Author Archives: Wendy Parker

Soccer’s American television and media evolution

Tweet(This is the second in a series of posts this week about the World Cup, which kicks off June 12 in Brazil. Monday’s post was about FIFA dealing with match-fixing and corruption allegations.)
Twenty years ago this summer, the lead announcers for ESPN’s coverage of the World Cup in the United States were Roger Twibell and [...]

The World Cup and FIFA’s discontents

Tweet(This is the first in a series of posts this week about the World Cup, which kicks off June 12 in Brazil.)
FIFA, the international soccer governing body, is no stranger to facing serious allegations of corruption over bids, match-fixing and disorganization related to the World Cup.
But with a week and a half before the 20th [...]

Coming this week: The run-up to the World Cup

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The World Cup is only 12 days away.
I’ll be taking a closer look at the books above during the coming week, as I publish a series of posts delving into the literature, art, music and culture surrounding the world’s largest sporting event.
Most of these posts will be focused on the culture of soccer and its [...]

Weekend arts: Mixed reviews for ‘Million Dollar Arm’

TweetAs a cinematically formed entity, the newly released “Million Dollar Arm” might be going the way of far too many sports-related movies.
Based on the true tale of a struggling sports agent searching for an Indian cricket star to crack American baseball, “Million Dollar Arm” has far too many milquetoast contrivances for Grant Bisbee of SB Nation. [...]

Sports History Files: A new blog for American games

TweetEarlier this month a group of academics (a number of them Ph.D. candidates) launched a blog devoted to American sports history that they’ve titled, appropriately enough, “Sport in American History.”
The blog also has a Twitter account and a Facebook page.
The posts thus far have included examinations of Donald Sterling, the college athletic unionization movement, gay [...]

Midweek Books: A different side of Michael Jordan

TweetOn Wednesday I highlight noteworthy new sports books, with links to reviews, interviews and other information about the subject and/or author.
Many more biographies of Michael Jordan are certain to be published, but Roland Lazenby’s new account of the Chicago Bulls and American sporting icon is already being placed in the “definitive” category.
“Michael Jordan: A Life,” [...]

The enigmatic legacy of Landon Donovan

TweetA few days before the United States played Germany in the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals, some of us in the American press corps got to spend extended time with Landon Donovan.
After his dazzling goal against Mexico in the second round, Donovan was becoming the prodigal face of American soccer

Friday arts: Plimpton film comes to PBS

TweetI haven’t checked to see when either of my local PBS affiliates are showing “Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton As Himself,” which debuted last week.
I’m in a market in Atlanta where “first run programming” on PBS doesn’t get aired right away.
So it’s great and convenient that the full film, part of the PBS “American Masters” series, can [...]

Sports History Files: Playing old-school hoops stats forward

TweetLast week Carl Bialik of FiveThirtyEight wrote about the legend of Dick Pfander, who started clipping NBA box scores in the late 1940s, and whose trove was obtained in 2012 by Basketball-Reference.com.
During his many years of doing this, Pfander, now 79, hooked up with Harvey Pollack, who was parsing numbers before there was an NBA [...]

Midweek Books: The history of NFL Films

TweetOn Wednesday I highlight noteworthy new sports books, with links to reviews, interviews and other information about the subject and/or author.
Earlier this week I wrote about a new website project begun by history professor Bruce Berglund, host of the excellent New Books in Sports podcast.
In his latest podcast, Berglund talks to University of Iowa [...]