meeting people whose names were generally unknown,...

Mid-Majority Season 9 Opening Chat and Draft

Mid-Majority Season 8 Closing Ceremony Chat

How We Used To Live

CHICAGO -- The truest of all the true things written about The Palestra, The Mid-Majority's true and ancestral haunted home, is this: "It's a basketball echo chamber where every sound is amplified, where 100 people sound like a thousand, where a thousand sound like 10,000, and where 10,000 sound like nothing...

800 Games Project: Guidelines

Please at least give a passing scan to the essentials of AP Style, use ten instead of 10, use proper capitalization, familiarize yourself with the concept of Chicago second references, and so on. You will be making your editor's life easier, and ensuring that your recap...

Prologue: All of Us vs. Each of Us

CHICAGO, October 30 -- About a year ago, George Mason head coach Jim Larranaga called. "Thanks for writing that nice article about our 2006 team," went the voicemail. Five months later, on the morning of the National Championship game, over breakfast in the lobby of the downtown Hilton in Houston, I took the opportunity...

Epilogue, The Seventh: The Complete Circle

I. I Believe That We Will WinHOUSTON, April 5 -- When Adam Walsh was in his twenties, he climbed up the coaching ladder through the juco and small-college ranks as an assistant. All throughout, he had the following bullet point at the top of his résumé, under Career Goals: To be a Division I head...

Game 7-105: NCAA National Championship

TheNational Here's where the story ends. @midmajority Game Tweets20:52Nored Island! of the show. @ButlerBlue2 looks angry. sign said VCU on Saturday. AOUEOU...

This Is Tomorrow

HOUSTON -- Win or lose, this is it. Today, April 4, is the 154th and final day of The Mid-Majority's Season 7. As of this writing, the ultimate final result remains unknown. We do know two things: there is a basketball game tonight at 9:23 p.m. ET, Butler will fight hard for all of us and each of us, and the...

Rebirth Of The Cool

AP HOUSTON -- In the early morning of January 20, 2009, after watching South Carolina State and Howard play a MEAC regular season game, I slept for two hours, grabbed my stuffed basketball, and made my way through the spaghetti tangle of Beltways and Metro lines to be on the Washington Mall to witness the inauguration...

The Night Before the Final Four

HOUSTON -- For the record, Jack Swiger said "Houston, we've had a problem." A present-perfect report of the recent past, not an implication of overwhelm -- as per the endlessly repeated "we have" or "we've got" misquote. Big difference between the bottom of the valley and the first steps out of it. We've all...

There's a Basketball Game Today at 6:09 PM ET

SAB HOUSTON -- For the past five months and one day, I've been very careful about making as few forward-looking statements as possible -- except when specifically hired to. This business, this "sports writing," is filthy with predictions about future events that we writers have no control over, and the best...

Game 7-104: NCAA National Semifinal

VCU from the Colonial, Butler from the Horizon League. Bulldogs and Rams. Black and gold against @ButlerBlue2. It was nothing less than the unprecedented, unbelievable Mid-Major National Championship. There are many retellings of this, and there will be more as time goes by, but we're proud to unspool the narrative...

The Mid-Majority Interview: Ron5Robot

At some point around the #ALLCAPSGAME, a big shiny Robot began appearing at Butler's Horizon League contests games. A Ron5Robot! Ron5Robot is a tribute to Ronald Nored, the Bulldogs' exceedingly unselfish Secretary of Defense, whose battered legs contain surgically implanted metal rods, making No. 5 not exactly...

The Mid-Majority Interview: Chris "Pav" Crowley

By now, most TMM readers are familiar with Chris "Pavarotti" Crowley, the self-described "that VCU guy" and the Rowdiest Ram of all. He's been a mainstay at Rams basketball games, through thick and thin, with his gold shirt and ever-present horn-helmet ever since his days as a student and a team manager, (and...

The Beautiful

AP HARTFORD, Conn. -- I remember my first fixed game. It was five seasons ago. In the final minute of a body-bag guarantee matchup in an ACC arena, with the home team up by 14, a player on the home team broke away for a transition layup. But before he could rise to the hoop, players on the bench yelled out....

"Star Power"

Last year, around this time, we talked about the need for The Document, a comprehensive encapsulation of current glory that could be properly referenced and recalled later. It's one thing to offer a rote retelling of events, but it's more important and more difficult to be able to remember how it felt. And words...


CHICAGO -- Outside the art deco-inspired and quickly-aging United Center is a statue of Michael Jordan, eternally suspended in flight above a roiling sea of overmatched defenders. Underneath, an inscription: "The Best There Ever Was, The Best There Ever Will Be." On the grey afternoon of Sunday, March 21, before...

The Low Point

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- On the evening of February 15, 2011, the Siegel Center at Virginia Commonwealth University was packed to capacity, but the home fans were solemn and silent. The visiting team from George Mason had jumped out to a 34-19 halftime lead. The Patriot guards had rained down three-pointers on a...

Game 7-103: NCAA Southwest Region Final

After a second overnight drive, a second reward: a second member of the Other 25 in the Final Four. Virginia Commonwealth, one of the last teams in the door with the selection committee, goes from First Four to Final Four -- giving every single school that plays in that event in the future a template of hope....

Don't Know Mind

SAN ANTONIO -- All media is local, and it's been that way since the beginning: the rumor mill, the town crier, the news bulletin printed on a hand-cranked press. The more technology is involved, the wider a message's potential reach. Distribution networks, moving pictures, automation, and any tool too expensive...

Unsung Hero

DALLAS -- A tribute: I would never be able to do this 100 Games thing without Bally, my stuffed basketball. This is his fourth season with me, his fourth NCAA Tournament, and he's got his second Final Four coming up. He's been in thousands of photos and logged tens of thousands of miles. Bally is the kind of...

Game 7-100: NCAA Sweet 16, Southwest Semifinal #1

The distance between the Round of 32 and the Sweet Sixteen is so long, the possibilities so tantalizing. The hopes of an upstart No. 12 seed become outsized, and an Atlantic One's dreams can grow to No. 1 seed size. But when facing the top team in the region, dreams can die quickly. In San Antonio, Kansas dropped...

Game 7-101: NCAA Sweet 16, Southwest Semifinal #2

30fps There is no feeling in the world like wanting something to happen so badly that's right there in front of you but out of your direct control. There's no better feeling that seeing it actually happen, again and again. That is what having your favorite team on an NCAA Tournament run feels like. VCU goes...

Game 7-102: NCAA Southeast Region Final

It started with a crazy idea. Since VCU and Butler were in the Elite Eight, with the sites just 550 miles away and nine hours from each other in San Antonio and New Orleans, why not go to both? After VCU's presser ended at around 12:30 am Central time on Saturday morning, we saddled up and drove all night across...

Something Good's Going To Happen

SAN ANTONIO -- The power of a first impression comes from how forcefully it floods the vacuum of the unknown, how it fills a blank slate so completely. Before actual experience with a place and the people there, it's just another dot on a map. My first contact with Richmond, Virginia came in March of 2004, in...

What 100 Means Now

SAN ANTONIO -- In March of 2005, during the original 100 Games Project, I felt like it couldn't hurt to ask. I called up Brian McCann, the sports information director at Cleveland State, a school that was organizing an NCAA subregional at the Wolstein Center. I explained that I ran a website about college basketball...

Mid-Majority Chat Block, Episode 720

Mid-Majority Chat Block, Episode 720 Butler is back in the Elite Eight, there is no Curse of Dick Bennett (although he certainly wouldn't have approved of Wisconsin's performance last night), and the only thing surprising about it is a.) the lack of general public shock and b.) that this video has only been watched...

Mid-Majority Chat Block, Episode 719

Mid-Majority Chat Block, Episode 719 Yee-haw! We are in San Antonio, Texas. So are VCU and Richmond. The weather is great, the Alamodome is weird, and we're ready to chat this afternoon on a special date but a regular time (4 PM ET). Come by and talk about the three remaining teams, the Butler-Wisconsin tilt...

Butler, The Way, and the Curse of Dick Bennett

SAN ANTONIO -- A single basketball play is made up of two opposing strategies hatched by two opposing coaches, ten free-agent entities of varying skill and experience levels who can choose to fall in with the chosen plan or not, hundreds of in-the-moment decision points by players and game officials, thousands...

Mid-Majority Chat Block, Episode 718

Mid-Majority Chat Block, Episode 718 In this week between 32 and 16, only Butler, Richmond and VCU remain. What do they have to do to continue on and keep their lights lit? And what of all the fallen teams around Hoops Nation, what's next for them? New coaches, new players, or old patterns? Come chat about...

The Gap Is Where We Live

CHICAGO -- In 1979, the NCAA expanded its men's basketball tournament from 32 to 40. One reason was to accomodate automatic bids for conferences like the Sun Belt and Southland -- fallout from the governing body's football subdivision split that "protected" mid-size schools from 76-0 gridiron poundings by the...

Redrawing the Red Line

CHICAGO -- It may be a week from now, and it may be two weeks from now, but this is certain: no matter what, the Epilogue is coming. Judging from the outlines and drafts, this season's final post will be the longest yet. There's a lot of complicated information about the future to package as a download, and getting...

Be #Informed

Get a ping every time there's a new TMM article.

The Woods

Once you give over your entire identity to a sport, the lines that separate the game and real life start to disappear. Welcome to The Woods, a new 22-essay anthology from TMM's Season 16.