J. R. Moehringer, a Pulitzer Prize–winning feature writer and the author of The Tender Bar, has selected the best in sports writing from the past year. Chosen from more than 350 national, regional, and specialty publications and, increasingly, the top sports blogs, this collection showcases those journalists who are at the top of their game.
Sports are a theater of loss, of struggle and despair, of real pain and real blood and primal disappointment, which is why the best sports writing seems to reach back, back like a discus thrower, to touch the ancient myths, writes guest editor Moehringer (The Tender Bar) in his introduction to the 23rd edition of this reliably fine series. Highlights include Jason Schwartz s thoroughly researched and nimbly written account of Curt Schilling s dedicated but disastrous venture into making video games ( End Game ); Allison Glock s haunting piece on the doomed love story between two women who were high school basketball stars in Wisconsin ( At the Corner of Love and Basketball ); and PW s senior editor of digital media Jonathan Segura s gutsy essay, The Game of His Life, which Moehringer singles out for its lush and wanton profanity. A few of the selections cover the same thematic ground high school athletes dying young, scandalized runners and some readers may be aggravated that their favorite sports are given short shrift or ignored entirely. The variety of writing, which includes everything from autobiography to reporting to profiles, and its quality atone for any shortcomings. The emotional richness of the pieces selected by Moehringer and Stout (who has been series editor from the start) defines this frequently riveting collection.