Synopses & Reviews
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.
Critically acclaimed author and journalist David Maraniss edits this collection of the best sports writing from the past year. Not just for readers of the sports page, this year's selections embrace the world of sports in all its drama, humanity, and excitement. Contributors include Michael Lewis, Ian Frazier, Bill Buford, Daniel Coyle, Mimi Swartz, Jeff MacGregor, Chris Ballard, and Steve Friedman.
The Best American Sports Writing gathers the very best from sports journalists from the past year.
“Excellent . . . A no-brainer pickup for the sports collection.” — Booklist
“An affirmation of the strong state of American sportswriting.” — Kirkus Reviews
From more than 350 national, regional, and specialty publications and, increasingly, the top sports blogs, Christopher McDougall, best-selling author of Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, hand-selected the very best sports journalism of the past year.
About the Author
'Glenn Stout has been the series editor of The Best American Sports Writing since its inception and has written three illustrated biographies with Richard A. Johnson: Ted Williams: A Portrait in Words and Pictures, Joe DiMaggio: An Illustrated Life, and Jackie Robinson: Between the Baselines. He is a columnist for Boston Baseball, and the acclaimed author of Red Sox Century, Yankees Century, and The Dodgers. His work has appeared in many regional and national magazines and newspapers.'
Table of Contents
Foreword xi Introduction by David Maraniss xvii
Larry Brown. The White Coon 1 from Field & Stream
Derek Zumsteg. Bugs Bunny, Greatest Banned Player Ever 7 from USS Mariner.com
Oscar Casares. Ready for Some Fútbol? 22 from Texas Monthly
Chris Ballard. The Game of the Year 28 from Sports Illustrated
Dave Hyde. Filling in the Pieces of Jake Scott 42 from The South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Wright Thompson. Fading Away 54 from ESPN.com
John Klima. Deal of the Century 63 from The (Torrance, California) Daily Breeze
William C. Rhoden. An Unknown Filly Dies, and the Crowd Just Shrugs 81 from The New York Times
Jeff MacGregor. Let Us Now Raze Famous Men 84 from Sports Illustrated
Sally Jenkins. Only Medal for Bode Is Fools Gold 104 from The Washington Post
Daniel Coyle. That Which Does Not Kill Me Makes Me Stranger 107 from The New York Times Play Magazine
Mimi Swartz. Polite When in Neutral 120 from The New York Times Play Magazine
Ian Frazier. Snook 131 from The New Yorker
William Finnegan. Blank Monday 144 from The New Yorker Michael Lewis. What Keeps Bill Parcells Awake at Night 159 from The New York Times Play Magazine
Robert Huber. The Madness of John Chaney 181 from Philadelphia Magazine
Michael Wilbon. The Real Deal in So Many Ways 192 from The Washington Post
Bob Hohler. $neaker War 196 from The Boston Globe
Sara Corbett. Baseball for Life 225 from The New York Times Play Magazine
Eli Saslow. A New Game Plan 240 from The Washington Post Magazine
Eric Neel. The Saturday Game 261 from ESPN.com
Bryan Smith. Playing 4 Keeps 282 from Chicago Magazine
L. Jon Wertheim. The Ultimate Assist 293 from SI.com
Bruce Wallace. In Iraq, Soccer Field Is No Longer a Refuge 304 from The Los Angeles Times
Steve Friedman. A Moment of Silence 309 from Runners World
John Brant. Team Hoyt Starts Again 322 from Runners World
Paul Cullum. The Big Show by Little People 337 from The Los Angeles Times Magazine
Bill Buford. Talking Turkey 346 from The New Yorker
Contributors Notes 359 Notable Sports Writing of 2006 365