Author Archives: Wendy Parker

Midweek books: Soul-searching and college football, con’t

TweetOn Wednesday I highlight noteworthy new sports books, with links to reviews, interviews and other information about the subject and/or author.
A new season of college football typically brings a wave of new books about what’s wrong with the game, and what might be done about it.
This season is no different, and already a few [...]

Sports History Files: College football’s eternal seduction

TweetIn his informative, well-researched history of college football on television that was published nearly a decade ago, Alabama sportswriter Keith Dunnavant entitled his book “The 50 Year Seduction.”
The uneasy alliance between television networks and college football powerhouse schools began more or less around 1950, until the NCAA, fearing money losses at the gate, supressed greater [...]

Weekend arts and culture: Baseball cards at the Met

TweetThis isn’t just another baseball card collection, but rather the second-largest collection in the world that’s been on display since early July at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“Legends of the Dead Ball Era,” continuing through Dec. 1, includes 600 of collector Jefferson Burdick’s 30,000 baseball cards — dating from 1900-1919 — that he donated to [...]

Midweek books: Rich boys, poor boys and their boats

TweetOn Wednesday I highlight noteworthy new sports books, with links to reviews, interviews and other information about the subject and/or author.
When the first words one reads about a new book are that it’s “the kind of nonfiction book that reads like a novel,” I hold my breath and prepare my skeptic’s brain.
It’s an easy copy-and-paste [...]

Sports History Files: The backroads of Jim Crow sports

TweetThe 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, coming up next Wednesday, hasn’t been lost on sports historians and those who recall and preserve the legacy of segregated sports in America.
Jackie Robinson had integrated Major League Baseball only 16 years before Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the Washington [...]

Weekend arts and culture: A life in sports letters

TweetA sportswriter with a gargantuan influence on his profession was momentously honored this week, but the chances are you haven’t heard a thing about it.
But you probably have heard about a sportswriter with a gargantuan ego and penchant for self-aggrandizement who is returning to a former employer he has been publicly trashing for years.
While Frank [...]

Midweek books: Quantifying the beautiful game

TweetOn Wednesday I highlight noteworthy new sports books, with links to reviews, interviews and other information about the subject and/or author.
With the English Premier League starting this weekend and a fat new American television contract switching over to NBC, spectator soccer has never been in stronger shape on these shores.
The rise of that phenomenon is [...]

Sports History Files: A new twist to Germany’s doping past

TweetIt’s not known at this point whether alleged state-sponsored doping of West German athletes dating back to the 1950s was as systematic and devastating as what was practiced in East Germany.
But a bombshell report published in the Süddeutsche Zeitung last weekend about research conducted by Germany’s federal insitute of sports science (BISp) figures to have [...]

Weekend arts and culture: In praise of slowness in sports

TweetNFL training camps are open and major domestic European soccer leagues are set to begin (including the German Bundesliga today), which ought to placate those who have been grousing over a “slow” period in spectator sports.
For those of us who don’t mind the low gear of summer, with the baseball pennant races soon to take [...]

Midweek books: The science of sports feats

TweetOn Wednesday I highlight noteworthy new sports books, with links to reviews, interviews and other information about the subject and/or author.
David Epstein’s “The Sports Gene” has generated a lot of attention well before its publication, and if the early reviews are any indication, it will be talked-about for quite a while.
The Sports Illustrated senior [...]