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An unexpected rec

If you only read one column on tennis this year, I suggest this one: Wïmbledämmerung. If nothing else, it has the most interesting choice of images I've ever seen in this kind of article...

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Yesterday I read a Miami Herald article about some of the medical issues of active NFL players: chronic use of painkillers, an athlete who played multiple games with a hidden catheter pushing antibiotics next to his heart, regular brain and nerve damage, and 24/7 pain. Players aren't healthy, and they aren't well-conditioned in any generic sense of the word. They are biological wrecks optimized to perform one specific set of movements without any regard for integrity or sustainability; they can only perform during games thanks to highly specific chemical help, and the rest of the week they aren't much better (I'm overgeneralizing, but not, I think, too much; when an active, professional athlete cannot bend enough to put his kids to bed, we are far from anything the Greeks had in mind).

There's much to think and write about this (its ethics, its economics, what it says about american culture that this is the dream, the impossible contradiction between the ideal "warrior" male body and lifestyle and the realities of physiology, and so on) but my first thought was, unsurprisingly, of Bruce Wayne. Somebody should write an AU where Batman trains Robins since year one, because a Batman's career cannot last more than two or three years on the outside, and half a dozen intense, crippled-to-semi-crippled men meet every night in the Cave to work on cases, be the current Batman's backup eyes and brains, and train the next ones.

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cass, can you not
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