Madison Bumgarner's Dad Is The Best Sports Dad

One bizarre side effect of turning in one of the best postseason pitching runs in MLB history is that the New York Times will send a reporter out to North Carolina to interview your dad saying just the dad-est possible things. So meet Kevin Bumgarner, proud father of the reigning World Series MVP, whose opinion on… » 10/30/14 11:48am Yesterday 11:48am

Canadian College Football Fans Are Adorable Berserkers

Sixty years ago, LIFE magazine tapped into the joys and tortures of football fandom by traveling north of the American border, where collegians in Ontario were positively freaking out over a rare win on the gridiron. All these years later, there's something quite sweet about the pictures—a reminder, perhaps, not so… » 10/29/14 6:00am Wednesday 6:00am

A Total Eclipse of the Sonny: The Night 'The Greatest' Was Born

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Rumble in the Jungle. A lot has been written about that fight. Movies have been made about it. People have wept and torn their hair and rolled in the grass, beating their heels against the ground, because of that fight. It was a mighty fight. A remarkable moment. Rightly… » 10/27/14 9:13am Monday 9:13am

The Fight: Patterson Vs. Liston

Originally published in the February 1963 issue of Nugget, "The Fight: Patterson vs. Liston" also appears in At the Fights: American Writers on Boxing, edited by George Kimball and John Schulian and published in hardcover, paperback, and as an e-book by The Library of America. You can also find it in the recent… » 10/23/14 7:48am 10/23/14 7:48am

Video Finally Surfaces Of Willis Reed Fighting The Entire Lakers Team

Everybody knows about Knicks center Willis Reed's legendary walk onto the court for warmups before Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals, a game he wasn't supposed to play. Reed only made two shots in 27 minutes, but as Bob Ryan said in the linked SportsCentury documentary: "The spiritualism of the moment was clear. The… » 10/22/14 8:52am 10/22/14 8:52am

The Professional: Donald E. Westlake

Donald E. Westlake (1933-2008) was one of our most prolific and entertaining writers. Now, we've got this posthumous treat: The Getaway Car: A Donald Westlake Nonfiction Miscellany, published by the University of Chicago Press and edited by Levi Stahl. The book is a ton of fun. I recently had the chance to catch up… » 10/14/14 10:24am 10/14/14 10:24am

The Immigrant Sport: What Ping-Pong Means In America

I am standing in a gaggle of table tennis players in a dark bar in Grand Rapids, Mich., on the Fourth of July. Before us, another table tennis player named Donald Hayes is playing Millipede. Donald and the others are all competing in the U.S. Open, the biggest ping-pong tournament in America, but right now that is of… » 10/09/14 1:04pm 10/09/14 1:04pm

"Baseball's Bolshevik": Why The Martyrdom Of Curt Flood Still Matters

You're probably familiar with the story of Curt Flood, the ballplayer whose refusal in 1969 to accept a trade was the first major skirmish in the fight for free agency. You're certainly familiar with his legacy, which today alone hangs over the news of the NBA's media megadeal. Retro Report, via The New York Times,… » 10/06/14 2:12pm 10/06/14 2:12pm

Thirteen Ways Of Looking At Greg Maddux

A record producer friend once told me that Check Your Head, the Beastie Boys' 3rd album, was perfectly realized. That's stuck with me over the years, the idea of being able to achieve something that lives up to your ambition. In a 1978 Playboy Interview, Bob Dylan said: "The closest I ever got to the sound I hear in… » 10/02/14 2:05pm 10/02/14 2:05pm

Pain And Violence As A Way Of Life: Muhammad Ali-George Chuvalo II

Leonard Gardner is the author of one of the finest sports novels ever written, Fat City , a masterpiece of the terse style that is, in the words of Denis Johnson, "so precisely written and giving such value to its words that I felt I could almost read it with my fingers, like Braille." Gardner also wrote the… » 10/01/14 9:34am 10/01/14 9:34am