Sports Biblio

The Imagination Of Sports In Books, History And Culture

Category: General Sports

Regaining the ‘zen’ for writing and creativity

While I’ve enjoyed the Sports Biblio project immensely, I’ve fallen a little behind lately and have run out of some steam. Writing and creativity have defined so much of my work professionally, and have been personally gratifying like nothing else.

zen in the art of writing, ray bradbury, writing and creativityFor the moment, however, I’m taking a bit of a break from all-new blog posts while I work on producing future book reviews, podcasts and other content for this site.

Whenever I feel tapped out, I consult Ray Bradbury’s superb essay collection “Zen in the Art of Writing.” Continue reading

The confounding electoral math of the Baseball Hall of Fame

I’ve never had a vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame and never will, but that hasn’t stopped me from joining a contentious chorus (on a previous blog, here and here) wondering why the process for selecting the game’s finest players for enshrinement remains so maddening.

Cooperstown ConfidentialSince so-called “steroids era” players became eligible, some journalists given a ballot by the Baseball Writers Association of America have refused to vote for those suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs.

To make an even more dramatic point, a few have turned in empty ballots and publicly disclosed their protests. Another national sports columnist, Dan LeBatard, was banished from having a vote for life by the BBWAA because he sold his ballot to Deadspin. Continue reading

To Auld Lang Syne: Farewell, 2015 and Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2016!

I’m spending this New Year’s Day enjoying a champagne brunch while watching the NHL Winter Classic (a new tradition on my homestead) and college football bowl games.

Before I move ahead with the first full calendar year of Sports Biblio, I want to thank all of you for reading, subscribing, spreading the word on social media, and most of all, your feedback. Continue reading

As the big leagues encroach, they’ve never felt so far away

I ought to be excited.

The baseball team I have followed for most of my life will soon be playing in a plush new ballpark a few miles from my home.

But ever since the Atlanta Braves announced they were heading to the suburbs in 2017, I’ve been gradually disillusioned about the move.

It’s not just that public (taxpayer) money is being used—more than $400 million of it—to help finance the stadium construction.

The rushed political process and the lack of transparency and information were absolutely galling. Professionally, I reined in my thoughts since I was covering the story for a community news network. Continue reading

Rediscovering the beauty and the joy of free play

In the multi-family complex where I live, there’s not much room for kids to play.

That’s because the development was built for adults only. A court later struck down those restrictions as anti-family, but that hasn’t created any elbow room for the kids.

They tool around narrow parking lots on bikes, toss around a football on occasion and chase each other up and down stairwells.

The nearest place where there’s real room to roam is a public park, about three miles away, and it’s become a nirvana for more than at play

I go there often, just to relax and soak up the atmosphere on a pleasant day. Most of the time, I people-watch, and really enjoy watching what the kids do. Continue reading

The everyday, ordinary, hallowed grounds of youth ball fields

Although I pass by it frequently, I rarely take out time to revisit one of the places that helped shape me as a young person.

I meant to stop in to the adjoining public library when I felt the tug of sentimentality on a lovely, unseasonably warm late autumn afternoon. I pulled my car into a parking space behind the right field fence at a softball field, part of a county park and library complex that was my second home.

In fact, this park was close enough to reach by a walk, as our back property line abutted the park boundaries. If I wasn’t playing ball or tennis, swimming or taking part in summer camp, I was at the library.

Sewell Park 2But on this day I visited, more than 40 years later, was no day to be inside. As I reached the bleachers, I noticed the gates were open. I walked out onto the firm grass, then stepped onto the infield dirt. Continue reading

Introducing: Sports Biblio

For some time now — at least a couple of years — I have been thinking about launching this blog.

While I wanted this concept to be distinctive, I feared it might be too narrow. When I thought more broadly about topical variety, I was afraid of wandering into a world where too many other voices blare constantly.

But after retiring another unfocused blog that contained many of the same subjects I’m exploring here, I decided to quit worrying and push Sports Biblio into existence.

SBstackSo here it is. Sports Biblio is a departure from the 24/7 media stream of clickbait, ginned-up controversy and easy outrage, a more measured look at why sports impassions us so, and its endearing ability to draw us irrevocably to its delights and heartbreaks, its fully human dimensions.

This is not mere entertainment. As the philosopher and theologian Michael Novak wrote in the introduction of his essential book “The Joy of Sports:”

“Faith in sports, I have discovered, seeks understanding. I cannot forever split my life in two, half in love with sports, half in love with serious thought. Life seeks unity.”

That’s what I’m attempting with Sports Biblio, somewhere between the daily grind of timely games and events and the timeless indulgence into what sports really mean to those who love them. Continue reading

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