Here’s a small collection of Gelf Magazine articles I wrote during the most wherespmac recent hiatus. In an effort to stretch out these posts, and because I myself don’t read anything over 300 words, I’ve broke this collection into two posts. I owe my Gelf editors a huge thank you for forcing me to keep writing and allowing me to interview some awesome people.
Interview with Roger Bennett
Author of Everything You Know is Pong, and a bunch of books on Judaism, ESPN writer and guy who speaks about soccer on TV a lot
Roger and I planned on meeting at a bar in an Upper West Side restaurant for the interview. I got to the packed spot a few minutes before him and when he arrived I let me him know that it was full.
“Well, fuck it then,” he said before we paced to his back up back bar. Roger wore the same jacket that Carmelo Anthony wore the night before in his postgame interview (see photo above). This is only relevant because rarely does someone meet all my standards of cool within 20 seconds. Yes, my standards of cool consist solely of profanity and any allusion to Melo.
Aside from those important elements, Roger is a great guy. After the interview we discussed Iverson playing in Turkey and he urged me to get on the next flight over there and he said a lot of other shit to inspire/motivate me in life. We’ll see if I act on any of it.
After I wrote the article, I thanked him for the time and awkwardly linked him to the video of Melo wearing his jacket. He was very appreciative and when I saw him a week later he told me his basketball-obsessed 6-year-old son now calls his balding, Jewish father is Melo when he wears the jacket. Never before did I think my unnecessary knowledge of Melo’s wardrobe would strengthen a father-son relationship, but I’m glad I could help.
All bullshit irrelevance aside, Roger worked on books with Nick Kroll, Will Shortz, Nick Hornby and Steve Nash. He’s a brilliant dude and his newest book is great if you like ping pong, good writing or books with cool pictures.
Interview with Rafe Bartholomew
Author of Pacific Rims: Beermen Ballin' in Flip-Flops and the Philippines' Unlikely Love Affair with Basketball, former Harper’s Magazine editor
I like to think Rafe is like me if I were smarter, more motivated and stuck with journalism. After college, he got a Fulbright Scholarship to study the basketball culture in the Philippines. He ended up living there for 3 years. Aside from becoming the leading American scholar on Filipino hoops, he made an appearance on the country’s biggest game show and soap opera. All me to excerpt my own article:
Bartholomew also stumbled into small-time television fame after his role on the show Bakekang: He played a racist who sleeps with the show's main character before kicking her out of his bed and calling her an "ugly Jungle Book bitch."Rafe’s dad is also the longest-tenured employee of McSorley’s which is all sorts of awesome. He's connected to Cambridge Steve through Steve's Filipino girlfriend, which is all sorts of odd. Rafe is also the first and only person I have met who grew up in Manhattan and does not suck as a human being.
"When people noticed me, they were pretty excited—high-fives, hugs, smiles. I posed for a lot of cellphone pictures with people's families and children," says Bartholomew, who also appeared on the game show Wowowee. "When it was in response to Bakekang, I felt a little awkward to be holding babies and putting my arm around people's kids, since my character was such a repulsive guy."
He recently quit his job at Harper’s and is going back to the Philippines without a real plan. He’s a fucking hero.