Monthly Archives: January 2013

More Lance Armstrong media schadenfreude to come

TweetI’ve never been all that conflicted about doping in sports.
This probably makes me an amoral, if not evil, American to some.
As I have watched Tour de France cyclists pedal high into the Alps over the years, I have thought to myself more than once: “If they’re not taking something, they’re crazy.”
Before there were anabolic steroids, [...]

Sports as the antidote to mere entertainment

TweetWere this weekend’s NFL divisional playoff games entertaining, in the most generic sense of the word?
Absolutely, whether or not you had a particular rooting interest. The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay writes that it’s hard to beat the NFL’s entertainment value, despite that many problems plaguing the league and the sport and that will continue [...]

Saturday Sports Reader: Discovering the Atlanta Falcons

TweetAll of this national media attention being foisted on my hometown team, after a regular season of obsessing over the Giants, Jets, Redskins, Cowboys, 49ers, Eagles and Packers — and more or less in that order — is making me very, very nervous.
The Atlanta Falcons have home field advantage in the NFC playoffs, which is [...]

The sports magazine art of Richard Ben Cramer

TweetThe writer known best for his mountainous study of the 1988 presidential race, “What It Takes,” was remembered just as much this week for his equally memorable magazine work.
Richard Ben Cramer, a Pulitzer Prize winner who was 62 when he died Monday from lung cancer, was especially hailed by fellow authors and journalists for his [...]

Sports history files: Baseball’s dwindling Romantics

TweetThe burden of history falls upon baseball like perhaps no other sport in North America. The idealism, desire for moral purity and poetic meanderings of some of the game’s most zealous gatekeepers (most of them self-identified, rather than actual) has hardly diminished after more than a century.
This absolutism has at times been a disservice to [...]

Midweek books: Change agents, loners and menschen

TweetOn Wednesday I highlight a few noteworthy new sports books, with links to reviews, interviews and other information about the subject and/or author.
• The story of Mississippi State’s 1963 NCAA tournament game against Loyola of Chicago is a very familiar one, and not just to college basketball fans. Kyle Veazey, a sports reporter for the [...]

The rare art of running from the sports media herd

TweetI know of only a small handful of people who are so innately independent-minded, so stubbornly (in a good way) committed to the clarity of vision for their work that no institution can contain them.
One of those people is my father, now a retired home builder who left the world of working for cookie-cutter contracting [...]

The rogue origins of college football’s television odyssey

TweetTo discover one of the first institutions of higher learning to strike an entrepreneurial path in the burgeoning post-World War II business of college football, you must travel to an unlikely destination.
It is a place not to be found in the sleepy villages of the Deep South, or on the hearty land-grant behemoths of the [...]

Smart stuff about the sports boob tube

TweetWill Leitch continues his refreshing break from the predictable sports media rip-snorting with his Sports on Earth columns; in his latest, he assesses the relatively new NBC Sports Network with this gem:
I’ve generally progressed to the point in my sports viewing life that I almost exclusively watch sports channels for actual sports, rather than [...]

The egregious Meestah Bladdah, answered

TweetBrian Phillips properly takes the Headmaster of FIFA to the woodshed for his ill-informed remarks about American soccer:
So, OK. What bugged MLS fans about this was pretty much what bugs everybody Blatter decides to distraction-troll; at 76, the dude simply plays with an impossibly well-crafted blend of cluelessness and malice. He’s the Johnnie Walker Blue [...]