NK: I was never concerned. I didn't believe America would accept it. With the NBA lockout, O.K., the world won't end. But if there's no football? Forget Occupy Wall Street, there would be mass revolution.
22 Flying Solo
Leonine U.S. women's national soccer team goalie Hope Solo was persona non grata after the 2007 World Cup, during which she ripped her coach for benching her in favor of veteran Briana Scurry in a semifinal loss to Brazil. But it was a different story after her team's stirring run to July's Cup final. Solo, without whom the U.S. would have been Brazilian toast once again, popped up everywhere: on Letterman and The View, at the Entourage premiere, running in the Chicago Marathon and, most prominently, on Dancing with the Stars (left), where she quick-stepped her way to the semis. Solo also appeared, nude, on the cover of ESPN the Magazine's Body Issue, leading one to wonder, What would she have had left to expose had the U.S. actually, you know, won the Cup?
23 Twit Wit
Twitter allows 140 characters, but Late Show with David Letterman head writer Eric Stangel (@EricStangel) does his best work with just five: 'Sup? Stangel invented a game in which he tweets at athletes and celebs; whoever responds first, there's your winner. Past 'Suppers have included Marlins LF Logan Morrison and Saints DE Will Smith (an accomplishment, one imagines, on a par with his winning a Super Bowl). If that's not for you, Stangel's 81,000 followers are also treated to a stream of sportscentric comedy, as he holds forth on such topics as labor unrest ("I want the NBA to resolve this so I can get back to not watching it until the playoffs") and broadcasters ("#WorldSeries postponed, so to get effect of listening to Tim McCarver, I'm banging my head against my coffee table").
24 The most unlikely (alleged) convergence of sports and politics. Ever