Each week Jon Marthaler bakes up a delicious batch of links for you. Other times, you can find him here. Jon?


It looks like there's a pretty high chance we're going to have a warm, snowless Christmas this year. In the interest of making the most of this, I'd like to present my Top Three Sports To Play Outside On Christmas So You'll Have A Story To Tell The Kids:

  1. Football. For some, it's a Thanksgiving Day tradition to go outside and play some family football. Here in Minnesota, that's a little more rare - and even more rare on Christmas. Take advantage.
  2. Basketball. Get out the sweatshirt and get out in the driveway. For maximum effect, wear a Santa hat.
  3. Golf. Just hit a few pitch shots in the backyard, so you can tell of 2011, the year you played golf on Christmas. ADVANCED LEVEL: Play at least one hole on your local course without the cops chasing you off.


On with the links:

*Friend of RandBall Tom Linnemann is in east Asia and sending dispatches to Pat Reusse at ESPN 1500, which I'm enjoying immensely. It's pretty much a lock that Linnemann will have a television show someday on which he does this sort of thing, so in the interest of saying you were following his career all along, I encourage you to read all four parts of this dispatch thus far: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

*Everybody involved with hockey in any way should read this column from former goaltender and Canadian MP Ken Dryden.

*Parker Hageman thinks Josh Willingham is perfect for Target Field. This is mostly because nobody except Jim Thome is strong enough to consistently hit the ball out of Target Field between the power alleys.

*Teemu Selanne is making his return to Winnipeg tonight, for the first time since the Jets ditched town for Phoenix. The hockey humorists at Down Goes Brown take a look back at his career.

That'll do it for me, except to note this: I was pretty sure that USA cricket couldn't get any more dysfunctional, what with a president canceling elections and such. Then, the national team captain got arrested for mortgage fraud, faces a long prison sentence, and can't play in tournaments because the feds confiscated his passport. This is also the sport in which three famous international players went to jail for fixing games. Forget NBA or NFL labor disputes: cricket knows how to do dysfunction right.

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