Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Sunday Sports Book Review: New in pro football

TweetThe National Football League we know today took dramatic steps in its current direction in the 1970s, when lucrative television contracts finally elbowed aside the dominance of Major League Baseball and as American corporate life moved into an age of high finance, filling its ranks with a Baby Boom generation of mobile and ambitious strivers. […]

The Saturday Sports Reader: Convicting Lance Armstrong

TweetMy previously expressed views (here and here) on the “investigation” of Lance Armstrong by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency haven’t changed with this week’s release of its “Reasoned Decision,” a lengthy accumulation of its case against him. Neither has the seemingly consensus view that the disgraced seven-time Tour de France champion (for now) is pure evil, […]

Alex Karras, RIP: The passing of a true gladiator

TweetThe death of Alex Karras on Wednesday, just weeks after that of NFL Films impresario Steve Sabol, has those nostalgiac for the days of pro football’s past reflecting even more deeply on the state of the game as it is now.‘s Jeff MacGregor continues his exploration of the nature of football while remembering the […]

The pastime and memory, from a distant shore

Tweet“Despite the perennial warnings of baseball Cassandras, time has yet to pass baseball by. What remains to be seen is not whether the game will survive, but how Americans in a rapidly changing world will again reinterpret and reinvent their national pastime.” The conclusion to Jules Tygiel’s elegant meditation, “Past Time: Baseball as History,” isn’t […]

You win the Triple Crown, you get a song

TweetI have no idea if Miguel Cabrera’s recent capturing of the Triple Crown will yield a musical tribute. But it’s safe to presume that the Detroit Tigers’ star won’t get anything like what Carl Yastrzemski, the last man to lead his league in homers, runs batted in and batting average, inspired with his 1967 feat. […]

The far-too-distant past of the national pastime

TweetI was really enjoying reading this recent post on A.V. Club about the “geekery” of baseball and literature, which — ahem — had been touching all the right bases in mentioning “The Natural,” “The Great American Novel” and “The Art of Fielding,” among others, as must reads. Then Kevin McFarland stumbled badly and missed home […]

Where sports, art and American history intersect

TweetThe eminent sports historian Allen Guttmann never runs out of material and intellectual energy to conduct his learned and humane explorations of games and what continues to draw us to them. I first learned of him some 20 years ago when I was beginning to explore topics in women’s sports. His “Women’s Sports: A History,” […]

The Sunday Sports Book Review: Fall baseball

TweetA bodacious band of ballplayers took “Bushville” by storm in the late 1950s, when America was on the move and Milwaukee’s Braves turned a town and a healthy slice of the upper Midwest into an unlikely epicenter for baseball fanaticism. Before Green Bay became TitleTown, the beer-guzzling, bratwurst-gulping Wisconsiners (including quite a few relatives on […]

The Saturday Sports Reader: New hope in old D.C.

TweetThe Major League Baseball playoffs lead off this weekend’s list of stellar sports reads from around the Web, starting with Nathan Fenno’s marvelous piece in The Washington Times about the last time Washington played host to a post-season game. The year was 1933, still early in the Depression and late in the era of Prohibition. […]

Where political footballs are out of bounds

TweetOn the fantastic Bookforum Omnivore blog I found this argument by essayist and author Pamela Haag about why Americans should pay more attention to sports than to presidential politics. Sports, she claims, better reflect the values we used to believe we could find in campaigns: “Sports earn our attention and devotion, while this presidential election […]