Murray’s win touches national nerve

07/11/2013

ESPN

In a piece on Michael Jordan’s return to basketball after his baseball detour in Birmingham, occasional sports writer David Remnick writes, “part of why we cleave to sports and fandom (besides the sheer escapism) is that excellence is so measureable, so knowable in numbers.” Collectively as sports fans, we seem obsessed with…

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Roger Federer’s cultural cachet

05/30/2012

ESPN

At the French Open this week, much of the talk will revolve around the holy trinity of the men’s draw.

While Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are the clear favorites to meet in the final, the father of the group, Roger Federer, continues to be, in many respects, the most intriguing.

This…

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The Jeremy Lin discussion

02/18/2012

ESPN

In the past two weeks, it seems everyone has been talking nonstop about Jeremy Lin — from the media, to die-hard and casual fans, to Asian-Americans who have never watched basketball. It was only a matter of time before President Obama would be asked to comment on the New York Knicks wunderkind.

What…

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Suspense and Sports Television

04/16/2009

Pacific Standard

The prolific sports scholar Allen Guttmann suggests that the careful recording of stats is one of several defining characteristics of modern sports. The widespread interest in player stats suggests that certain types of sports fans are interested in comparing the on-field achievements of athletes just as much as they are in…

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Federer Too Old at 27?

03/25/2009

Pacific Standard

In a remarkable essay on tennis player Roger Federer, the late writer David Forster Wallace suggests that watching Federer is akin to a religious experience. For a writer known for his maximalist style, this claim is not such hyperbole.

Federer is one of those athletes, like Tiger Woods, whose skill and…

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