This week, I have read a handful of strong journalistic pieces. I mean, it's two weeks before finals, so I'm probably procrastinating on grading a little bit, thus the extra reading.
But I do typically start my mornings off with my daily newsletters from The Washington Post, New York Times, The Athletic, Punchbowl News, The Marshall Project, ProPublica and The Dispatch. Now, I don't have premium subscriptions to them all, but I like the links they provide and more.
Anyway, this horrifying gem came from The Washington Post. The details are staggeringly awful and I understand why one might not want to read it; it's a total downer that makes you wonder how and why human beings can be so awful to each other, but give writer Peter Jamison his due on a thoroughly researched and reported story that also reads brilliantly despite the vile details.
Because things are extra heavy right now with wars raging in eastern Europe and the Middle East and so much pain and hatred out there, I cocooned myself in sports this week. Not to go on too much of a tangent here, but there can be plenty of grossness in sports, so it isn't exactly a reprieve, but I find a freshness and purity in college sports that aren't football and men's basketball, in sports that don't have multimillion coaches and ginormous TV contracts.
Like, women's college volleyball.
The coolest event I covered in a 15-year sportswriting career was the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Final Four in Omaha, Nebraska in 2006. I'm not sure, as a sports fan, you've ever seen a spectacle until you've seen a Nebraska volleyball match. Just thinking about that crowd at Qwest Arena all those years ago gives me goosebumps -- and that was almost 20 years before the Huskers played a match in a packed football stadium.
The stories that come out of those sports aren't widely known beyond their diehards. So, this story about the Stanford setter, Kami Miner, and her father brought good tears to my eyes this morning. Aishwarya Kumar got to the heart of the matter in this story. She didn't overwrite to get the emotion across. And she left me rooting Kami, the Cardinal -- and Harold -- on. This piece from ESPN is the best thing I've read this week.
2019 FIFA Women's World Cup: Media, Fandom, and Soccer's Biggest Stage is available online and in hardback from Palgrave Macmillan.
Molly Yanity, Ph.D.