Stephen Squibb

All articles by this author

Take a Knee

Take a Knee

The revenge of Colin Kaepernick

It will no doubt strike many as inappropriate, to say the least, to speak of Colin Kaepernick’s protest as a kind of revenge. Before this year, I would have agreed with them. Tactically it has seemed necessary to downplay the mounting evidence that not only was Kaepernick’s protest working, but that it was actually tearing the league apart. Letters poured in from aggrieved white patrons demanding an end to the protests, ratings started to drop and they’re still dropping, such that it now seems impossible to deny what the fascists have been saying for a while now, that Kap has succeeded where concussions, Deflategate, and roughly thirty thousand hours of advertisements per game had failed: it has given people a reason to give up the game for good.

Do Your Job

Do Your Job

The game’s sheer improbability made the whole thing impossible to take seriously until it was over.

It is a mistake to count on men like Belichick and Brady to understand the basic tenets of our shared world together. They know how to throw touchdowns and win football games, but not how to build or maintain a world in which it is possible to make millions doing so. For that, they rely on the rest of us, especially those long since priced out of their stadiums.

Double Standards

Double Standards

Colin Kaepernick has had his career compromised by the unchecked madness of white American privilege.

The playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” has gone from a boring, low-stakes ritual to a fascinating pageant, as players across the country and at all levels kneel, link hands, lie down, or otherwise take the opportunity to express themselves.

Watch the Throne

Watch the Throne

LeBron knows that, win or lose, you’ll never get it; you’ll never forgive him for how he was born.

Everything that works as an excuse for everyone else has never worked for LeBron James, and so it’s no wonder why nobody understands when he tries to explain what that feels like.

Leviathan and the Air Pump

Leviathan and the Air Pump

On rules, cheating, and Deflategate

Larry Warford is a guard for the Detroit Lions. He is six feet three inches tall and weighs 332 pounds. His job is to crouch, fifty to sixty times, one day a week, on a one-hundred-by-fifty-yard field, and then leap up, collide with men of similar size, and move them out of his way so that one of the smaller, faster men on his own team can run by them while carrying an American football. Or: his job consists of keeping those same large men from running past him long enough for his quarterback, Matthew Stafford, to throw the ball down the field, often to a man two inches taller and a hundred pounds lighter than Warford is, whose given name is Calvin Johnson, but whom everyone knows simply as Megatron, after a giant robot toy.

Introduction

Introduction

Introducing City by City: Dispatches from the American Metropolis

Two years into the project, the cities themselves erupted. The various city-centric iterations of Occupy—Occupy Boston, Occupy Philadelphia, Occupy Oakland—seemed to both validate our idea and move beyond it. When Occupy was done, we felt that the project, and our curiosity about the cities of our country, could expand.

The Last Days of Football

The Last Days of Football

Super Bowl Preview

In order for the amount of pressure in the football to mean something, people have to care about football; if we can agree that the pressure matters, then we agree that football matters, and if we can agree on that, then we still care about the game enough to keep investing. In order for the integrity of the game to be taken seriously, integrity itself must be plausible.

Take a Knee

Take a Knee

The revenge of Colin Kaepernick

It will no doubt strike many as inappropriate, to say the least, to speak of Colin Kaepernick’s protest as a kind of revenge. Before this year, I would have agreed with them. Tactically it has seemed necessary to downplay the mounting evidence that not only was Kaepernick’s protest working, but that it was actually tearing the league apart. Letters poured in from aggrieved white patrons demanding an end to the protests, ratings started to drop and they’re still dropping, such that it now seems impossible to deny what the fascists have been saying for a while now, that Kap has succeeded where concussions, Deflategate, and roughly thirty thousand hours of advertisements per game had failed: it has given people a reason to give up the game for good.

Do Your Job

Do Your Job

The game’s sheer improbability made the whole thing impossible to take seriously until it was over.

It is a mistake to count on men like Belichick and Brady to understand the basic tenets of our shared world together. They know how to throw touchdowns and win football games, but not how to build or maintain a world in which it is possible to make millions doing so. For that, they rely on the rest of us, especially those long since priced out of their stadiums.

Double Standards

Double Standards

Colin Kaepernick has had his career compromised by the unchecked madness of white American privilege.

The playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” has gone from a boring, low-stakes ritual to a fascinating pageant, as players across the country and at all levels kneel, link hands, lie down, or otherwise take the opportunity to express themselves.

Watch the Throne

Watch the Throne

LeBron knows that, win or lose, you’ll never get it; you’ll never forgive him for how he was born.

Everything that works as an excuse for everyone else has never worked for LeBron James, and so it’s no wonder why nobody understands when he tries to explain what that feels like.

Leviathan and the Air Pump

Leviathan and the Air Pump

On rules, cheating, and Deflategate

Larry Warford is a guard for the Detroit Lions. He is six feet three inches tall and weighs 332 pounds. His job is to crouch, fifty to sixty times, one day a week, on a one-hundred-by-fifty-yard field, and then leap up, collide with men of similar size, and move them out of his way so that one of the smaller, faster men on his own team can run by them while carrying an American football. Or: his job consists of keeping those same large men from running past him long enough for his quarterback, Matthew Stafford, to throw the ball down the field, often to a man two inches taller and a hundred pounds lighter than Warford is, whose given name is Calvin Johnson, but whom everyone knows simply as Megatron, after a giant robot toy.

Introduction

Introduction

Introducing City by City: Dispatches from the American Metropolis

Two years into the project, the cities themselves erupted. The various city-centric iterations of Occupy—Occupy Boston, Occupy Philadelphia, Occupy Oakland—seemed to both validate our idea and move beyond it. When Occupy was done, we felt that the project, and our curiosity about the cities of our country, could expand.