Author Archives: Wendy Parker

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 [...]

The selling — and mishandling — of Michael Sam

TweetThe feel-good story of Michael Sam lost some of its sheen last week when Oprah Winfrey announced the production of a “docu-series” on her OWN cable outlet that would chronicle the story of the openly gay St. Louis Rams draftee as he attempts to make a National Football League roster.
The carefully planned disclosure by the [...]

Kickstarting a global sports website launch

TweetNearly three years ago one of the rare independent additions to the growing online sports magazine set was launched via Kickstarter.
Now, some of the people and contributors behind The Classical are involved in another Kickstarter effort to begin a website that looks at global sports from a largely cultural perspective.
The site is called The Allrounder [...]

The imaginative life of Dr. Jack Ramsay

TweetThe tributes for Naismith Hall of Famer Jack Ramsay upon his death at the start of the week were moving and powerful, perhaps most of all by his son, Chris, who concluded by quoting his father:
“Use your imagination. Imagine the life you want to live, and live it.”
Dr. Jack — he really was a Ph.D. — [...]