I think once you start judging items for newsworthiness, you never really stop. I'm closing in on 20 years since I ran a college newspaper, but I've found I keep recommending stories to people and they keep acting like they like it ... So I thought I'd start chronicaling the good things I read and maybe start kicking out a newsletter straight to your inbox ... who knows?



An amazing piece from the Washington Post on the effects of violence on one second grader.

The boy was sitting in his favorite spot, atop his dad’s bed, playing their favorite game, “NBA 2K16” on the Xbox One, when he heard the sound. Pop, pop, pop, from just outside the second-floor window on that warm summer afternoon. Tyshaun McPhatter’s father burst through the open doorway, crouching. “Get down on the floor,” he screamed, and the 7-year-old knew what that meant: more gunshots.

Craig Hodges: ‘Jordan didn’t speak out because he didn’t know what to say’

Maybe you knew what former NBA great Craig Hodges was up to, but I didn’t. The Guardian is on the case.

“I’m sad to say that one of our players was shot on Monday,” Craig Hodges reveals after he has spoken for an hour about his brave but tumultuous career in the NBA. Hodges fell out with Michael Jordan, confronted George Bush Sr in the White House and won two championships with his hometown team, at a time when the Chicago Bulls were venerated around the world, before he was ostracised and shut out of basketball for being too politically outspoken.

The Trouble With Innocence

Going to try to keep this to one Texas Monthly piece a week, and this is a good one.

June 6, 2016, convicted murderer Kerry Max Cook walked into a Tyler courtroom. The sixty-year-old was dressed in black, his silver hair trimmed short. Cook’s eyes, dark and nervous, shot around the wood-paneled chamber, which was filling rapidly. Local news reporters and a documentary-film crew from New York were setting up cameras and microphones. Cook caught sight of three men in the audience, men who had once been convicted criminals themselves: Billy Smith, Michael Morton, and A. B. Butler Jr. All three, famously, had been proved innocent of their alleged crimes after serving a collective sixty years behind bars. They had come from miles away to attend this hearing, and Cook walked over to greet them. Smiling, the three stood to shake his hand. Morton clapped him on the shoulder.

The Secret Life of Pitchers

Going to try to keep this to one The Atlantic piece a week, and this is a good one.

The major league baseball commissioner, Rob Manfred, will never be mistaken for a rebel. He’s a 58-year-old Harvard Law School grad who clerked for a U.S. district judge appointed by Richard Nixon; became a partner at the lofty Philadelphia law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius; and made his name in the league negotiating collective-bargaining agreements and investigating the Biogenesis doping scandal of 2013. The guy even wears a tie when he throws out the first pitch at games.

Did you read something good this week? Drop me a comment below or shoot me an email ... colby at colby angus black dot com.