Don, Peggy, and Old Style.
Don, Peggy, and Old Style.
Sweet 16 reading about San Diego State, the school I’d attend if I was 18 and could play.
I wrote a feature for the April issue of The Atlantic. It’s about the Field of Dreams movie site in Iowa. Read up!
Fans of America’s most dramatic athletic tournament owe a debt of gratitude to H.V. Porter. A native of Washington, Illinois, and an accomplished athletic administrator, Porter was instrumental in the development of the molded ball, a durable replacement for the irregular, cumbersome, and erratic laced ball of Dr. James Naismith’s era. He also coined the phrase “March Madness,” in a 1939 essay for the trade publication Illinois Interscholastic, to describe the Prairie State’s high school basketball tournament. (In 2004, Brendan Koerner detailed the court battle that ultimately freed the NCAA to use the moniker.) Below is the last stanza of a poem Porter later penned in honor of postseason basketball, three years before my grandpa’s Decatur Reds took home the Illinois state title.
With war nerves tense, the final defense
Is the courage, strength and will
In a million lives where freedom thrives
And liberty lingers still. Now eagles fly and heroes die
Beneath some foreign arch
Let their sons tread where hate is dead
In a happy Madness of March.
I watched some badass ladies arm wrestle and then wrote about them for the Reader.
(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me
Lou Johnson, 1964
The scene at the Royal Montreal Curling Club, the oldest active sporting club in North America. I wrote about these folks, and other Canadians who curl, for Deadspin, and you can read those words here.
Interstate highways 90 and 94 meet at the Halsted Street Interchange in Chicago, February 1968.Photograph by James K. W. Atherton, National Geographic
Last year, I ranked my 10 favorite articles of the year. It’s a good list! I’m doing so again, and my criteria remains the same: these are the stories I enjoyed reading the most in the past 12 months, either because they knocked me on my ass, made me laugh, or made me jealous I didn’t come up with the idea first. This list is culled from 86 pieces I starred and stored in my Instapaper archive; keep up the good work, writers.
1) Luke Mogelson, The Dream Boat, The New York Times Magazine
2) Jeanne Marie Laskas, Have You Heard the One About President Joe Biden?, GQ
3) Stephen Rodrick, Here Is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie, The New York Times Magazine
4) Bryan Curtis, Friday Night Tykes, Texas Monthly
5) Lauren Collins, The Third Man, The New Yorker
6) Jon Mooallem, There’s a Reason They Call Them ‘Crazy Ants’, The New York Times Magazine
7) Josh Eells, Confessions of Pop’s Wildest Child, Rolling Stone
8) Wright Thompson, Unity with the Universe, ESPN the Magazine
9) Nicholas Schmidle, In The Crosshairs, The New Yorker
10) Graeme Wood, Scrubbed, New York