The Brotherhood of Selmon

By Pete Dexter Inside Sports September 1980 Their people were farmers who had come to eastern Oklahoma from Texas, and they grew up in the black dirt and still skies there and hired out as field hands after their own work was done. And it was not in them to resent the...

No Tresspassing

By Pete Dexter Inside Sports September 1981 “The old lion is still a bad mother,” he said. “He just wants to roam. Leave him alone. He’s fading, but he’s still a lion.” St. Simons Island lies four miles off the coast of southern Georgia, connected to the mainland by a...

Manchild in the Promised Land

By Pete Dexter Inside Sports April 1980 Early February. Frank Dawkins is sitting in a second-floor office made of cement and insulated against the noise downstairs in the plant. Exactly what is manufactured in the plant is hard to say, but it has something to do with...

The Double Life of a Gay Dodger

By Michael J. Smith Inside Sports October 1982 The game is over and the baseball player sits in the hotel lobby, his eyes fixed on nothing. He thinks his secret is safe but he is never quite sure, so at midnight in the lobby it is always best to avoid the other eyes....

Magic

By Joseph Dalton Inside Sports May 1980 Los Angeles is in the middle of a heat wave; the Santa Anas are blowing in off the desert and the air is hot and dry even here in the Forum, where tonight the Lakers are up against the run-and-gun San Antonio Spurs....

If This Is Wednesday, It Must Be Toozday

By Pete Dexter Inside Sports October 1981 At three in the morning, coming east across the Bay Bridge in a limousine the size of a cattle truck, a quiet falls over the back seat. It is the last day before John Matuszak goes to Santa Rosa for training camp. More to the...

The Apprenticeship of Randall Cobb

By Pete Dexter Inside Sports May 1981 The face suggests more than 21 fights, but that’s how many there have been. Counting the two as an amateur. There is a scar over the left eye, a missing tooth. The nose is flat and soft, without cartilage. Apart from that, it’s a...

The Mark of Excellence

By John Schulian Inside Sports March 1981 It was some big boat, all right—a ’79 Lincoln Continental, long as a city block, blue with a white top and enough chrome to make it look like a rolling mirror. When it steamed out of Chicago’s West Side last year, there wasn’t...

Howe Incredible

By Mordecai Richler Inside Sports November 1980 Clearly, he comes from good stock. Interviewed on Canadian television last year, his 87-year-old father was asked, “How do you feel?” “I feel fine.” “At what time in life does a man lose his sexual desires?” “You’ll have...

The Impression

By Pete Dexter Inside Sports December 1980 When I heard Ali had agreed to fight Holmes, the first thought I had was that Ali would be killed. The punch was five years gone, his hand speed had been mediocre over his last half dozen fights, and he’d been getting hit by...

It’s Not Easy Being Kermit Washington

By David Halberstam Inside Sports December 1981 Washington had not looked forward to the move from San Diego to Portland. Every move within the National Basketball Association, and there had been four of them, was a major adjustment for his family. When he entered the...

The Sporting Life

By Nik Cohn Inside Sports February 1981 In Atlantic City, Willie Mays played an elderly game, serving as designated greeter at Bally’s Park Place Hotel. After the fracas of his hiring, when Bowie Kuhn barred him from baseball, he settled into a gentle routine of...