Sports

RECENT REVIEWS

The Blighted Beauty of America’s Sport

The Blighted Beauty of America’s Sport

MY FIRST JOB out of college, I covered high school football for what was then a mid-sized newspaper in Northeast Ohio. This was in the mid-1990s, before the death spiral of printed media, back when ne...

Ghost Race

Ghost Race

SPORTS, psychologists have long understood, are like languages. If exposed as children we acquire native fluency, and the laborious, complex movements required for swimming or ice-skating or horseback...

Soccer as Drama/Melodrama

Soccer as Drama/Melodrama

 NEAR THE END of Papers in the Wind, Argentine writer Eduardo Sacheri’s frustrating tragi-comic second novel, Mono, the cancer-ridden owner of a floundering soccer talent, is talking to his brothe...

The Young Man and the Sea

The Young Man and the Sea

JUSTIN HOCKING’S DEBUT memoir, The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld, could have been about a young man who was robbed at gunpoint, losing the laptop that contained his novel (which he hadn’t ba...

You Had to Like It: Rereading Red Smith

You Had to Like It: Rereading Red Smith

“ENGLAND'S BIGGEST TRACK MEET in 40 years opened this afternoon with a pageant of nationalism, an orgy of oratory and a paroxysm of symbolism but no running, jumping or bulging of the biceps.” Tha...

Football: The Lure of the Game

Football: The Lure of the Game

Baseball is what we were. Football is what we have become. — Mary McGrory IF I’M DRIVING down the road and I see it being played, there’s a good chance that I’ll stop and watch for a while, ...

Malamudville

Malamudville

THE NATURAL might be considered an anomaly within Bernard Malamud’s oeuvre if it didn’t so closely resemble nearly everything else within Bernard Malamud’s oeuvre. Actually, it’s considered a...

Specimen Days: How Bosnia Qualified and I Survived

Specimen Days: How Bosnia Qualified and I Survived

ON APRIL 6, 2013, the Portland Timbers hosted the Houston Dynamo in a Major League Soccer match at Portland’s Jeld-Wen Stadium. I was there — but I can’t tell you much about it. I’ve just disc...

The Autocrat’s Guide To World Cup Qualification

The Autocrat’s Guide To World Cup Qualification

IT’S HARD to overstate the importance of football in the Arab world; it is undoubtedly the number one sport and matter of national pride. Arab leaders have historically taken a keen interest in the...

World Cup Diary: Losing Brazil 2014 to the Future

World Cup Diary: Losing Brazil 2014 to the Future

THE WORLD CUP starts today, in the country that made football beautiful. We should thus be preparing for a carnival of passes and goals, a festival of chance. I fear, however, that some of our atte...