Steve Jobs in Rolling Stone

Steve Jobs biography came out with great fanfare last week, but if you don’t know anything about Jobs life and are looking for a sneak peek at what you may find in there it’s a good idea to check out Jeff Goodell’s piece on Jobs in Rolling Stone.

It’s an excellent and quite revealing look at his life from a guy that made it his business to cover his life. You can tell much of it is from personal experience and in typical Rolling Stone style the author is present throughout the piece. The story details his journey from youth to abrasive CEO to humbled CEO and back to a man looking to wrap up the loose ends later in life.

The gems in this story (basically the parts that we don’t already know) are the revelations that early in life he was driven by his birth parents abandoning him and was hard pressed to prove that he was worthy of being loved. It sounds a little romanticized, but that tends to happen when you fit the messy details of somebody’s life into a narrative.

“Steve always had that James Dean live-fast, die-young thing,” recalls Apple programmer  Steve Capps in the story.

The first turning point in his young life was actually heading to India. Jobs was heavily influenced by the 60’s and believed in the enlightenment and the ideals of that generation. He travelled to India to see noted philosopher Neem Karoli Baba, but came back with a different perspective on life after seeing so much poverty in the country.

“This was one of the first times I thought maybe Thomas Edison did more to improve the world than Karl Marx or Neem Karoli Baba ever did,” Jobs said.

The rest of the story you already know. His control-freak nature as CEO of Apple pushed the company to new heights with his obsessive demand for originality. It ultimately led to his ouster and a period of soul-searching as he started NExT and smoothed out many of the hard edges of his youth.

The last stage of the story is his return to Apple after turning Pixar into a multi-billion dollar company and his cancer diagnosis that pushed him to reevaluate his life and in some ways pushed him to create the Ipod and Ipad.

Well worth a read if you don’t want to read the book or simply want to know what you’re getting into.


“Luck”-y Cardinal and big fat JaMarcus Russell

I just finished reading through this week’s Sports Illustrated and there were two stories about two different quarterbacks that piqued my interest. Been following the Stanford all season  and there’s a short story that brought up a few interesting tidbits about Andrew Luck.

Luck is the Cardinal superstar quarterback that is destined to be the number one pick in the NFL draft and has done everything right this week to justify various “Suck for Luck” campaigns being waged across the dregs of the NFL. The numbers are all on point for Luck against Washington last week (6-21 129 yards passing), but it’s been between his play-calling and decision-making that have really been the difference with him.

The Cardinal are a physical offense with 446 yards rushing against the Huskies and their three tight ends Coby Fleener, Zach Ertz and Levine Toiolo have 13 of the team’s 21 touchdown catches, but even that is reliant on Luck. Note that head coach David Shaw is letting Luck make more and more decisions at the line. Based on the offensive success, Luck is doing a pretty good job of that too. Now lets see if he can do it against USC on Saturday.

Then there’s JaMarcus Russell.

I finally read the Sports Illustrated article that generated a lot of buzz around the Bay Area when it was first announced. It really doesn’t do anything to reveal anything different about Russell other than showing us why he was a $39 million dollar bust in Oakland.

The interview was done in his home town of Mobile Alabama in a local barber shop getting a hair cut with much of his supporters there during the interview. It had the feel of a peanut gallery full of yes men booing every negative comment against him and whooping up every positive response. Definitely worth a read, but there’s really nothing new.

Bottom line— if your fat and lazy, don’t expect to make it in the NFL.

Tim Tebow’s popularity a dual question

People ask the wrong questions when it comes Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow and his immense popularity. The one that makes sense to most football fans is whether he will be an NFL caliber quarterback or not. That’s something you measure and valuate with any types of numbers you want whether it’s wins or passer rating and really draw your own conclusions.

The other question is whether you agree with his lifestyle or not. To put it bluntly it’s “Are you Christian or not?” NFL players that tout their religion are nothing new and completely within their right to do, but Tebow is unique in the sense he’s quite open with it.

That makes a distraction that most NFL players would never want to deal with because it is an added layer of pressure in an already stressful profession. It takes a real person of character to be handle the scrutiny of mixing religion and your professional life.

Whether or not you relate the eye black with bible verses, missionary work in other countries, his belief in God…or not…will color your opinion of him. In other words, when you start tugging at what people think think is fundamentally right and wrong, you will always get people falling on two sides.

Whether or not 161 yards, two rushing touchdowns and a fourth quarter comeback are enough to convince you he is a NFL legend or not is a separate and more comfortable question for most sports fans.