Sports Biblio

The Imagination Of Sports In Books, History And Culture

The National Hockey League At 100: Sports Biblio Digest 11.19.17

The National Hockey League is a league and hockey is a sport I have repeatedly tried to like more than I do.

The First Season, National Hockey League While I don’t dislike them, passionate embrace has been a bit more problematic, having quite a lot to do with my hometown of Atlanta twice losing NHL franchises to Canada, the birthplace and spiritual home of the sport.

Above the border has been the place to be this week, as the NHL celebrated the centenary of its inaugural game in a gala event in Toronto, and on Saturday, in Montreal in a regular season game between the Maple Leafs and Canadiens. Continue reading

A Centenary of Olympic Films: The Sports Biblio Digest 11.12.17

The first Olympic film I ever saw was the most notorious one of all, in a college history class.

Olympia, Leni Riefenstahl, Olympic filmsThe professor was more than just a film buff with a Ph.D.; he was a dead ringer for Douglas Fairbanks (and Junior), all the way down to his stylish brim and pencil-thin mustache.

He also possessed a healthy desire to shake students out of their polite and unconflicted youthful stupor, and relished the contentious conversation that ensued after screenings of “Birth of a Nation” and “Triumph of the Will.” Continue reading

Monday Night Football At A Crossroads: Sports Biblio Digest 11.5.17

Does “Monday Night Football” matter any more?

Kicking Off the Week, Monday Night FootballYes, it’s still an exclusive-window game held the day after the usual Sunday NFL regimen, and it counts in the standings just the same.

Since its experimental beginnings in the late 1960s—just as the age of the Super Bowl was beginning—then-commissioner Pete Rozelle’s idea to build a highly-rated “event” around a single game in prime-time weeknight hours helped solidify the professional game atop the American spectator sports heap. Continue reading

The Rebirth of the Los Angeles Dodgers: Sports Biblio Digest 10.22.17

Before the Los Angeles Dodgers could get back to the World Series, they had to undergo a dramatic upheaval at the very top of the org chart.

The Best Team Money Can Buy, Los Angeles Dodgers, Molly KnightAfter Walter O’Malley moved them from Brooklyn 60 years ago, the Dodgers remained in generally good ownership hands until recent years.

The disastrous stewardship of Jamie and Frank McCourt, and their bitter divorce, distracted and devastated what had been a relatively stable franchise. In 2013, with a new ownership group that included former Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson, the Dodgers gradually began to reclaim their reputation. Continue reading

An Uncertain Future for U.S. Soccer: Sports Biblio Digest 10.15.17

Long before a disastrous 2-1 loss this week to Trinidad & Tobago in the final match of World Cup qualifying, an uncertain future for U.S. Soccer had been the subject of intense speculation within the American soccer community and its small, but devoted media contingent.

Chasing the Game, Future for U.S. SoccerFor the first time since 1986, the American men’s team will not be going to the World Cup. All it had to do against the last-place team in the CONCACAF hexagonal round was get a draw.

Instead, the U.S. fell behind 2-0 in the first half, then slipped around in the rain in the tiny stadium in Couva, uninspired, as Panama earned a spot in Russia, and Honduras nailed down a playoff berth against Australia. Continue reading

A College Basketball Scandal, Or Not? Sports Biblio Digest 10.8.17

What was instantly dubbed the biggest college basketball scandal in history has already led to the firing of Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino at the University of Louisville, and comes at a fortuitous time in the history of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Sole Influence, college basketball scandalWhen the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York City last month indicted four assistant coaches and several influential athletic apparel company officials on charges of bribery and conspiracy, the news was greeted with apocalyptic predictions.

As the FBI-led investigation continues, ripples through the college basketball community have focused on how deep, and widespread, the alleged corruption may go.

Was this—ahem—the other shoe finally dropping about how high school stars are exploited by colleges and the sneaker makers? Continue reading

Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 5: The Sports Biblio Review Guide

This the Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 5 installment of newly published (or forthcoming) titles from around the world of sports.

We Will Win the Day, Lou Moore, Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 5Included in this post are books about the history of black athlete activism, the pitching dominance of Bob Gibson and Denny McLain, Maria Sharapova’s new memoir, a global travelogue of women’s soccer and New Zealand’s rugby All-Blacks during World War I.

A total of 50 books are included in this guide, covering 10 titles in each post. Among the other book subjects in this series are a new biography of Muhammad Ali, sportswriting anthologies, the 1947 World Series and the links between the great L.A. Lakers and Golden State Warriors teams. Continue reading

Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 4: The Sports Biblio Review Guide

This the Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 4 installment of newly published (or forthcoming) titles from around the world of sports.

Sports in American Life, Richard O. Davies, Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 4Included in this post are books about the 1967 World Series, a female Olympian’s memoir,  the birth of the Notre Dame-USC rivalry and a lavishly illustrated history of the art of the early years of gridiron football.

A total of 50 books are included in this guide, covering 10 titles in each post. Among the other book subjects in this series are a new biography of Muhammad Ali, sportswriting anthologies, the 1947 World Series and New Zealand’s rugby All-Blacks during World War I. Continue reading

Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 3: The Sports Biblio Review Guide

This the Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 3 installment of newly published (or forthcoming) titles from around the world of sports.

Ice Bowl '67, Fall 2017 Sports Books 3Included in this post are books about track and field legend Stella Walsh, Ken Dryden’s perspective on the present-day and future NHL, pioneering black golfers, pedaling around the Great Lakes and the 50th anniversary of the Ice Bowl.

A total of 50 books are included in this guide, covering 10 titles in each post. Among the other book subjects in this series are a new biography of Muhammad Ali, sportswriting anthologies, the 1947 World Series and New Zealand’s rugby All-Blacks during World War I. Continue reading

Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 2: The Sports Biblio Review Guide

This the Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 2 installment of newly published (or forthcoming) titles from around the world of sports (see Part 1 here).

Chicago Cubs Story of a Curse, Rich Cohen, Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 2In this post, we’ll examine new baseball books, the memoir of an iconic NFL writer debilitated by multiple strokes, the latest college football exposé, a biography of a Brazilian soccer legend, a year in the life of a cricket photographer and the inaugural season of the National Hockey League.

A total of 50 books are included in this guide, covering 10 titles in each post. Among the other book subjects in this series are a new biography of Muhammad Ali, sportswriting anthologies, Ken Dryden and the future of the NHL and the rise of Major League Soccer. Continue reading

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