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Pop Culture Happy Hour: Watching Sports, Philip Seymour Hoffman, And Poisoned Wells

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On this week's show, we turn to a topic near and dear to exactly half of our hearts: the wide world of sports. Glen explains how he came to feel the same way about sports that he feels about Fred Basset. Stephen envisions an actor breaking his leg and the play falling into a "clown show," and I wax rhapsodic about those great little Olympic stories about somebody's excited mom. It's the Super Bowl, the Olympics, and the nature of enthusiasm, all in one sportsy chat.

We then take a more reflective turn in briefly remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose death last weekend made us all ... just really sad, and motivated us to look back at some of our favorite moments from him. Watch a bunch of his stuff; it's worth your time anytime, but especially right now.

And then we turn to a listener suggestion we're calling Poisoning The Well — those times when someone else's negative opinion of something you like sneaks into your head and makes you suspect your own tastes. Stephen explains how one artist he likes tore back the covers on the habits of another artist he likes, and everybody won (especially Stephen). Trey brings up a singer whose appeal has faded for him (leading to Stephen's impression of said singer, which ... is something), Glen remembers his days as a young writer, and I puzzle over the very nature of letting other people influence your thinking.

As always, we close with what's making us happy this week. Trey is happy, in part, because an owl is alive. Stephen is happy about an upcoming NPR Music project. Glen is happy about someone he says "gets Twitter," and I am happy about a little project you may have already seen by now.

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: me, Stephen, Gene, Glen, Trey, producer Jessica, also-producers Nickand Lauren, and eternal pal and music director Mike Katzif.

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Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.