Sport

July 10, 2014

The Scourge of the Peloton: On Tim Krabbé’s The Rider 0

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In honor of the Tour de France, taking to the couch with Tim Krabbé’s sports classic.

May 8, 2014

The Starting Six: On the Remarkable Glory Days of Iowa Girls Basketball 1

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Girls basketball was part of the culture. Each spring the TV broadcasts from the capacity crowds at the state’s largest arena in Des Moines took over one of the three stations our antenna received, and it was largely from these games that I learned the names of small town Iowa: Grundy Center, Montezuma, What Cheer.

April 10, 2014

Viral Video: The Most Famous 15-Year-Old Basketball Player in America 3

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But Woods’s weight as prep basketball’s premier Internet phenomenon — and how dominant he looks in his highlights — might give a false impression of his chances at future success. It’s entirely possible Woods is at the height of his fame right now. I went to the Hammond School to see what that kind of uniquely modern sports celebrity felt like in person.

June 7, 2013

End Zones: On Football, Sports Scandals, and Don DeLillo 1

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The machine of college football, of American athletics as a whole, would not exist without people like me: people who complain about the world of sports, but who still play. People like me, who forgive the sins, who forget the scandals, because of innocence, ignorance, or both.

October 9, 2012

Wickets and Wonders: Cricket’s Rich Literary Vein 7

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Cricket fans hate lazy comparisons to baseball, but the literary analogy is an apt one here: if baseball is America, then cricket is—or rather, was—England.

August 31, 2012

Burnin’ Down the (Big) House: The Unhappy Marriage between Michigan Football and Rich Rodriguez 4

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The “aw-shucks” Rodriguez blundered at his first press conference by answering “Gosh, I hope not!” to the question of whether he needed to be a “Michigan Man” in order to coach the Wolverines. In Ann Arbor, that’s tantamount to saying you’ve never heard of The Beatles. Months later, he would be reprimanded for using the word “ain’t” in an interview.

August 6, 2012

The Problem with Sportswriting 12

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I will now posit a corollary to Godwin’s Law: as a sportswriter’s career progresses, the probability that he will needlessly invoke Nazis approaches 1.

July 6, 2012

Scott Raab Isn’t Mellowing with Age: The Millions Interview 1

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“If one of those [Cleveland] teams were to actually win a championship, I think it would be an unmitigated joy. I can’t imagine any Cleveland fan going, ‘You know, I really liked it better when we could uniquely identify ourselves by our suffering.’ I can’t. That thought is, if not really even perverse, it’s just ridiculous.”

April 4, 2012

Baseball, Finally 7

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I loved baseball but baseball never loved me back. It’s true that I wasn’t fast enough, or strong enough. I did everything right except own the thing that makes a boy an athlete.

September 30, 2011

The Joys and Compromises of Bennett Miller’s Moneyball 2

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Take whatever it is that’s important to you – knitting, perhaps, or mountain biking – and then imagine waiting for a feature film about it. Would you be excited or nervous? Or would you simply be dreading how Hollywood would manage to fuck up your passion?