Screenshot via NASCAR on Youtube

I know I’m not alone when I say I watched the end of the 2020 Daytona 500 with a pit in my stomach.

My bet would be that most people did. Denny Hamlin’s victory celebration was subdued, Ryan Blaney was visibly shaken, even Jeff Gordon appeared to be holding back as the broadcast went off air. It was only natural; Ryan Newman’s car had flipped near the start finish line, flying into the air and crashing into the catch fence before coming down and colliding with oncoming traffic in a horrific accident. …

Image via Mark Hemmings

It’s never easy to predict who is going to make the Chase, and that’s especially true in a year with so many variables like this. But based on how I see the season playing out, I feel confident that at least a few of these drivers will wind up in the postseason. There’s always going to be wildcards who win at plate tracks or otherwise come out of left field, but that’s where the fun comes in.

Without further adieu, here is my guess on who makes the Chase, along with some commentary, and who ultimately will be the champion…

Picture by Ryse Lawrence

With the Daytona 500 coming in hotter than an asteroid eating curry, I figured it’s time to jot down how I think an incredibly unpredictable season will go. Most of these are just general predictions on events, and not specific race call-outs. This also won’t include my Chase and Championship picks, which I’ll be posting separately.

A couple of disclaimers before diving in; I’m no analytic genius here, at least, not yet. You won’t see a bunch of graphs and numbers on here, mostly because I don’t understand them and don’t have the spreadsheet chops to get through all that…

Right at the turning point of 2020, when we (in America) went from the Before Times™, to the pandemic haze beyond time itself, I saw the below tweet:

I had never played any of these games before. I didn’t even own one. In fact, until this writing I didn’t even know this type of puzzle had a name. But something about them being on sale being a rare occasion spurred me to action. I picked up the first Picross S game on a whim and that was about it.

The first time I played it, I had no idea…

A picture of Allianz Field. A banner reading ‘George Floyd, 8:46’ is visible.
A picture of Allianz Field. A banner reading ‘George Floyd, 8:46’ is visible.
Photo by Tim McLaughlin

If you’ve watched MLS, particularly Minnesota United FC, over the past few months and have scrolled Twitter during that watching, you may have noticed something of a trend.

Every game, at the 8:46 mark or there-abouts, the team’s social media posts the below tweet. They have a GIF and everything!

When the season first restarted, back in July in the middle of a Florida bubble, it was the first action for the league since the uprising in Minneapolis following George Floyd’s execution at the hands of the Minneapolis police department, and it was clearly on top of the league’s…

Picture by author, 2018

It has been 16 years since the Minnesota Twins last won a playoff game.

From the A’s, to the Yankees, to the A’s, to the Yankees, and the Yankees, and the Yankees, and the Yankees again, the back-to-back A.L. Central division champions haven’t won a single playoff game since 2004. Last year, I wrote a long-winded soliloquy talking about how I loved the Twins and how they helped inspire my passion for sports. It’s not worth repeating myself here, and it wouldn’t feel right anyway.

In a year ravaged by the most disastrous and deadly pandemic in living memory, where

Authors note: This was initially written in 2017, but never finished. According to my Google doc, this was last touched on September 30th, 2017, which makes sense. I have mostly edited it to read accurately in 2019.

Unlike then, I’m actually finishing and posting this. And unlike then, this postseason is going to be different.


Dear Minnesota Twins,

Please win a game in the American League Division Series.

For the love of the father, the spirit, and the holy Prince, please just win at least one game in this series.

An ALCS win? A World Series, even? Bonuses. The…

Around her, the steep falls and pits of a weathered kingdom. Nothing remains here — nothing but the shining majesty of a young woman clad in a white dress, accented by black spots, hair blonde as the driven snow of her Canadian homeland. She’s not royalty — not here, anyway, where the ghosts of history echo louder than any of its current inhabitants.

She doesn’t look like them, but she’s here, and right now, that’s all that matters. …

This weekend, there will be dozens of Pride celebrations in Minneapolis, as there has been and will continue to be across the U.S. and in other countries throughout the month of June. As always, these celebrations prompt discussion — and vitriol — around their execution, what they stand for, and who they target.

More than at any other point of the year, this is the time when LGBTQ folks are the most ‘out’ to the general public. If you live in a liberal metropolitan area, it’s likely that you’ll see rainbow flags, signs, and other shows of support during whatever…

I did not expect to find myself crying on a Saturday night.

After picking up The MISSING: J.J. …


Jesse writes about sports, video games, social movements and a variety of other things. Also tells bad dad jokes.

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