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The Best American Sports Writing (Best American Sports Writing)by Jane Leavy
Synopses & Reviews
Bears, Bulls, Cubs, Sox, Blackhawks—there’s no city like Chicago when it comes to sports. Generation after generation, Chicagoans pass down their almost religious allegiances to teams, stadiums, and players and their never-say-die attitude, along with the stories of the city’s best (and worst) sports moments. And every one of those moments—every come-from-behind victory or crushing defeat—has been chronicled by Chicago’s unparalleled sportswriters.
In From Black Sox to Three-Peats, veteran Chicago sports columnist Ron Rapoportassembles one hundred of the best columns and articles from the Tribune, Sun-Times, Daily News, Defender, and other papers to tell the unforgettable story of a century of Chicago sports. From Ring Lardner to Rick Telander, Westbrook Pegler to Bob Verdi, Mike Royko to Hugh Fullerton , Melissa Isaacson to Brent Musburger, and on and on, this collection reminds us that Chicago sports fans have enjoyed a wealth of talent not just on the field, but in the press box as well. Through their stories we relive the betrayal of the Black Sox, the cocksure power of the ’85 Bears, the assassin’s efficiency of Jordan’s Bulls, the Blackhawks’ stunning reclamation of the Stanley Cup, the Cubs’ century of futility—all as seen in the moment, described and interpreted on the spot by some of the most talented columnists ever to grace a sports page.
Sports are the most ephemeral of news events: once you know the outcome, the drama is gone. But every once in a while, there are those games, those teams, those players that make it into something more—and great writers can transform those fleeting moments into lasting stories that become part of the very identity of a city. From Black Sox to Three-Peats is Chicago history at its most exciting and celebratory. No sports fan should be without it.
"'Sports journalism is in the middle of an identity crisis,' writes Leavy (The Last Boy) in the 21st edition of this leading sports anthology. That explains the diverse range of material here, which includes stories about a Canadian hockey school that teaches young players how to fight, the evolution of the Madden NFL video game, as well as reporting about USA Swimming's sex scandal, and a posthumous profile of transgendered Los Angeles Times sports reporter Mike Penner/Christine Daniels. These 29 selections represent the changing face of sports journalism in an era when the Internet instantly delivers scores and highlights, and requires writers to dig deeper for relevant stories. 'Long-form sports stories are flourishing in new soil,' according to Leavy, who has chosen lengthy pieces from the ESPN and Deadspin web sites. Some stories are only peripherally related to sports, such as Sterry Butcher's 'Gentling Cheatgrass' about the art of taming a mustang, Wright Thompson's masterful intertwining of Franklin Lobos's dual life as an aging Chilean soccer star and one of 33 trapped miners in 'Above and Beyond,' and 'Fetch Daddy a Drink,' P.J. O'Rourke's ode to hunting dogs. Despite some duds, sports writing is alive and well. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Best American series has been the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction since 1915. Each volume's series editor selects notable works from hundreds of periodicals. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the very best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected--and most popular--of its kind.
The Best American Sports Writing 2005 includes
Michael Lewis Gary Smith Steve Coll Tom Verducci Ira Berkow Bill Plaschke Linda Robertson Michael Bamberger L. Jon Wertheim Thomas McGuane John Brant Pat Jordan David DiBenedetto and others
Mike Lupica, guest editor, has been a columnist for the New York Daily News since 1977 and is the best-selling author of numerous books, including, most recently, Travel Team, a number one New York Times bestseller.
For fans of sports and just plain great writing, this collection of twenty-seven of the finest pieces from the past year features "outstanding sports reporting on a wealth of different topics" (Booklist). Guest editor Michael Lewis, the best-selling author of Moneyball and Coach, has assembled a compelling look at the sports stories and issues that dominated 2005.
Pamela Colloff reports from the politically and sexually charged world of competitive cheerleading in Texas. Paul Solotaroff meets the star of the University of Georgia wrestling team, a nineteen-year-old world-record weightlifter who was born with no arms or legs. Ben Paynter travels the gay rodeo circuit. Pat Jordan profiles the world's greatest poker player, a boyish thirty-year-old whose mom still packs him a brown bag lunch. Jeff Duncan travels to Florida, where a New Orleans high school and its football program are picking up the pieces in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. We also discover Linda Robertson reporting on the supersizing of NFL players. S. L. Price profiles the most famous U.S. Paraolympian. Katy Vine introduces a girl who can dunk — in eighth grade — and more.
The pieces in this outstanding volume show the true reach and impact of sports, its importance often extending far beyond the playing field. As Lewis writes in his introduction, "What's reassuring about great sports writing is what's reassuring about great sports performances: facing opposition, and often against the odds, someone, at last, did something right."
In this exciting new collection, William Nack, veteran sportswriter and author of the classic Secretariat, honors the years finest sports journalism and thus upholds the tradition that began seventeen years ago, with David Halberstam at the helm. In these pages, you will find the most provocative, compelling, tragic, and triumphant moments in sports from 2007, captured by the knights of the keyboard who make sports come alive for us day after day, week after week, year after year.
Here youll find Paul Solotaroffs excellent and uncompromising take on the neglect that a growing number of crippled NFL players continually face from the NFL players union. Jeanne Marie Laskass G-L-O-R-Y!” offers a rousing inside look at the pregame rituals of the Cincinnati Bengals cheerleaders. A riveting online diary by Wright Thompson reveals a bleak and merciless landscape in China, which that countrys government would rather not have the world see during preparations for the Olympics.
Nack finds a place for the fascinating offbeat story as well as the sensational. Alongside Eli Saslows captivating article about an obscure seventeenth-century sport, similar to a giant rugby scrum, carried out in the streets of Kirkwall, Scotland, stands Franz Lidzs scoop of the year,” a controversial and rare look into the life of George Steinbrenner, baseballs largest but recently most enigmatic figure.
This years collection marks another wonderful addition to one of the most consistently satisfying titles in the Best American series” (Booklist).
Contributors include Scott Price, Rick Bragg, Gary Smith, J.R. Moehringer, and others.
A collection of the year's best sportswriting
Peter Gammons selects the year's best in sports writing.
For fans of sports and just plain great writing, this absorbing collection, featuring twenty-eight of the finest pieces from the past year, has something for everyone. Guest editor David Maraniss, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, has assembled a fresh crop of the people and stories that dominated the sports world in 2006.
Michael Lewis gives a behind-the-scenes look at the legendary football coach Bill Parcells. Bob Hohler delves in the murky waters of modern amateur basketball, where teams blatantly dole out cash to players and shoe companies set their sights on prospects as young as twelve. William Rhoden traces the fate of an unknown filly injured on the racetrack. Jeff MacGregor describes the unforgettable Friars Club roast of boxing's provocative promoter Don King. Daniel Coyle follows a forty-year-old Slovene soldier who might be the worlds best ultra-endurance athlete. L. Jon Wertheim tells of a young pro-basketball player who found himself wrestling the shoe bomber Richard Reid to the ground during a transatlantic flight. And Derek Zumsteg provides a hilarious and utterly original in-depth account of the baseball career of Bugs Bunny, the greatest banned player ever.”
These pieces and many more go beyond the spotlight, revealing the people and issues that make sports so relevant and important to all of us.
THE BEST AMERICAN SPORTS WRITING brings together the finest writing on sports to appear in the past year.
The Best American Sports Writing gathers the very best from sports journalists from the past year.
J. R. Moehringer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning feature writer and the author of The Tender Bar, has selected the best in sports writing from the past year. Chosen from more than 350 national, regional, and specialty publications and, increasingly, the top sports blogs, this collection showcases those journalists who are at the top of their game.
The Best American Series(R)
First, Best, and Best-Selling
The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume's series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected--and most popular--of its kind.
The Best American Sports Writing 2011 includes
Paul Solotaroff, Sally Jenkins, Wells Tower, John McPhee, David Dobbs, Wright Thompson, P. J. O'Rourke, Selena Roberts, and others
About the Author
GLENN STOUT is the author ofYoung Woman and the Sea,Red Sox Century, Yankees Century, The Dodgers,andThe Cubs.He has been the editor of The Best American Sports Writing since its inception.
Table of Contents
Foreword xi Introduction by Mike Lupica xvii
Gary Smith. Running for Their Lives 1 from Sports Illustrated
Bill Plaschke. Phat Chants 20 from The Los Angeles Times
Mark Zeigler. Fatal Errors 26 from The San Diego Union-Tribune
Michael Lewis. The Eli Experiment 41 from The New York Times Magazine
Mark Fainaru-Wada. Dreams, Steroids, Death — A Ballplayers Downfall 62 from The San Francisco Chronicle
Pam Belluck. How to Catch Fish in Vermont 74 from The New York Times
Thomas McGuane. Seeing Snook 78 from Sports Illustrated
Ira Berkow. Making Contact 88 from Chicago Magazine
Sean Flynn. The Memorial 97 from Golf Magazine
David Shields. The Wound and the Bow 102 from The Believer
Richard Sandomir. Five-Second Delay Cant Mute Old Voice 116 from The New York Times
Pat Jordan. The Lion in Late, Late Autumn 119 from The New York Times Magazine
David Dibenedetto. The Biggest Fish Story Ever Told 129 from Mens Journal
Andrew Miller. Field of Broken Dreams 140 from The Pitch
John Brant. Duel in the Sun 152 from Runners World
Mark Kram, Jr. A Lethal Catch 169 from The Philadelphia Daily News
Linda Robertson. A Great Day for Arab Women” 178 from The Miami Herald Steve Coll. Barrage of Bullets Drowned Out Cries of Comrades 181 from The Washington Post
L. Jon Wertheim. Outside Looking In 199 from Sports Illustrated
Wright Thompson. A Man Who Made Good 214 from The Kansas City Star
Travis Haney. More Than Skin Deep 224 from The Anderson Independent-Mail
Michael Hall. The Duke of Dunbar 232 from Texas Monthly
Michael Bamberger. The Pride of Peabody 247 from Sports Illustrated
Chris Jones. The Man in the Ice 264 from Esquire
Kevin Van Valkenburg. Raynas Second Season 273 from The Baltimore Sun
Katy Vine. Alive and Kicking 305 from Texas Monthly
Michael Rosenberg. Why We Must Listen 313 from The Detroit Free Press
Tom Verducci. Sportsmen of the Year 326 from Sports Illustrated
Bill Reynolds. Spectacular — but Sad 343 from The Providence Journal
Biographical Notes 349 Notable Sports Writing of 2004 354 Contents ix
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