Summer’s End Recalls Memory of a Faded Dream

By John Schulian Chicago Sun-Times September 24, 1983 Up ahead, you could see a full moon sandwiched by thick, wet clouds. Beneath them glowed the lights of Chicago, turning the soggy heavens red-orange and proving that this ribbon of highway actually led somewhere....

How Hollywood Ruined Our Best Football Novel

By John Schulian The Chicago Daily News 1977 Long before he established himself as the Ring Lardner of the Pepsi generation, Dan Jenkins wrote about sports for the blighted Fort Worth Press. He had to rise at 4 every morning to put out the paper’s first edition, and...

One Night Only

By John Schulian Bronx Banter April 19, 2012 As soon as they heard Levon Helm was coming, the guys in the band began to imagine him sitting in with them, playing the drums, maybe even singing “The Weight.” It was one of the songs they did when they got together on...

Slug it: Royko

By John Schulian GQ March 1985 They were drinking their dinner in a joint outside Chicago. It was just Mike Royko and his pal, Big Shack, and whatever their bleary musings happened to be that night three years ago. They probably never even gave a thought to the fact...

The Write Stuff

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader A couple of our pals have new stellar new book anthologies out and both are well worth your time. From the intrepid Wright Thompson, ESPN’s maestro of longform, comes his first anthology, The Cost Of These Dreams: Sports Stories and...

Down and Out in Fat City

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader “Sometimes you only get to win one championship.”—Leonard Gardner In 1969, Leonard Gardner’s novel Fat City was published. It a story about boxing and drinking in Stockton, California, about losers losing. “I have a strong sense of...

The Stacks Chat: Bill Nack

By Alex Belth Bronx Banter December 15, 2008 Looking for that ideal last-minute holiday gift for the sports fan in your life? Look no further than The Best American Sportswriting of 2008, edited by Bill Nack, who is one of the finest sportswriters we have. Nack is a...

That Damn Yankee

By Tony Kornheiser The New York Times Magazine April 9, 1978 The old man was rigid. Dinner was at 5:45 each evening, and it was “Please, sir” and “Thank you, sir” and “May I be excused, sir?” He was a perfectionist. He was an intercollegiate hurdles champion, and he...

Walking Tall

By John Marchese Philadelphia November 1991 “So he says—first question—‘Do you believe in sin?’ “Do I believe in sin? I mean, gimme a break.” This is the sound of Pete Dexter dealing with fame. It wasn’t so long ago that Dexter could limp over to 13th and Pine and...

Fighting and Drinking With the Rats at Yankee Stadium

By George Kimball From Lasting Yankee Stadium Memories 2010 There are things you learned about the old Yankee Stadium once it became your place of work that never would have occurred to you as a kid going to watch a game there. Making your way from the visiting to the...

The Fight: Patterson vs. Liston

By James Baldwin Nugget February 1963 We, the writers—a word I am using in its most primitive sense—arrived in Chicago about ten days before the baffling, bruising, an unbelievable two minutes and six seconds at Comiskey Park. We will get to all that later. I know...