Season XVI

62 entries

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.

Be #Informed

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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.