In a special edition of the newsletter, editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey shares his favorite stories from an intense and madness-making October.
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Dear Readers,
My favorite criticism of The Ringer so far is simple: "Who is this even for?" It's a comment I've heard on occasion since we launched in June, and not one I quibble with much. I rather enjoy it. Like many new ventures, the site is not easy to categorize or target or quantify. It doesn't make sense, per se. We don't strictly cover basketball or TV or internet culture here. We don't focus solely on politics or baseball analytics. The Ringer isn't specifically a film criticism site or a repository for soccer takes. It isn't just a space questing for some better football. We write about more than Atlanta. It's all of those things, and more. Some of it is unusual, I admit. We do not "stick to sports." This is a home for Bill Belichick's crush list, an ode to McDonald's apple pie, a call for the end of charges, a Reddit parody about robot sex at Westworld, our staff's deeply strange (and mostly poor) Halloween candy opinions, an empirical analysis of meme danger, and the totally normal collision of Stranger Things' unlikely breakout Barb and the absence of of Zach Britton in the AL Wild Card Game. It's a place where a man who creates a virtual replica of Friends' Joey Tribbiani is worthy of interview and where we happily fact-check the most iconic scenes in movie history. We're making something we think is entertaining, curious, certainly odd, but also riven with exuberance and stitched by (hopefully) an intellectual bearing. It's not that complicated. There are words and art and podcasts and video. It's a web site. Who is this even for? Us, and you.

October was a particularly unusual and strong month at the site. Internally, October can be intense and madness-making, what with the World Series, the start of the NBA season, the thrum of football, the coming Oscar slate of movies, fall TV in full swing, and many more things. Also, there is an election that was forged in hellfire and served fresh from the kiln and into your brains every morning. We're grappling with all of it as best we can. We published quite a bit, in fact. So in an effort to catch up any of you who might have missed the month in Ringer, here are some of the best stories we've published. I hope you'll check them out. And thanks for indulging our stranger things.

Sean Fennessey
Editor-in-Chief, The Ringer

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Why Isn’t ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ on Netflix?, by Victor Luckerson
At a time when it feels like everything we'd ever want to watch is at our fingertips, there's no way to stream several of the shows many of us grew up—primarily shows with African American leads. Victor explores why some of these shows have been shut out of the streaming bonanza.

Lainey Is Yours in Gossip, by Allison P. Davis
By its nature, gossip is impervious to fact. Not the case for Allison's close look at Elaine Lui, the one-woman gossip media empire who tirelessly chronicles everything from the Brangelina dissolution to the psychology of an Instagram post. The truth is out there, and Lainey has it.

Such a Nasty Reality, by Katie Baker
Earlier this month, Derrick Rose was deemed not liable in a civil suit alleging sexual assault. But the details that emerged from the trial once again complicate how we see athletes today—the more we learn, the more difficult it becomes to enjoy sports on purely escapist terms. Katie powerfully confronts that idea in this essay.

Silicon Valley Is Coming for Your Lunch, by Alyssa Bereznak 
What can our DNA tell us about how we should eat? Some say everything. Others, not so much. Alyssa goes inside Habit, a startup that says it can solve your diet with science.
A Brief History of NFL Players Jumping Over the Long Snapper, by Rodger Sherman 
Rodger is our newest staff writer and a maestro of weird football. In this tireless explanation, he breaks down all nine instances of a player leaping over the long snapper during a field goal and, more importantly, why it doesn't happen more often.

The Return of Mort, by Bryan Curtis
Chris Mortensen has been in the homes of football watchers for decades at ESPN. But did you know he was a wild man in his newspaper heyday? There's some of that and a lot more in Bryan's revealing profile of the longtime NFL insider.

In Thibs They Trust, by Robert Mays
We've been waiting to get Robert Mays in a room with his spirit coach Tom Thibodeau for years. He didn't disappoint. 

Andy Borowitz Is Not Trying to Trick You, by Rob Harvilla
I am not a fan of the New Yorker comic parodist Andy Borowitz. That will not detract from your enjoyment of Rob's profile of the divisive, though seemingly quite nice writer.
Electing Hillary Isn’t Enough, by Jon Favreau 
Favs has been a busy man lately—he hosted The Ringer's first live event last week, and he's been tangling with Dante's Election since we launched. His latest piece gives context to what the presidential election means for several other races.

LeBron Is Still Painting His Masterpiece, by Bill Simmons
Heard of this guy? Young talent, gifted writer. Keep an eye on him.

Is There Too Much Football?, by Kevin Clark
There might be. Clark has been chronicling the growing pains of the NFL since it reached an almost unimaginable amount of success in the past decade. This story attempts to find the answer to the sport's sagging ratings. 

Scenes From an American Rally, by Jordan Ritter Conn
Few writers are as empathetic and evocative as Jordan, and this three-day jaunt inside Trump country finds him at his most clear-eyed and open-eared. Highest possible recommendation.
‘Desus & Mero’ Is Here to Revolutionize Late-Night TV, by Donnie Kwak
Donnie is uniquely qualified to explain the success of the Twitter heroes and podcasting success stories—he was instrumental in the duo's early days of multimedia exploration. Now that they have their own Viceland TV show, learn more about the come up.

A 10-Tool Player Is Dominating the Postseason, by Ben Lindbergh
Is Shohei Otani the greatest baseball player on earth? Probably not. But maybe! Allow Ben to explain.

How to Go All In (or Not), According to Danny Ainge, by Kevin O'Connor
Kevin talks with the power brokers inside Celtics HQ to find out more about general manager Danny Ainge's assets-compiling strategy. Will this be the year he cashes out? (I'm betting no.)

Taxstone Is Winning the War of Hip-hop Punditry, by Justin Charity
Rap beef is no longer about battles or album sales. It's not about diss tracks and it may not even be about rap at all. But Taxstone, a podcast host with the disposition of a carnival barker, seems to know what it's about. Justin found out.
How the Nuggets Built Their International Basketball Army, by Jonathan Tjarks
No one is more fascinated by scouting and talent discovery than Tjarks. No one has had more international success of late than the Denver Nuggets. Here's how.

What Is the Best Night Any Celebrity Has Ever Had at Madison Square Garden?, by Sam Donsky
I don't really know what to say about this other than: Let it wash over you. Sam is special man.

Aaron Gordon Assumes the Position, by Danny Chau
Danny Chau has metaphysical interest in a balletic game. Aaron Gordon is an impossible specimen attempting an irrational transition. This is basketball writing with ideas beyond the game.

Sex and the Commodification of the Single Girl, by Lindsay Zoladz
Emily Witt's Future Sex is one of my favorite books of the year, a searching, audacious journey through modern sexual experiences. Lindsay unravels Witt's ideas and tries to understand why it resonates so deeply.
Late-Night TV Is Not Built for This Election, by Alison Herman
How do you mock the most terrifying three months in recent political history? (Probably not by tousling Donald Trump's hair.)

Tomi Lahren Has Some Thoughts, by Kyle Chayka
I derive a bizarre fascination from watching the rising young conservative pundit wind up her energies and unleash a monomaniacal spray of #takes about the American political system. Kyle Chayka headed down to Texas to see how and why she does it. 

I Believe I Can Fly: The (Completely Untrue) Oral History of ‘Space Jam,’ by Shea Serrano
Shea unbound. Read this.

The Future of Football Is Here and It's Flexible, by Danny Kelly
Wide receivers masquerading as running backs, runners lining up under center, dogs and (wild)cats living together, mass football hysteria. Danny Kelly explains it all.

The Rise of Hank Scorpio, the Simpsons Character Who Predicted Silicon Valley Villainy, by Alan Siegel
"I didn't even give you my coat!"
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