Monday Morning Melancholy

Matt Nicholas

Frank Gifford’s recent passing prompts a remembrance of the book he unwittingly inspired and some notes on the relationship between sports fandom and clinical depression.

Wild Horses

Austin Kelley

A visit to the Palio elicits consideration about what happens when questionable ethics aren’t a breach of the rules but woven into the very fabric of the competition.

Passing the Buck

Matt Nicholas

Publicly-funded stadiums minimize risk for billionaire owners while saddling taxpayers with debt. Many like to think that sports fandom groups together diverse populations, but that solidarity often only leads to further exploitation.

The Ultimate Sports Villain by Noah Cohan

Can a player be so reviled that he conjures up racism, classism, and homophobia all at once? If his name is Christian Laettner, then yes.

History Lessons by Dan Kaufman

Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano talks soccer. More.

Big Data Meets the NBA Matt Nicholas

Recent tirades by Charles Barkley and Kevin Durant provoke questions about why some NBA players may be so resistant to analytics. The basketball hellscape depicted in Space Jam may have something to do with it.

Elegy Written in a Coaching Graveyard Matt Nicholas

Marc Trestman’s values were at odds with the culture of the NFL. So he was fired.

Experimental Football Matt Nicholas

A new, “experimental” football league grows in Brooklyn.

On Bad Faith in the NFL Katie Muth

Comparing the Hope Solo domestic violence case to the Ray Rice domestic violence case is at best a false equivalency and more probably deeply nefarious.

Football, Dogfighting and How the NFL Helps Us Get Off on Violence and Feel Really Good about Ourselves Mark O'Connell

The spate of domestic violence cases involving NFL players prompts reconsideration of another incident of violence from recent history: Michael Vick’s dogfighting case.

An Ex-Fan's Notes Noah Cohan

When considering the overwhelming evidence that links traumatic brain injuries to football it’s also crucial to consider how such arguments against watching the NFL are constructed.

The Sound of Silence Matt Nicholas

Watching a baseball a game without the meddling presence of curmudgeonly announcers really helps you appreciate those curmudgeonly announcers.

The Enormous Screen Brian Schwartz

Watching the U.S. – Ghana World Cup match on a new, gigantic television screen — and experiencing the frustrations and exhilarations it provides.

Please Wear Blue to My Funeral Beth Boyle Machlan

For one new fan, the Rangers playoff run inspires anxieties about bandwagon-jumping and the kind of faith inspired by fandom.

World Cup Dad Austin Kelley

Before the US-Ghana match, a new father reflects on the birth of his first child and on watching the World Cup. Welcome to the world, August Fiorello Thompson Kelley

Tough Jungle Love Matt Nicholas

It isn’t soccer that brings us together as much as it is the crushing terror and indifference of the natural world. Ole Ola!

Rethinking Those Deacon Blues Matthew Shipe

A new book about Alabama football during the 1960s elicits a reflection on the Crimson Tide’s past and present football glory.

Lay It Down, Big Man Matt Nicholas

Bill Walton put out a spoken word record two decades ago, which unified, if only for a moment, the disparate jock, punk, and hippie cultures.

Curling, Sweep Me Away Patrick M. O'Connell

The sport of curling looks simple enough to play that those of us watching at home think we could do it and complicated enough to keep those of us watching at home fascinated for hours.

Losing the "Big Fight" Matt Nicholas

Downhill skiers experience a form of terror imagined in paintings by Goya, poems by Shelley, and, more subtly, films like Hot Dog…The Movie.

Welcome to the Jungle Brian Schwartz

Sage Kotsenburg won the gold in slopestyle snowboarding. Perhaps his weirdness could offer some much needed inspiration to the U.S. Men’s World Cup team.

The Armed Circus-Pony Competition Austin Kelley

The biathlon can look ridiculous but it’s still a primal test of endurance and accuracy with would-be assassins as competitors.

Going out on Top Noah Cohan

For the first time in their nearly 40-year existence, the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl. So now seems like a good time to leave the party.