November 25, 2015

Hanging ‘Em Up: On Reading About (and Not Watching) Sports 3


All of this would suggest that I’m a boxing fan, one of those old-timey cigar-chewers eager to overlook the sport’s myriad problems and mainstream insignificance in order to enjoy its brutal purity. But despite boxing’s outsize presence in my reading, I’m not particularly interested in it.

November 12, 2015

Shaggy Grass, Seaside Golf, and French Theory: A Review of Cabot Links 2


Despite the efforts of the Cabot PR machine and the love sprinkled upon the course by the big golf magazines, a properly insufferable postmodernist has to, in the end, refuse its existence. Yes, Cabot lets you pretend you’re on a true links. But you aren’t. It was just built to seem that way, just as more or less every links course anywhere must be considered as some combination of real and fake.

October 29, 2015

And Then We Pick: On Ed Caesar’s ‘Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon’ 0


Seconds don’t come cheap in elite racing, and the two-hour marathon, at least when Caesar was writing his book, was still 218 seconds away.

October 9, 2015

Requiem for a Sports Column: On Mike Lupica and the Daily News 3


Lupica not only made me want to become a writer; he made me want to be a persuasive and convincing one. He taught me the value of having a viewpoint and seeing it through.

April 6, 2015

Stodgy, Slow, Sacred: Fathers and Sons and Baseball 1


This is why baseball matters so much to me. In an era of relentless change, here is one thing that has remained constant without losing its capacity to dazzle. Here is one thing a dad and an eight-year-old can talk about without either one having to pretend to be interested.

March 27, 2015

Scorebooks and Commonplace Books 0


Though the scorebook does occasionally record the spectacular, for the most part its method is antithetical to the commonplace book. One chronicles the monotonous; the other collects the exceptional.

January 12, 2015

Why Big-Time College Football Sucks 25


America has been “reduced to grateful infantilism by the game of football.”

November 14, 2014

To Hell with All that Guilty Love: On Steve Almond’s ‘Against Football’ 7


Wrapping up issues of corporate welfare, media sycophancy, sanctioned brutality, and beating them with an angry stick, Almond’s screed is less an assault on football than the organization that aids and abets its worst behavior.

September 16, 2014

Dan Epstein on the Hairy Goofy Polyester Glory of 1970s Baseball 0


In Epstein I discovered a smart writer who actually reveled in the cheesiness of the 1970s. And he did it without the killing smirk of irony.

July 10, 2014

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


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