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The Hurried Man’s Guide to the Playoffs, Part I

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Feel that? That’s the one-day breather between the baseball season (which ended yesterday) and the baseball playoffs (which start tomorrow). If you haven’t been paying attention, fear not: you can still sound smart, thanks to our quick-and-dirty guide to the playoffs.

That guide is right this way...»

The Stat Sheet: Falke Run Socks

We may have found the only pair of socks that you could wear with a proper pair of shoes and a suit or take a five-mile jog in.

They’re Falke’s Run Socks, and the C’H’C’M’ shop has got a restock of them just in time for any semiformal action you might be getting yourself into this time of year. Here’s what else you should know about them.

The Story: Falke has been making some good-looking performance socks for some time now—with ergonomic footbeds and nonslip heels. But these don’t stop at the ankle like most. They follow the form of a dress sock by rising to the calf. And the navy mélange would look right at home between a charcoal trouser hem and tobacco cap-toes. (Or running shorts and Nikes.)

Who to Channel: A very dapper Steve Prefontaine—but ease up on the running before your feet begin to bleed, you don’t want to ruin these socks.

When to Wear It: Any day you’re planning on going jogging or putting some extra mileage on your wingtips. (Or anticipating a meeting that could break into a game of two-hand touch.)

Degree of Difficulty: They’re socks. Don’t overthink it.

The Fastest Watch on Earth

Something curious we’ve noticed during the Olympics: wrists adorned with watches during competition. It seems counterintuitive that anyone trying to squeeze every last drop out of their performance would wear something that could potentially slow them down—or in the case of Kerri Walsh-Jennings, misguide a bump—in the heat of battle.

But here’s one that probably didn’t play much of a factor, aside from adding some extra flash to Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake’s 100m dash: a yellow, black and green Richard Mille Tourbillon. These timepieces/cutting-edge feats of horology are so light, Rafael Nadal wears one while playing tennis (in an endorsement deal similar to Blake’s)—which also must come in handy on match nights when being punctual for dinner reservations is more important than a win. Even though Yohan didn’t outrun his superhuman training-mate Usain Bolt (who ran watchless), Blake’s silver medal still crowns this watch as the fastest across the finish line.

And there’s no doubt it will fetch more than its weight in gold.

The Olympics of Yore

This snap comes from a collection of action shots The New Yorker has dug up from the early days of the Olympics circa 1908-1924. It was a much simpler time back then, when the referees wore three-piece suits, athletes had day jobs and someone could win the marathon even after falling repeatedly, running in the wrong direction and being helped across the finish line by “a megaphone-toting man in a boater.” Friday can’t come soon enough.

The Very Best Nicknames in Sports

Lawrence Berra was nicknamed “Yogi” by Bobby Hofman, who thought Berra resembled a Hindu yogi—solemnly seated with arms and legs crossed—after losing a game.

When Kansas City Athletics owner Charlie Finley saw Jim Hunter pitch for the first time in 1965, he knew he’d signed a legend. The only problem, according to Finley, was the name—“Jim Hunter” didn’t sell tickets. The next morning, Finley called Hunter into his office and informed him that his name was now “Catfish.” Jim was understandably confused, and while the conversation was not recorded, we’re almost positive his response was, “Um... why’s that?”

That’s because baseball players, like all professional athletes, are first and foremost entertainers—and entertainers aren’t named “Jim.” Unfortunately, guys like Charlie Finley are a bit of a dying breed. The perfect nickname used to be steeped in lore, metaphorically connected to athletic prowess, an inside-out joke that made children of all ages—particularly the nickname-ee—grin. Now, it seems, the “-Rod” generation simply resorts to hyphenated pig latin of sorts.

As Hunter left the office, he asked his new owner what he should say if and when people asked about the origin of his new nickname. Finley replied, “You came back from the river on your 10th birthday having caught six catfish and handed them to your old man. Sell it. Goodbye.” On that note, we now present the very best nicknames in sports...

And the nominees are...»

Out With The Pink, In With The ‘Mo’

Maybe it’s because there were five Sundays in October (NFL’s breast cancer awareness month), but it’s hard to remember a time when professional football players weren’t wearing pink.

It’s an important cause. Women should get yearly mammograms. Men should help them do so. We’re totally on board.

It’s just… well, after five weeks of our supposedly fearsome football stars looking (and in some cases playing) like Barbie dolls, we’re thrilled that Movemeber – a month in which mustaches are grown to raise awareness for men’s health issues – is upon us.

That said, our first nominee for Movember Athlete of the Month is not in the NFL…»

Celebrating The Streaker

Boy do we love streakers.

No, we don’t condone lawlessness, and of course we realize the security risk associated with deranged stalkers coming in contact with professional athletes.

But you have to admit, there’s something glorious about a good-natured fan sneaking onto the field of a nationally televised sporting event, shedding his (or her) clothes and running in circles whilst commentators deem him a “knucklehead” and stadium security attempts, fails and eventually succeeds in tackling him to the ground.

Which is why we particularly enjoyed last night’s UCLA-Arizona football game...»

Bond's Back, Anna Speaks, and Popping the Clutch

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Sneak Peek: Oh yes, the Bond trailer is here. [Moviefone]

Her Majesty: Anna Wintour deigns to speak of Milan Men's Fashion. Cower, mere mortals. [DNR]

Second Chance: Brooks Brothers and Thom Browne kiss and make up. [DNR]

Um, No: Fashionista thinks man clutches are a good, "accessory for a night out." Some people just don't get it, do they? [Fashionista]

Gym Rats: How to be a gentleman while working up a sweat. [Art of Manliness]