The check-in: The Power Plays Book Club is back!
First up: Inaugural Ballers
Happy Friday, friends! What a week. (I know we’re always saying that around here, but this one felt even more exasperating than usual.) I hope you are taking care of yourselves.
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If you’re in the United States and eligible to vote, I hope you have already done so or have plans to do so in the next few days. I know you don’t need my lecture about the importance of these elections for so many issues we care about here at Power Plays, but if you need help figuring out when and where to vote, and what your local ballot looks like, Vote Save America is a very helpful resource.
Also, if you missed yesterday’s newsletter, it’s the first of many deep dives into reports about abuse in the NWSL, and I hope you’ll take some time to read it.
Today’s check-in will be short — I know by Friday afternoon we’re all mentally tuning out the world — but I’ve got an exciting announcement that I didn’t want to hold onto until Monday.
Thank you, as always, for your support of Power Plays.
1. The Power Plays Book Club returns with “Inaugural Ballers” by Andrew Maraniss.
I am absolutely over the moon to announce that after a far-too-long hiatus, the Power Plays Book Club is back!
November’s Book of the Month is “Inaugural Ballers: The True Story of the First Women’s Olympic Basketball Team” by Andrew Maraniss. It is SUCH a great read, I promise you all are going to love it. (It’s classified as a book for “young” readers, but I promise this is not a children’s book; it is jam-packed with great history lessons and storytelling.)
If you’ve forgotten how the Power Plays Book Club works — which, if you have, I don’t blame you — the Book Club is a perk for paid subscribers of Power Plays. Paid subscribers will receive multiple newsletters during the month related to the book, and they’ll be given space to discuss the book with fellow subscribers, and they’ll be invited to a zoom event featuring the author and special guests!! It’s going to be a lot of fun.
I’ll have more announcements re: all of the above next week, but let’s talk about where to purchase your books first.
2. Here are many links to help you purchase “Inaugural Ballers,” including one option for signed copies!
Here's a link to Parnassus, Maraniss’s local indie bookstore in Nashville. Maraniss told me: “When people order from the store, they can note in the special instructions section how they would like it signed/personalized, and the store will ship it.” Definitely take advantage of that!
Here’s a link to Bookshop, which can help you find the book at any indie store.
Don’t forget you can also request it at your local library!
3. Burn It All Down is on hiatus.
If you missed the announcement last week, Burn It All Down — the weekly sports podcast I co-host with Jessica Luther, Shireen Ahmed, Dr. Brenda Elsey, and Dr. Amira Rose Davis — is on hiatus. We plan to return in 2023, but we’re not sure when or in exactly what form. It’s rough out here for independent media, and while I’m confident we’ll find a way to keep this work going, as Brenda says in our final-for-now episode, it’s endlessly frustrating to see how much bullshit in sports media gets endless streams of money invested into it, while we often struggled to break even. If you click the Instagram post below, or listen to episode 267, you’ll hear more of my ramblings about BIAD.
Mainly I’m sharing this news here because I know a lot of you also listen to BIAD, and I want to thank you endlessly for making that podcast possible. Also, if there’s one good thing about all of this, it’s that I have more time/energy to put into Power Plays. It’s time to level up, friends!
4. I just want to send extra love today to my Jewish readers.
It’s been brutal to watch Kyrie Irving’s antisemitism be met with crickets from so many athletes and teams who are usually so vocal about social justice causes; I can’t even fathom how hurtful it’s been to Jewish sports fans and the Jewish community as a whole. You deserve better.
I was glad to see Gotham FC release a statement unequivocally condemning antisemitism, and I hope other NWSL teams and players — as well as the women’s sports community as a whole — follow suit.
5. Let’s let Rebeca Andrade take us into the weekend.
I need to end this on a positive note, so here are some clips of Rebeca Andrade winning the all-around gold at the gymnastics world championships on Thursday.