Category Archives: Sport

My favorite albums of 2018

I released my 2017 version of this list on Dec. 15 last year. In early January, my Online Friend, comedian John Cullen, released his own list. At No. 1 on his list was Phoebe Bridgers’ Stranger in the Alps, a transcendently smart, painfully sad album that, were I to rewrite my own 2017 list now, would be the unquestioned No. 1. Except that I hadn’t heard about it until John’s list.

This changed the way I approached things a little bit for 2018. Intellectually, I understand that year-end lists are arbitrary cut-offs and that the calendar is only something we perceive, and that Boston Celtics’ prospect Robert Williams would laugh at us for even considering it. Music does not belong to the year it was released in. Not finding Bridgers’ 2017 album until 2018 did not make me enjoy it any less. All it meant was that it wasn’t on my list, which was a snapshot of my feelings on 2017 music at that point in time. It’s no different, really, than looking at my 2015 list and realizing how much I’d re-shuffle it as my personal tastes have changed.

Still, I wanted to make a concerted effort to cast a wider net this year. It wasn’t so much an “I can’t miss another Bridgers” as it was an interest in seeing what else is out there outside of my usual genres that I might enjoy. Last year, I occasionally asked people on Twitter what their favorite albums of the last while were. This year, I made that a quarterly exercise, and the responses were voluminous. The result was that I wound up checking out 145 albums this year, way up from 2017 and way too many in general.

I…think I’ll scale back moving forward. The exercise is still a lot of fun. Reaching out to readers for their favorites has led me to some unexpected finds, and it’s cool to know where the tastes of people I interact with a lot lie. At the same time, such a broad approach necessitated spending a little less time with the albums I really loved this year. There’s a trade-off between searching for anything you might like and really immersing in the things you know you love. There’s no right answer, obviously, but 2019 will probably see me hold back less when it comes to, say, listening to CHVRCHES front-to-back on every run for an entire week even though Pusha T, A$AP Rocky, Retirement Party, and Hoobastank all dropped that same week.

What follows are the albums I enjoyed most in 2018.

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Amoose-Boucher: Raptors have tasty options to survive Jonas Valanciunas’ absence

Title: Amoose-Boucher: Raptors have tasty options to survive Jonas Valanciunas’ absence
Date: December 14, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about Jonas Valanciunas’ dislocated thumb and the options the Raptors have to replace his minutes. Read an excerpt!

Lucky 13: Takeaways from the Raptors ending their 13-game losing streak at Oracle Arena

Title: Lucky 13: Takeaways from the Raptors ending their 13-game losing streak at Oracle Arena
Date: December 13, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the Raptors’ thrilling upset of the Warriors in Oakland and what they can take away from the victory. Read an excerpt!

Radio Appearance: Talking Raptors on Sportsnet 590

Title: Radio Appearance: Talking Raptors on Sportsnet 590
Date: December 13, 2018
Original Source: Sportsnet Radio
Synopsis: I appeared on Sportsnet 590 The Fan to break down the Raptors’ victory over the Golden State Warriors. Check out the audio!

Future Me Hates Me: An album review and reflection on dating

You know the risks. You tell yourself it’s worth it, that you have to put yourself out there, because the act of risking nothing offers nothing. To find love, a heart has to be open and, unfortunately, vulnerable. You accept the risks, you dive in, and, well, you knew this would happen. How could you have opened yourself up to such an obvious outcome? That was dumb and short-sighted. But maybe next time…

This, I think, is the spirit of The Beths’ debut album Future Me Hates Me, my favorite album of 2018.

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Kawhi Leonard-less Raptors steamroll Clippers as Kyle Lowry bounces back

Title: Kawhi Leonard-less Raptors steamroll Clippers as Kyle Lowry bounces back
Date: December 11, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the Raptors throttling the Clippers without Kawhi Leonard, thanks in large part to Kyle Lowry getting back on track. Read an excerpt!

Murphy: A deep dive into Kyle Lowry’s slump and its impact on the Raptors

Title: Murphy: A deep dive into Kyle Lowry’s slump and its impact on the Raptors
Date: December 11, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I took a deep dive into Kyle Lowry’s slump and its impact on the Raptors. Read an excerpt!

Podcast Appearance: Gully Blanchard

Title: Podcast Appearance: Gully Blanchard
Date: December 10, 2018
Original Source: Gully Blanchard Podcast
Synopsis: I made a guest appearance on the Gully Blanchard Podcast to discuss the Raptors, Kings, and wrestling.
Check out the audio!

Raptors Tactical: Handling the Giannis Antetokounmpo matchup, downsizing, and more

Title: Raptors Tactical: Handling the Giannis Antetokounmpo matchup, downsizing, and more
Date: December 10, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about how the Raptors approached the Giannis Antetokounmpo matchup in a loss to the Bucks. Read an excerpt!

The Raptors Reasonablists Podcast – S03E11 – Panic! At the KLOE

Title: The Raptors Reasonablists Podcast – S03E11 – Panic! At the KLOE
Date: December 10, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In the latest edition of The Raptors Reasonablists Podcast, Eric Koreen and I discuss a mini-Raptors skid highlighted by a somewhat more major Kyle Lowry skid.
Read an excerpt!

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