Author Archives: Wendy Parker

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. — [...]

The modest birth of a sporting spectacle

TweetThis NFL Films clip of Super Bowl I gives you an indication how far ahead of their times the likes of Pete Rozelle and Lamar Hunt truly were. The celebrity sightings and entertainment pizzazz were there from the start. We’ve gone from birds flying overhead in 1967 to fighter jets, pop culture halftime shows and [...]

Sports History Files: Baseball’s hidebound gatekeepers

TweetThis time a year ago I wrote about baseball’s dwindling Romantics — those who have Hall of Fame votes but want to deny any player they suspect of steroids use from a having a plaque in Cooperstown — and thought the matter couldn’t get any more bizarre.
But that was last year. The addition next summer [...]

New January sports books: Wooden, Beckham and athletes’ minds

TweetA good variety of newly published sports books will be out this month, and here’s a quick look at some of the leading titles.
• John Wooden: A Coach’s Life, by Seth Davis — Davis, of Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports, went in-depth with a 608-page full-scale biography of the late UCLA basketball legend that’s broken [...]

Backtracking 2013: The best of Sports History Files

TweetOn Monday, I wrote about the marvelous longform sportswriting that continues to proliferate on the Web, despite some crabbiness to the contrary.
Today I’m linking to posts I wrote in the past year about sports history, one of the foundations of this blog and something that will become a stronger focus here in the coming [...]

Backtracking 2013: Longform sports hits its stride

Tweet‘Tis the season for year-end “Listicles,” “Bests Of,” etc., that try to come off as more authoritative than they really are. If you read enough of these pieces, you’ll find that there’s a certain “must read” herd mentality to them.
This week I’m referencing a few of my favorite links from the past year in [...]

‘Time is short, don’t waste it:’ A tribute to Dr. Z

TweetI haven’t been enamored with the rebranding of NFL Films to suit the here-and-now programming needs of the NFL Network.
But “A Football Life” has been a refreshing NFL Films-produced series profiling leading coaches and players, some with a more recent historical perspective.
And just recently, NFL Films has gone back in time with a wonderful short film [...]

The rise of literary sportswriting, on two shores

TweetI love this piece from Simon Kuper about the rise of contemporary sporting literature in Britain, written last month as the 25th William Hill Sports Book of the Year winner was to be named.
Kuper’s a former winner of the award. His “Football Against the Enemy,” published in 1994, was essential reading for this American grasping [...]