Collected from a popular Washington Post column of the same name, Second Reading is an incisive and entertaining look at the career and times of an esteemed critic and the venerable books that shaped him. This delightful consideration reminds readers that thoughtful criticism and a lively sense of fun can exist side by side.
In this age of billion dollar athletic marketing campaigns, “feel good” philosophy with no connection to reality, and a Sports Media echo chamber that’s all too eager swallow whatever idiotic notion happens to be in vogue at the moment, it’s tough to find people who aren’t afraid to say what they’re really thinking.
But that’s where Colin Cowherd comes in. As his millions of fans on ESPN Radio and ESPNU already know, Colin is the rare sports analyst who’s brave (or crazy) enough to speak his mind—even if it pisses some people off. Of course, it helps that a lot of what Colin has to say is simply hilarious. Lots of writers can tell you about Boston’s storied sports history. But how many can tell you why the city of Boston is America’s five year old? Lots of writers will brag about the stuff they got right, but how many will happily list all the calls they got completely and utterly wrong? Whether he’s pointing out the stupidity of conspiracy theories, explaining why media bias isn’t nearly as big a deal as many assume, or calling out those who prize short term wins over sustainability, Colin is smart, thought-provoking, and laugh-out-loud funny. Some of the questions he’s not afraid to ask in You Herd Me! include:
Is Tiger Woods really a sex addict—or does he just have good PR?
Is “work-life balance” really the ideal we should all strive for—or is that just a way for people feel better about mediocrity?
Is talent really all it’s cracked up to be—or can too much talent actually be counterproductive?
Is the X games really a sport—or would we all be better off if we admitted it’s something else entirely?
Is Hell really a supernatural place of fire and brimstone—or is it actually just another word for living in Tampa?
Unapologetically entertaining and packed with behind-the-scenes insights you won’t get anywhere else, You Herd Me! is unlike any other sports book ever written.
One of the most outspoken and original voices in sports sounds off while revealing his incredible life story.
Jalen Rose has never been quiet. Not as a kid growing up in Detroit in the 70’s and 80’s. Not as the brash, trash-talking leader of the legendary “Fab Five” at the University of Michigan. Not as the player under the stewardship of Hall of Famers Larry Bird, Isiah Thomas and others throughout his 13-year NBA career. And certainly not as a commentator and analyst on ABC/ESPN and Grantland.
In Got to Give the People What They Want, no topic is off limits.
Honest, unfiltered, unbiased. Raw, refreshing, real. This colorful collection of stories and opinions about basketball and life gives people the kind of insight and understanding they don’t get anywhere else in the sports world.
This is the 20th anniversary of the explosive bestseller that changed the way the world viewed one of the greatest athletes in history, revealing for the first time Michael Jordan's relentless drive to win anything and everything, at any cost. NBA Hall of Fame columnist Sam Smith had unlimited access to the team and its players during their championship 1991-92 season, which he details in the new introduction, along with candid revelations about his sources, and the reaction from Michael, his teammates, the media, and the fans when the book blasted onto the bestseller lists in 1992 (where it stayed for three months). With more than a million copies in print, and just published for the first time in eBook format, The Jordan Rules remains the ultimate inside look at one of the most legendary teams in sports history.
Newly updated with fresh takes on LeBron, Kobe, the Celtics & more*
Bill Simmons, the wildly opinionated and thoroughly entertaining basketball addict known to millions as ESPN.com’s The Sports Guy, has written the definitive book on the past, present, and future of the NBA. From the age-old question of who actually won the rivalry between Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain to the one about which team was truly the best of all time, Simmons opens—and then closes, once and for all—every major pro basketball debate. Then he takes it further by completely reevaluating not only how NBA Hall of Fame inductees should be chosen but how the institution must be reshaped from the ground up, the result being the Pyramid: Simmons’s one-of-a-kind five-level shrine to the ninety-six greatest players in the history of pro basketball. And ultimately he takes fans to the heart of it all, as he uses a conversation with one NBA great to uncover that coveted thing: The Secret of Basketball.
Comprehensive, authoritative, controversial, hilarious, and impossible to put down (even for Celtic-haters), The Book of Basketball offers every hardwood fan a courtside seat beside the game’s finest, funniest, and fiercest chronicler.
*Including even more footnotes!
From the Trade Paperback edition.
There’s a lot you don’t see or hear sitting high up in the stands. But Colin Cowherd knows what really goes on—and he’s not afraid to share the vivid details of everything ESPN doesn’t show. From hotel parties for athletes and other industry professionals, to gossip from the road between games, to what happens behind closed doors, Cowherd—who has interviewed everyone from President Barack Obama to Kate Upton—draws on personal experiences to offer you an exclusive look into the rarefied, outrageous, ego-mad sports world.
With unparalleled candor and the signature, brazen voice his fans have come to know and love, Cowherd offers a unique vantage point of places and events otherwise curtained to the general sports audience, while weaving in his opinions on aspects of competition, tradition, and all things refereed. If you want honest, unvarnished opinions on current sports rivalries, scandals, and statistics, it’s all in Raw—from one of America’s most outspoken sports broadcasters on air today.
They were World Heavyweight Champions: Bob Backlund, Superstar Billy Graham, and Bruno Sammartino. They were fan favorites: “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, Chief Jay Strongbow, and Andre the Giant. They were the villains everyone loved to hate: Killer Kowalski, Ernie Ladd, and the Fabulous Moolah. They were ethnic heroes, someone just like you that you could cheer for: Ivan Putski, Pedro Morales, Peter Maivia. They were the stars that shined the brightest, and left an indelible mark on the memories of countless fans.
In a time when professional wrestling was divided into territories, no place created bigger Superstars than World Wrestling Entertainment. From the company's centerpiece in Madison Square Garden, legends were born.
WWE Legends is the every fan's guide to the legends of the ring. They are all in here, from Andre the Giant to George “the Animal” Steele, with quick stats and descriptions of their most famous matches. No true wrestling fan should be without this book.
Have you ever wondered where the weaknesses are in Tiger's game? Or what would happen if there were PGA Tour cheerleaders? Or how Old Tom Morris would play if he came back from the dead? In The Power of Positive Idiocy, readers will be treated to Feherty's answers to these questions, as well as his distinctive commentary on aging, Texas, the Irish, parenting, addiction, Charles Barkley, and, of course, every pro golfer and golfing situation you can imagine. Full of great laughs, ridiculous wisecracks, and some of the best advice for anyone new to the game of golf, Feherty’s remarkable collection is a must have for golfers of every stripe.
Editor John Branson—a longtime friend of Proenneke’s and a park historian—ensures that Proenneke’s journals from 1974–1980 are kept entirely intact. His colloquial writing is not changed or altered, but Branson’s footnotes make his world more approachable by providing a background for names and places that may have otherwise been unknown. Any reader with a love for conservation and true-life wilderness narratives will undoubtedly admire and relish Proenneke’s tales of living in the wild.
Who knows a golfer best? Who’s with them every minute of every round, hears their muttering, knows whether they cheat? Their caddies, of course. So sportswriter Rick Reilly figured that he could learn a lot about the players and their game by caddying, even though he had absolutely no idea how to do it. Amazingly, some of the best golfers in the world—including Jack Nicklaus, David Duval, Tom Lehman, John Daly, Jill McGill of the LPGA tour, and Casey Martin—agreed to let Reilly carry their bags at actual PGA and LPGA Tour events. To round out his portrait of the golfing life, Reilly also persuaded Deepak Chopra and Donald Trump to take him on as a caddy, accompanied the four highest-rolling golf hustlers in Las Vegas around the course, and carried the bag for a blind golfer.
Between his hilarious descriptions of his own ineptitude as a caddy and his insight into what makes the greats of golf so great, Reilly’s wicked wit and an expert’s eye provide readers with the next best thing to a great round of golf.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
For years, John Feinstein has met regularly with Red Auerbach and his friends, drawing out Red's life story in a raucous series of unforgettable sessions. From those smoke-and laughter-filled rooms come the colorful reports about all the players and coaches Red has worked with and played against over the years. Bob Cousy, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Sam Jones, Bill Russell, and Michael Jordan, you name them, the basketball greats are all here.
Red Auerbach's incredible experiences in sports and John Feinstein's unparalleled skill as a sports storyteller make this one of the greatest books to come out of the game of basketball.
The New York Times bestseller, now with a new introduction! The Breaks of the Game focuses on one grim season (1979-80) in the life of the Bill Walton-led Portland Trail Blazers, a team that only three years before had been NBA champions.
The tactile authenticity of Halberstam's knowledge of the basketball world is unrivaled. Yet he is writing here about far more than just basketball. This is a story about a place in our society where power, money, and talent collide and sometimes corrupt, a place where both national obsessions and naked greed are exposed. It's about the influence of big media, the fans and the hype they subsist on, the clash of ethics, the terrible physical demands of modern sports (from drugs to body size), the unreal salaries, the conflicts of race and class, and the consequences of sport converted into mass entertainment and athletes transformed into superstars--all presented in a way that puts the reader in the room and on the court, and The Breaks of the Game in a league of its own.
“One of the five best NBA books ever written.”
—Bill Simmons, ESPN
In the 1990-91 basketball season, the Boston Celtics were a team in transition, both on and off the court. Jack McCallum, also the author of the critically-acclaimed SEVEN SECONDS OR LESS, chronicled this crucial year from the back-room planning on draft day to Larry Bird’s unforgettable effort in the postseason.
With aging superstar Bird nearing the end of his career, the season was filled with glorious highs and devastating lows. McCallum gets up close and personal with the players and management from this storied franchise, showing the larger-than-life characters in a rarely-seen light. The day-to-day drama of Bird's aching back plays in concert with the drumbeat of banter from his frontcourt partner, Kevin McHale. The book reveals the deep bonds—and sometimes deeper rivalries—of the locker room, and also provides an inside look at a league that was entering its Golden Age.
The dream of playing big-time basketball never came true for Bruce Nelson, so he passed it on to his son Roberto. His every waking moment as a father was devoted to securing Roberto a Division I scholarship. Oftentimes he worried that his son’s lack of competitive fire might put that dream in jeopardy—when in fact it was Bruce’s own actions that would do so. When Bruce is forced to monitor Roberto’s progress from behind penitentiary walls, his influence recedes—and so too does Roberto’s commitment to the aspirations they once shared. In a story that combines deep insight into family relationships with the deft storytelling that distinguished his award-winning Play Their Hearts Out, George Dohrmann follows Roberto as he addresses his life’s most difficult decisions in the absence of his best friend and most constant companion. In doing so, Dohrmann sheds new light on the larger story of basketball dreams and the pressures they place on young athletes.
Includes an excerpt from George Dohrmann’s Play Their Hearts Out, winner of the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sportswriting and the Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Youth Sports.
Praise for Play Their Hearts Out
“Often heartbreaking, always riveting.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Tremendous.”—The Plain Dealer
“Indispensable.”—The Wall Street Journal
“A tour de force of reporting, filled with deft storytelling and vivid character studies.”—The Washington Post
“One of the finest sports books of all time.”—Harper’s Magazine
“Amazing stuff . . . the Friday Night Lights of youth basketball.”—Leigh Montville, author of The Big Bam
“A landmark achievement in basketball journalism.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST SPORTS BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE LOS ANGELES TIMES • THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR • KIRKUS REVIEWS
At seven-foot-five, four hundred and fifty pounds, André the Giant was a living, breathing legend—a behemoth taking on all comers. Billed as “the Eighth Wonder of the World,” he was the greatest attraction in sports entertainment and one of the most famous athletes in the world.
André the Giant: A Legendary Life is the story of how his enormous charisma and undeniable presence aided World Wrestling Federation's explosive rise to the forefront of popular culture. André's battles with such rivals as Ernie Ladd, Killer Khan, Big John Studd, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and Randy “Macho Man” Savage are certifiable classics, while his epic WrestleMania III match with Hulk Hogan—before 93,000—still holds the record for largest attendance.
Outside the ring, André Roussimoff was equally formidable—his voluminous appetite for life is the stuff of legends. Moreover, André was among the first wrestlers to cross over into pop superstardom with roles in such television series as The Six Million Dollar Man and films like The Princess Bride.
André's incredible tale is told through his most memorable matches, with reminiscences and recollections from the people closest to him. In addition to blow-by-blow analysis of his greatest in-ring triumphs, author Michael Krugman takes us behind the curtain to see how this amazing athlete struggled with his size and his stardom, as well as his fight with crippling pain caused by both his profession and the disease that made him who he was.
André the Giant: A Legendary Life is the true-life tall tale of one of the most influential and adored Superstars in sports entertainment history.
When a resurgent Phil Mickelson won the Tour Championship in September 2009, he was quick to credit a series of simple putting lessons from veteran golf champion and instructor Dave Stockton. As a top coach, Stockton has taught a long list of pro players-including Annika Sorenstam, Yani Tseng (winner of four LPGA tournaments), Adam Scott (Texas Open champion), Hunter Mahan (Phoenix Open champion), and Morgan Pressel (World Ladies Championship of Japan winner)-the putting strategies that finessed their game.
Stockton's breakthrough concept is that every player has their own Signature Stroke, which is unconscious. Good putting comes from the mind, Stockton says, not from a series of stiff mechanical positions. With visualization, the right frame of mind, an efficient pre-putt routine, and connection to the individual internal stroke signature, any player can make far more putts. Putting has always been taught as an offshoot to the full swing, when in reality it is far different- almost a different game. Unconscious Putting will help players get out of the rigid, mechanical, overthinking trap.
In Unconscious Putting, Stockton shows how players at every handicap level-from pros to weekend golfers-can putt effortlessly and with confidence by integrating a new mental approach with a few simple physical routines that will keep them locked on target. Readers will also gain invaluable advice on reading greens and equipment. Illustrated throughout and filled with anecdotes about how Stockton's lessons have helped today's leading players, Unconscious Putting is a must-have golf book and a category classic-in-the-making.
Though the sea change in American women's sports is evident in schools, the media, and local playing fields, scholars are still in the early stages of fully examining the causes and impacts of this historic change. Women and Sports in the United States brings together scholarly articles, journalism, political and legal documents, and first-person accounts that collectively explore women's sports in America, with emphasis on the post-Title IX era.
This book was published with the generous support of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University.
Heavey’s 2007 collection If You Didn’t Bring Jerky What Did I Just Eat?, co-published with Field & Stream, the leading American outdoors magazine, was a resounding success that went into multiple hardcover printings. This new book, again co-published with Field & Stream, collects more of Heavey’s top pieces from the magazine, as well as the best of his writing from the Washington Post and elsewhere. In this far-ranging read, Heavey’s adventures include nearly freezing to death in Eastern Alaska, hunting ants in the urban jungles of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, and reconnecting to cherished memories of his grandfather through an inherited gun collection.
With Heavey’s trademark witty candor, You're Not Lost if You Can Still See the Truck traces a life lived outdoors through the good, the bad, and the downright hilarious.
Here's a question for any Browns fan: Why?
Why, more than four long decades after your team’s last championship . . . despite a relentless pattern of heartbreak, teasing, and more heartbreak . . . capped with a decade of utter futility . . . do you still stick with the Cleveland Browns?
Veteran sportswriter Terry Pluto gets a daily barrage of email from fans letting their hearts bleed out orange and brown. So he decided to ask his readers: Just what is it about this team that makes you love them, hate them, and still keep coming back for more?
A thousand fans responded—in detail. Their stories—along with interviews with former players and Pluto’s own expert analysis—deliver the answer. Answers, actually. Because like any intense relationship, it’s a little complicated . . .
Covering the Browns from 1964 through present day, this book does for Cleveland football what Pluto’s classic about the Indians, The Curse of Rocky Colavito, did for Cleveland baseball: It won’t make the pain go away, but it might help you remember why it’s worth enduring.
Longtime Field & Stream contributor Bill Heavey has become the magazine’s most popular voice by writing for sportsmen with more enthusiasm than skill. In his first full-length book, Heavey chronicles his attempts to “eat wild,” seeing how much of his own food he can hunt, fish, grow, and forage.
But Heavey is not your typical hunter-gatherer. Living inside the D.C. Beltway, and a single dad to a twelve-year-old daughter with an aversion to “nature food,” he’s almost completely ignorant of gardening and foraging. Incensed at the squirrels destroying his tomatoes, he is driven to rodent murder—by arrow. Along the way, Heavey is guided by a number of unlikely teachers, from the eccentric Paula, who runs an under-the-table bait business, to Michelle, an attractive single mom unselfconsciously devoted to eating locally. To the delight of his readers and the embarrassment of his daughter, he suffers blood loss, humiliation, and learns, as he puts it, that “‘edible’ is not to be confused with ‘tasty.’”
After the phenomenal success of Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby tried to avoid writing about soccer, for fear that he'd be writing about it forever. But occasionally over the years he’s found it impossible to turn down a particularly enticing assignment or, in the case of the 2012-13 Premier League, just unable to resist writing about that most spectacular of seasons.
Fortunately for those who love great writing about soccer, all these fugitive pieces are collected in Fan Mail. You can follow the fortunes, as Hornby did, of a hopelessly out-of-their-depth Cambridge United in the old Second Division, discover why Perry Groves was an unlikely hero among Arsenal fans, enjoy Hornby trying to explain the World Cup to Americans, and share with him the pain of watching his national team.
He has no compunction telling readers, in his singular quick-witted style, how he really feels about some of the most popular sports figures of our time. Wondering about quarterback Jay Cutler? “Cutler is the kind of guy you just want to pick up and throw into a swimming pool, which is exactly what Peyton Manning and two linemen did one year at the Pro Bowl.” Or how about Tiger Woods? “Sometimes you wonder where Tiger Woods gets his public-relations advice. Gary Busey?” But for every brazen takedown, Reilly has written a heartwarming story of the power of sports to heal the wounded and lift the downtrodden: the young Ravens fan with cancer who called the plays for a few—victorious—games in 2012, or the onetime top NFL recruit who was finally exonerated after serving five years for a crime he didn’t commit.
With a new introduction and updates from Reilly on his most talked-about columns, as well as his expert opinion on athlete tattoos, NFL cheerleaders, and running with the bulls in Pamplona, Tiger, Meet My Sister showcases an unparalleled sportswriter at the top of his game.
Insightful, incendiary, outrageously brilliant, such was the man who galvanized American journalism with his radical ideas and gonzo tactics. For over half a century, Hunter S. Thompson devastated his readers with his acerbic wit and uncanny grasp of politics and history. His reign as "The Unabomber of contemporary letters" (Time) is more legendary than ever with Hey Rube. Fear, greed, and action abound in this hilarious, thought-provoking compilation as Thompson doles out searing indictments and uproarious rants while providing commentary on politics, sex, and sports—at times all in the same column.
With an enlightening foreword by ESPN executive editor John Walsh, critics' favorites, and never-before-published columns, Hey Rube follows Thompson through the beginning of the new century, revealing his queasiness over the 2000 election ("rigged and fixed from the start"); his take on professional sports (to improve Major League Baseball "eliminate the pitcher"); and his myriad controversial opinions and brutally honest observations on issues plaguing America―including the Bush administration and the inequities within the American judicial system.
Hey Rube gives us a lasting look at the gonzo journalist in his most organic form―unbridled, astute, and irreverent.
“The Web of the Game” by Roger Angell
“Ahab and Nemesis” by A. J . Liebling
“Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu” by John Updike
“The Only Games in Town” by Anthony Lane
“Race Track” by Bill Barich
“A Sense of Where You Are” by John McPhee
“El Único Matador” by Lillian Ross
“Net Worth” by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
“The Long Ride” by Michael Specter
“Born Slippy” by John Seabrook
“The Chosen One” by David Owen
“Legend of a Sport” by Alva Johnston
“A Man-Child in Lotusland” by Rebecca Mead
“Dangerous Game” by Nick Paumgarten
“The Running Novelist” by Haruki Murakami
“Back to the Basement” by Nancy Franklin
“Playing Doc’s Games” by William Finnegan
“Last of the Metrozoids” by Adam Gopnik
“The Sandy Frazier Dream Team” by Ian Frazier
“Br’er Rabbit Ball” by Ring Lardner
“The Greens of Ireland” by Herbert Warren Wind
“Tennis Personalities” by Martin Amis
“Project Knuckleball” by Ben McGrath
“Game Plan” by Don DeLillo
“The Art of Failure” by Malcolm Gladwell
“Swimming with Sharks” by Charles Sprawson
“The National Pastime” by John Cheever
“SNO” by Calvin Trillin
“Musher” by Susan Orlean
“Home and Away” by Peter Hessler
“No Obstacles” by Alec Wikinson
“A Stud’s Life” by Kevin Conley
Overflowing with his trademark outdoorsman's wit, Patrick F. McManus's newest collection ponders the strange allure of the RV, the existential implications of being lost, the baffling tendency of animals to outsmart those who wish to hunt them, and the singular pleasure of doubling the size of every fish one doesn't actually catch.
Combining the curmudgeonly voice of Dave Barry and the sly humor of Garrison Keillor, McManus brilliantly captures the everyday absurdities that comprise our existence. Alongside his humor, McManus's inimitable vision consistently evokes a childlike wonder at the natural world. Even if we are running low on food, the compass is broken, and we are fairly certain we have just spotted a family of Sasquatches frolicking in the treetops, The Bear in the Attic makes the outdoors seem irresistible.
Gary Smith’s sportswriting stands among the best journalism being written today. His award-winning stories shatter the confines of traditional sports reportage, getting beneath the wins and losses and penetrating into the hearts of the athletes themselves—into their lives and personal struggles, their communities and their worlds.
Beyond the Game brings together fifteen of Smith’s greatest stories, from groundbreaking profiles of international stars like Mike Tyson and Magic Johnson, to intimate looks at lesser-known athletes whose lives are driven by the thrill of competition and the love of a game. There is “Damned Yankee,” the heartbreaking story of John Malangone, who seemed destined to succeed Yogi Berra as the Yankees’ starting catcher—until his career was destroyed by the crushing weight of a childhood trauma that continued to haunt him. “Someone to Lean On” is the inspirational story of an extraordinary retarded man named Radio and the South Carolina high school football team that has adopted him for over thirty years. “Shadow of a Nation” tells of a Crow Indian community’s intense passion for basketball—and how former high school star Jonathan Takes Enemy must struggle to escape the tragic history of his tribe as he seeks a place in the world outside the reservation.
The stories in Beyond the Game are stories of dreams and fears, failure and triumph, self-destruction and salvation, set in the twilight shadows between the sun-drenched playing fields and brightly lit arenas at the heart of sports and the darkness of the locker rooms and lonely streets that lurk at their periphery. Each of Gary Smith’s moving stories will profoundly touch you and remain with you, long after you have closed the pages of this book.
“A Place on the Water is a collection of lyrical, haunting essays, set in northern Michigan. Many are about fishing, but that does not necessarily mean they are to be enjoyed strictly by anglers. Hemingway’s Big Two-Hearted River was about fishing, too, but can be read for pleasure if you have never wet a line…Dennis covers a lot of ground, then; but there is throughout the book a kind of constant tone, as sharp and precise as the scent of cedar. And it stays with the reader long after he has put down the book.” —Geoffrey Norman, author of American Way
“Eloquent essays about the author’s adventures exploring his love of land, water and nature in his beloved Michigan…Enjoyable reading with beautiful, evocative illustrations.” —Sports Afield
"Jerry Dennis is one of a handful of superb writer who love angling deeply and write memoirs full of warmth, eloquence, and wit. A Place on the Water is a book of many robust—and fragile—miracles." —Nick Lyons, author of Spring Creek
Twenty-five years after he played for the Rangers, Atkinson returns to his high school team as a volunteer assistant. Ice Time tells the team's story as he follows the temperamental star, the fiery but troubled winger, the lovesick goalie, the rookie whose father is battling cancer, and the "old school" coach as the Rangers make a desperate charge into the state tournament. In emotionally vivid detail, Ice Time travels into the rinks, schools, and living rooms of small-town America, where friendships are forged, the rewards of loyalty and perseverance are earned, and boys and girls are transformed into young men and women. Along the way, we also meet his five-year-old son, Liam, who is just now learning the game his father loves.
Whether describing kids playing a moonlit game on a frozen swamp or the crucible of team tryouts and predawn bus rides that he endured himself, Atkinson carves out the drama of adolescence with precision and affection. He takes us onto the ice and into the heart of a town and a team as he explores the profound connection between fathers and sons, and what it means to go home again.
From the Hardcover edition.
Pat Williams has drawn on his basketball industry connections to compile great stories from on and off the court. Fans will be inspired, surprised, and even amused, by inside stories from well-known coaches and players, fascinating looks behind the scenes, and anecdotes from the people who make it all possible – the fans. Pat will work his magic on marketing this book, as well, with signings at the NBA store and other appearances.
On a planet where FIFA has more members than the United Nations and the World Cup is watched by more than three billion people, football is more than just a game. As revered author Juan Villoro argues in this passionate and compulsively readable tribute to the world’s favorite sport, football may be the most effective catalyst for panglobal unity at the time when we need it most. (Following global consensus, Villoro uses “football” rather than “soccer” in the book.)
What was the greatest goal of all time? Why do the Hungarians have a more philosophical sense of defeat than the Mexicans? Do the dead play football? In essays ranging from incisive and irreverent portraits of Maradona, Messi, Ronaldo, Pelé, Zidane, and many more giants of the game to entertaining explorations of left-footedness and the number 10, Juan Villoro dissects the pleasure and pain of football fandom. God Is Round is a book for both fanatics and neophytes who long to feel the delirium of the faithful.
Praise for God is Round
“If you want to talk about soccer, go talk to Juan Villoro.”
“In trying times like these, when the anguish and uncertainty can be almost too much to bear, Mexico turns to him, its philosopher-fanatic, to make sense of the seemingly nonsensical. With the nation’s hopes for the World Cup spiraling into doubt and chaos, Juan Villoro, one of Mexico’s most decorated and esteemed writers — who also happens to be a leading soccer analyst—comes charging down the metaphorical field to scold, explain and extract the lessons within.”
—The New York Times
“The literature of Juan Villoro…is opening up the path of the new Spanish novel of the millennium.”
“[Villoro] has assumed the Octavio Paz mantle of Mexican public wise man of letters (though with none of Paz’s solemnity, for Villoro is as boyishly effusive, brimming with laughter and cleverness, as Paz was paternalistically dour—and, of course, Villoro, the author of the book God Is Round, may be the most fútbol-obsessed man alive)”
—Francisco Goldman, The New Yorker
Juan Villoro is Mexico’s most prolific, prize-winning author, playwright, journalist, and screenwriter. His books have been translated into multiple languages; he has received the Herralde Award in Spain for his novel El testigo, the Antonin Artaud award in France for Los culpables. His novel, Arrecife, was recently short-listed for the Rezzori Prize in Italy. Villoro lives in Mexico City and is a visiting lecturer at Yale and Princeton universities.
Thomas Bunstead's translations from the Spanish include work by Eduardo Halfon and Yuri Herrera, Aixa de la Cruz's story “True Milk” in Best of European Fiction, and the forthcoming A Brief History of Portable Literature by Enrique Vila-Matas (a co-translation with Anne McLean). A guest editor of a Words Without Borders feature on Mexico (March 2015), Thomas has also published his own writing in the Times Literary Supplement, The Independent, the Paris Review blog, 3ammagazine, Days of Roses, readysteadybook, and >kill author.
Over the course of his forty-year career at the New Yorker and Sports Illustrated, Herbert Warren Wind covered the game of golf from many different angles, providing readers with eloquent insights on the iconic courses of Scotland as well as Bing Crosby’s lifelong love affair with the sport. But no aspect of golf was closer to Wind’s heart, or more intimately associated with his name, than the annual Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Course.
Recounting Arnold Palmer’s victory in 1958, Wind coined the phrase “Amen Corner” to describe the fateful stretch of golf course including the 11th, 12th, and 13th holes. To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the first Augusta National Invitation, held in 1934, Wind eloquently recounted a half-century’s worth of highlights, from Bobby Jones’s original vision of an informal competition between his old friends and the game’s rising stars, to Ben Crenshaw’s impressive defeat of Tom Watson in the 1984 tournament.
Full of the grand traditions—including green jackets, purple azaleas, and white jumpsuits—and dramatic moments that have made the Masters the most entertaining of the four major championships, America’s Gift to Golf brings the history of this majestic tournament to vivid life and testifies to the enduring legacy of Herbert Warren Wind.
—Heidi Swift, The Oregonian
After seventeen years, who would road test a perfectly good marriage by putting it on a summer-long, self-contained bicycle adventure across Canada?
Only the Metal Cowboy, of course. Beth Biagini Kurmaskie, the woman behind the manchild, has finally saddled up on her own volition, if only to bring a bit of parental supervision to the mix. She struggles a bit at first, while celebrating summer, speed, the simple pleasures of a road trip powered by one’s own muscles, and family—what it means to be part of one stripped of the “comforts and noise” of the modern world, riding sixteen feet of bicyle train. With three sons aboard, one celebrating his first birthday, a nursing mother finds her inner Xena Warrior Cyclist and all the reasons why she's stayed married to a whirling dervish of a husband. And Beth’s progression from newbie cyclist to totally ripped veteran will be an inspiration to anyone considering taking to the road on a bike.
Mud, Sweat, and Gears brings together absurd and sublime moments, introduces an American family to the wilds of Canada, uncovers choice characters (man and animal), and finds all the humor and pathos a Metal Cowboy adventure is famous for.
If Momentum Is Your Friend was about fathers, sons, and hometown heroes, Mud, Sweat, and Gears is about mothers, wives, family, and the glue that holds the world together. With a extra twist: revealing and outrageous footnotes from Beth throughout, filling in the backstories to many previous Metal Cowboy tales and seventeen years of marriage.
The essayists include scholars in anthropology, psychology, film studies, communication studies, and sociology, one of whom used to wrestle professionally. Classic studies of wrestling by Roland Barthes, Carlos Monsiváis, Sharon Mazer, and Henry Jenkins appear alongside original essays. Whether exploring how pro wrestling inflects race, masculinity, and ideas of reality and authenticity; how female fans express their enthusiasm for male wrestlers; or how lucha libre provides insights into Mexican social and political life, Steel Chair to the Head gives due respect to pro wrestling by treating it with the same thorough attention usually reserved for more conventional forms of cultural expression.
Contributors. Roland Barthes, Douglas L. Battema, Susan Clerc, Laurence de Garis, Henry Jenkins III, Henry Jenkins IV, Heather Levi, Sharon Mazer, Carlos Monsiváis, Lucia Rahilly, Catherine Salmon, Nicholas Sammond, Phillip Serrat, Philip Sewell
The book argues that while for many people sport matters, for many more, it does not. Though for some sport is significant in shaping their social and cultural identity, it is often consumed and experienced by others in quite mundane and everyday ways, through the media images that surround us, conversations overheard and in the clothing of people we pass by.
As well as developing a new theory of sport fandom the book links this discussion to wider debates on audiences, fan cultures and consumer practices. The text argues that for far too long consideration of sport fans has focused on exceptional forms of support ignoring the myriad of ways in which sport can be experienced and consumed in everyday life.
One Great Game
This is the story of two teams -- Concord De La Salle, a private Catholic school in an upscale Northern California suburb, and Long Beach Poly, a proud public institution from a blue-collar SoCal seaport -- striving to achieve the same goal: the all-American dream.
In this supercharged account of the first-ever national high-school championship game, acclaimed sports journalist -- and former Poly varsity football player -- Don Wallace goes out onto the field and straight into the heart of each team. One Great Game offers a rare look at the world of young-adult sportsmanship, featuring up-close and personal interviews with the team players and their families, coaches and cheerleaders, rabid fans and sworn enemies. The result is a powerful piece of sports literature in the tradition of the classic Friday Night Lights. More than a book about football, One Great Game is an engaging cultural history about twenty-first-century American life.
The manuscript first offers information on the historical background of sports in the Soviet Union, including contemporary organizations of Soviet sports and sports for children. The text then discusses various sports played in the country. These include soccer, rugby, basketball, volleyball, handball, tennis, table tennis, and badminton.
The text also underscores the involvement of Soviets in other sports, such as badminton, skating, gymnastics, track and field, hockey, judo, and fencing. The Soviets excelled in more strenuous sports, such as weightlifting, boxing, wrestling, mountaineering, and cycling. The book also notes that Soviets are also interested in water sports, such as water polo, yachting, rowing, canoeing, swimming, and diving. The book also offers information on the medal tally of the Soviet Union in different Olympic Games.
The manuscript is a vital reference for readers and sports enthusiasts wanting to explore the development of sports in the Soviet Union.
¾The Great Eight commemorates the people and events surrounding this outstanding baseball team with essays on team management and key aspects and highlights of the season, including Pete Roseês famous position change. This volume gives Reds fans complete biographies of all the teamês players, relives the enthralling 1975 season, and celebrates a team that is consistently ranked as one of the best teams in baseball history.
Each year, readers, writers, and critics alike look forward to Thomas Hauser’s annual collection of articles about the contemporary boxing scene. He’s one of the last real champions of boxing and one of the very best who has ever written about the sport.
A Hard World continues this tradition of excellence with dressing-room reports from big fights like Canelo Alvarez vs. Miguel Cotto, a behind-the-scenes look at Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, and a foray into the world of mixed martial arts for a compelling portrait of Ronda Rousey. Most importantly, this new collection contains Hauser’s groundbreaking two-part investigative report on the relationship between the United States Anti-Doping Agency and boxing, a report that shook the industry and raised fundamental questions regarding the integrity of USADA’s drug-testing procedures as applied to boxing.
For the casual enthusiast and hockey fanatic alike comes a brilliant collection of essays and photographs celebrating the grit and dedication of hockey players who regularly and willingly withstand injury and hardship to play the sport they love.
Veteran hockey writer Todd Smith explores a side of the NHL that is rarely seen. Through in-depth player interviews and inside-the-locker-room reportage, Hockey Strong gives readers a behind-the-pads look at the playing in pain ethos that has been woven into the fabric of the game. What separates a hockey player’s toughness from other athletes’ is the fact that being hockey strong is more than a single performance or bout or game or series. Hockey strong is a way of life.
Superstars, muckers, snipers, and enforcers alike: the arduous journey of an NHL player is a story of the human body. It is the cracking left fist of the Philadelphia Flyers’ Dave Brown and the battering ram right hand of the Detroit Red Wings’ Joe Kocur. It is the unbreakable hockey heart of Rob McClanahan during “The Miracle on Ice” at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. It is the smashed face Kris Draper suffered during the bloody rivalry between the Colorado Avalanche and the Detroit Red Wings.
Medical clearance to fight. Midgame root canals. Crushed orbital bones. Beer league determination. Legendary beat-downs. Collapsed lungs that go unreported. Unrelenting pain. Recovery and valor. Players refusing to go out because they owe it all to their brothers in uniform.
Includes stories from: Shjon Podein, Dave Brown, Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby, Joe Kocur, Darren McCarty, Chris Nilan, David Clarkson, Rob McClanahan, Herb Brooks, Jack Carlson, Zach Parise, Charlie Coyle, Rick Tocchet, the Playoffs, and more!
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 2012 includes
PAUL SOLOTAROFF JEANNE MARIE LASKAS WELLS TOWER WRIGHT THOMPSON S. L. PRICE DAVE SHEININ JON MOOALLEM and others
Born in 1946 in Trenton, New Jersey, Ryan cut his teeth going with his father to the Polo Grounds and Connie Mack Stadium, and to college basketball games at the Palestra in Philadelphia when it was the epicenter of the college game. As a young man, he became sports editor of his high school paper-and at age twenty-three, a year into his Boston Globe experience, he was handed the Boston Celtics beat as the Bill Russell era ended and the Dave Cowens one began. His all-star career was launched. Ever since, his insight as a reporter and skills as a writer have been matched by an ability to connect with people-players, management, the reading public-probably because, at heart, he has always been as much a fan as a reporter. More than anything, Scribe reveals the people behind the stories, as only Bob Ryan can, from the NBA to eleven Olympics to his surprising favorite sport to cover-golf-and much more It is sure to be one of the most talked-about sports books of 2014, by one of the sports world's most admired journalists.
Now revised and updated by the author, MEAT MARKET proves that in college football, the game off the field is more brutal than the one on the field. In this shattering expose, Bruce Feldman goes into the war rooms to show who stands to profit when champions get built, and at what cost.
A college football program can become a multi-million dollar industry for its school, but only if that program wins. The quest for excellence goes beyond the guts and the glory of the gridiron—it goes into the war rooms where recruiters size up every metric to determine which high-school phenom they want to recruit to the university.
Bruce Feldman—FOX Sports College Football Insider—rips the cover off the game’s frenzied pursuit of raw talent, taking you deep inside the SEC war room of recruiting legend Ed Orgeron, the combustible Cajun who helped build national championship teams at the University of Miami and at USC. In a stunning, blow-by-blow account of the year leading up to National Signing Day 2007, the award-winning journalist shadows Orgeron and his Ole Miss assistants as they set about hunting high school students, pleading, plotting, and inventing ways to lure them to their sleepy Oxford campus. Packed with candid confessions and outrageous off-the-field action, Meat Market makes what happens on the field seem almost tame by comparison.
MEAT MARKET is a must-read for all college football fans, an eye-opening discovery of what it takes to put their favorite team on the field.
David Halberstam was a distinguished journalist and historian of American politics. He was also a sports writer. Everything They Had brings together for the first time his articles from newspapers and magazines, a wide-ranging collection edited by Glenn Stout, selected over the full scope of Halberstam's five decades as one of America's most honored journalists. These are dazzling portraits of some of the most compelling sports figures of our era, the superstars of popular sports like basketball, football, and baseball, but also fishing, soccer, and rowing, and the amateur athletes who play for the love of the game.
In "My Dinner with Theodore," Halberstam recounts his long anticipated--and unforgettable--meeting with Red Sox legend Ted Williams. Against the backdrop of 1960s Nashville, he beautifully recounts a lifelong love of football in "How I Fell in Love with the NFL." And "Men Without Women," set on a fishing expedition in Patagonia, is more than a hunt for giant brown trout--it is a story of fishing, friendship, and fellowship. These and many more stories exemplify the breadth and depth of David Halberstam's devotion to diverse sports and his respect and fascination for the men and women who play them so well.
The result is an intimate and personal collection that reveals the issues and the ideals David Halberstam cared about--racial equality, friendship, loyalty, and character--and creates a vivid and unforgettable portrait of the author himself. Everything They Had takes its rightful place alongside Halberstam's bestselling sports titles, which include The Breaks of the Game, The Amateurs, Summer of '49, and The Education of a Coach.
¾ The Great Eight commemorates the people and events surrounding this outstanding baseball team with essays on team management and key aspects and highlights of the season, including Pete Roseês famous position change. This volume gives Reds fans complete biographies of all the teamês players, relives the enthralling 1975 season, and celebrates a team that is consistently ranked as one of the best teams in baseball history.