I want The Athletic to succeed beyond its founders’ wildest ambitions, its writers’ and editors’ most optimistic hopes and its growing subscriber base’s deepest passions for quality sports journalism.
Its motto—”fall in love with the sports page again”—is simple and brilliant. Its look is clean and uncluttered. No automatic video pop-up ads, newsletter sign-up boxes, or clickbait headlines that would demean a toddler.
The subscription plans are affordable, and when you sign up for one vertical, you get all the rest. It’s a grand bargain for a sports fan who doesn’t want to be bombarded with the above, as well as hot takes, babes, pop culture inanities and LaVar Ball’s latest machinations. Continue reading
Another twist in the Russian doping saga. Extravagant, even wasteful, spending. Clumsy political maneuvering. These do not merely form the backdrop for the XXIII Winter Olympics, which get underway this week in PyeongChang, South Korea.
These storylines have become deeply interwoven into the fabric of the Olympic movement, more tarnished and more corrupt than ever before. Even before they have begun, the largest Winter Games ever have become fraught with all that’s negative about the Olympic movement.
This week, the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned 28 of 39 lifetime doping bans levied recently against Russian athletes, including some medal winners from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Continue reading
In attempting to explain the blending of sports and politics in the United States, Kenneth Cohen, a curator at the National Museum of American history, traces the historical arc back before the founding of the nation.
The author of the recently published “They Will Have Their Game: Sporting Culture and the Making of the Early American Republic,” Cohen expands on this theme in a related piece at Slate, writing that “explicitly political sports were the norm in American life for the nation’s first 125 years.”
Cohen cites examples of politicians exploiting sporting events to attract voters, even organizing their own competitions. Campaign cartoons in the early 19th century frequently depicted candidates in foot races, boxing matches and card games. Continue reading
The gymnastics scandal that has engulfed some of America’s most recent Olympic champions, a legendary coach’s training facility and the sport’s governing body in the United States has been hiding in plain sight for years.
It’s been more than 20 years since journalist and author Joan Ryan published an expose of the cloistered, often punishing cultures of American gymnastics and figure skating, where very young girls were coaxed, prodded and often abused by mostly male coaches to reach the pinnacle of Olympic success.
In 1995, Ryan’s book “Pretty Girls in Little Boxes” did kick up a storm of controversy, and rankled the establishments of those sports. But troubling developments inside the elite gymnastics world were still to come. Continue reading
On either side of the recent Rose Bowl, two voices synonymous with the classic New Year’s Day college football game went silent. Keith Jackson and Dick Enberg called so much more than what Jackson had famously dubbed “The Granddaddy of Them All,” but that’s the event that first came to my mind when I first heard about their deaths.
Enberg, who called basketball, pro football, baseball, Wimbledon and much more, was 82 on Dec. 21 when he died from a heart attack.
He had retired from announcing San Diego Padres games in 2016, and just a few weeks before his death, served on a panel discussion about the 1968 UCLA-Houston college basketball game at the Astrodome, which was his breakthrough on the national scene. Continue reading
Just a short drumroll for this: Sports Biblio’s Winter 2018 Sports Books Preview, a selection of new releases from January through March of this year.
I’ll have more frequent updates on sports books, new and otherwise, on the blog, which I’m revamping for more frequent posting very shortly, including a midweek post on new and noteworthy titles, paperback and e-book releases and more.
I’ll also have weekly posts on sports journalism and media, sports history, sports art and culture (including photography, films, music and collectibles), as well as a weekend review. This post, which will run on Saturdays, will include book reviews and essays on the broader topics examined on Sports Biblio. Continue reading
Enjoy some of the best newspaper, magazine and online reads (as well as some podcasts and a few videos) collected by Sports Biblio for the year 2017 and that we included in our newsletter, the Sports Biblio Digest (you can subscribe here if you haven’t already, and browse through the archives).
These 100 or so pieces are rounded up by topic and more or less appear in chronological order. They’re only a small sampling of what I would have liked to have included here.
Thanks to many of you who have passed along links along the way, and who continue to read and subscribe and make Sports Biblio better. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! Continue reading
The task of whittling down a rather long list to compile Sports Biblio’s Notable Sports Books of 2017 was more involved than I expected it to be.
Why I’m surprised by this I don’t know, for this has been the case since I started this blog in 2015. But to put some thought and consideration into book projects that are years in the making requires more than just a few minutes, or even a few hours.
To settle on 15 books, and to come up with a couple of sentences to describe them, was even more challenging.
There aren’t many more tributes that can be applied to the stunning sports photography career of Sports Illustrated legend Walter Iooss Jr. beyond the fact that his work continues to be examined and displayed, even away from the splashy elite gallery world, with plenty of appropriate acclaim.
A small exhibit of his baseball photography continues through Jan. 7 at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University in Atlanta, and as critic Jon Ciliberto of ArtsATL writes, there are still many new ways of seeing Iooss’ subjects through fresh, breathtaking new lenses.
The Emory exhibit, entitled “And Something Magical Happened,” is brilliant for its simple framing of everyday baseball games, whether it’s Lou Brock on the run or stickball boys in the streets of Havana. Continue reading