9 Longform Stories We’re Reading This Week: TFA, LDRs, And Darren Rovell

How did a nebbishy theater major from Long Island transform himself into sports media’s biggest lightning rod? Read Steve Kandell’s profile of ESPN’s Darren Rovell, plus more longform stories from around the web.

1. The $ports Guy: The Making Of Darren Rovell — BuzzReads

Jason Bergman for BuzzFeed

Meet Darren Rovell, ESPN’s influential sports business reporter. He’s loved, hated, and always a source of discussion among fans and readers. But what does Rovell himself have to say about it? Read it at BuzzReads.

2. Miley Cyrus: Confessions of Pop’s Wildest ChildRolling Stone

Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Josh Eells shadows the 20-year-old star in the wake of her controversial VMA performance and “Wrecking Ball” video. A fun piece that reveals she’s pretty aware of what people think of her — and doesn’t much care. Read it at Rolling Stone.

3. How a Relationship Brought Me Halfway Around the World and Back Again — BuzzReads

Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Ruth Curry moved 9,000 miles — to Christchurch, New Zealand — for a relationship. In this moving essay, she reveals how far is too far to go for love. Read it at BuzzReads.

4. I Quit Teach for AmericaThe Atlantic

Teach for America Delta Institute, Julia Sweeney, HO / AP Photo / Via theatlantic.com

A much-talked about confessional by a former TFA teacher who quit after her first year. She interweaves her own experiences teaching fifth graders in the Atlanta public schools with an examination of whether tossing hardworking, underprepared instructors into failing schools helps — or hurts. Read it at The Atlantic.

5. Friends Without Benefits: What Social Media Is Doing To America’s Teenage Girls — Vanity Fair

It’s not just flirting over IM or Facebook anymore. Teens are turning everywhere on the social web — from Skype to Snapchat — as they enter the world of sex. Nancy Jo Sales reports: “As quickly as new social media appears, teens seem to find ways to use it to have sex, often sex devoid of even any pretense of emotional intimacy.” Read it at Vanity Fair.

6. How The Naked And Famous Will Make It In America — BuzzFeed

Photograph by LeAnn Mueller for BuzzFeed

The New Zealand band didn’t move 19 time zones and 7,000 miles to not fulfill their name’s destiny. But while fame and fortune in the music business may not be what they used to be, ambition, intraband romance, and the undying allure of Los Angeles as a promised land are evergreen. Read it at BuzzFeed.

7. Last MealsLapham’s Quarterly

A thought-provoking essay by Brent Cunningham: “The idea of a meal before an execution is compassionate or perverse, depending on your perspective, but it contains an inherently curious paradox: marking the end of a life with the stuff that sustains it seems at once laden with meaning and beside the point.” Read it at Lapham’s Quarterly.

8. John McEnroe and the Sadness of PerfectionPacific Standard

Steve Powell / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

A reflection on the tennis great, and what his demise after dominating Jimmy Connors at Wimbledon in ‘84 teaches us about the downside of perfection itself. Read it at Pacific Standard.

9. Cocaine Cowgirl — Byliner

The newest story from Byliner focuses on Griselda Blanco, a murderous drug boss once as feared as her rival, Pablo Escobar. After her peaceful retirement was ended by a bullet, reporter Jennie Erin Smith went to solve her murder. Read a free excerpt at Byliner.

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