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I'm sold. Thanks for letting me know.


Me too. Thanks for the tip.

fwiw, I've always thought Moneyball could be taught in a rhetoric course as well, probably for some of the same reasons you suggested.

And if I had to pick one reason for that "golden age," Page2 at ESPN would be it. Lots of good writing going on over there...



“The Blind Side” is also adapted as an article (“The Ballad of Big Mike”) in the current New York Times Magazine.

Another great sportswriter working right now is Gary Smith at Sports Illustrated. He writes long, in-depth pieces that are consistently captivating and insightful and, like Lewis’s books, explore topics beyond sports.


I am a longtime tennis fan and agree with your assessment of Wallace's tennis writing. A coda to the Michael Joyce story is that he is now the coach...of Maria Sharapova. So life didn't treat him too bad even if he didn't make it on the ATP.

I loved Moneyball. Please let us know if there are any other sportswriters you recommend.


Moneyball (or at least an excerpt from it) also makes a great read to assign when teaching research methods. It's a compelling case for the importance of systematically gathering and using data in making decisions, and it highlights many of the natural, human errors we can fall into when we don't.

Actually, I'm considering using two of your (Malcom's) recent articles in a graduate research methods course I'm teaching this semester. The "Game Theory" article has wonderfully tangible and clear examples of the challenge of measuring and assessing the role of individual actors in complex systems. And "Troublemakers" is a great piece to prod folks into doing more critical thought about the categories they choose to define and focus on in their research.


I actually cried from laughter last month when I read Wallace's description of Federer's anti-gravitational maneuver causing Wallace to nearly overturn his couch, popcorn, and wife.
After talking such delight recently in Sports Writing I've wondered if there has been some chromosonal change in me or if it's that my favorite writers are writing brilliant pieces on Sports.
I think its the latter.
Thanks for the heads up on The Blind Side-
will definitely check it out.


There was a very nice adapted exerpt from the book in this weekend's NY Times Magazine. It sold me too. Already pre-ordered.



Read his liar's poker,marvelous writing and eye-opening anecdotes.An inside scoop which is curious as it is revealing.
The blind side?Well,been expecting this one.Pre-ordered.


"And The Blind Side is as insightful and moving a meditation on class inequality in America as I have ever read..."

The description you give makes it sounds like the story of someone with the potential to move from a low economic class to a much higher one by virtue of the coincidence of his talent and a change in football.

So, I ask, "moving how?"

It could be moving (i.e., inspirational) because he makes it, or it could be moving (i.e., tragic) because he doesn't. For obvious reasons, you probably don't want to spoil the punchline, but I'm very curious to know where you're coming from on this.


Thanks Malcolm.

Lewis is in my view the best business reporter I have ever read. "The New New Thing" was a fabulous profile of the silicon valley culture and Netscape legacy in the 90's. "Next" was also marvelous. And his campaign coverage of the 1988 presidential race was insightful and always entertaining(even if he became enamored with an odd businessman). I will never think of Phil Gramm the same way after reading Lewis' observation that looking at Gramm's teeth you could tell he grew up poor.

Look forward to the book (and loved the NYT magazine piece this morning).

Look forward to the book (and loved the NYT magazine piece this morning).

Christopher Horn

Simmons' is a unique equity for the following reason: the two distinctive aspects of his writing converged in a magical, unforgettable two weeks in October 2004. Those features of course are: long-suffering Red Sox fan and devoted fan of 70s/80s cultural kitsch.

When Roberts scratched his way on against the greatest post-season closer ever, in Game 4 of the ALCS, then stole second and manufactured a run - followed by the heroics of Ortiz....

...that may not have been a direct plagiarization of the Bad News Bears series, but it sure seemed like copyright infringement.

To his credit, Lewis has transcended the impact of Moneyball by continuing to produce meaningful work.

Will Simmons ever live down - or up to - those weeks in 2004? I say the jury's out on that one.

Joshua Rose

There is a phenomenal sports columnist for, of all papers, the Kansas City Star, named Joe Posnanski. He captures themes that go way beyond sports, without, apparently, making the slightest effort to write about anything but sports. His writings on Buck O'Neill have been classic. Here's a link to a recent non-Buck column:


Mark Liyeos

I have read all of Michael Lewis' books and as many short pieces of his as I've been able to find. So "the Blind Side" was definitely on my radar and I've been eagerly anticipating its release.
But here's the odd thing. Malcolm lists the release date as October 2nd, and so does Amazon.com. But when I placed my order with Amazon.com last week, they delivered my copy of "The Blind Side" right away. It was delivered to my home on Saturday (Sept 23).
I am in no way special or entitled to advance copies of any books. I'm not sure if Amazon.com made a mistake or if the release date changed or what. If you're really anxious to read this book, you might as well order it today. It may show up at your door right away.

Jim Kerr

Don't forget Laura Hillenbrand's marvelous book "Seabiscuit." Golden age of sportswriting, indeed. "Seabiscuit" is one of the best sports biographies of all time.

Kyle Maxwell

I read the NYT magazine article about Michael Oher this weekend and was quite moved. The approach to sports was one that resonated with me: instead of focusing on the on-the-field achievements (or lack thereof), or simply holding up Oher as a hero, it told a story about redemption and discrimination with sports as a backdrop.

I'll be ordering a copy as well.


Sportswriting? Meh.

I like good writing-writing. If it happens to involve sports, fine by me.

But I'll be waiting to read it from the library. I also like good, *affordable* writing :-)


The three of them, of course, could be more different.

Could they? Couldn't we all?
(My apologies...I just can't help myself.)

Adam Schulman

Its interesting that you suggested Lewis' Moneyball as required reading for an Intro Psych class and one of the respondants suggesting using it for teaching research methods. It was required reading for me a few years ago in an undergraduate business school class called "Equity Investments". The professor used the book to teach us the concept of finding and taking advantage of arbitrage opportunities (whether they are found in the way people analyze companies or baseball players). The professor, himself a full-time investment manager for a state retirement fund, called it the best book on investments to come out that year.


Golden age of sportswriting?

No doubt we're getting some fine sportswriting, but there are plenty of great sportswriters of earlier eras:

Frank Deford in his SI glory days
Roger Angell, now and forever
Chris Economaki
Tom Wolfe
Ernest Hemingway on bullfighting

Do we (you) really have to stoop to the "it's a golden age" cliche to praise today's writers? Michael Lewis, David Wallace, and Bill Simmons are terrific. That ought to be enough.


And don't forget the article in this past Sunday's (that would be 9.24) NYT Magazine on Michael Oher. A golden age of sportswriting indeed.


I also really enjoy reading Bill Simmons, for the most part. His misogynism, however, often brings sportswriting back a few decades rather than into a "golden age".

Me Myself and Eugene

Sorry, but I don't think I'll be picking up Blindside. Because I choked and gulped at nearly every paragraph of the NYT Mag adaptation last weekend. At one point I was actually standing up at the table, cheering on his foster parents as they tried to get Big Mike's latest BYU transcript to the NCAA before the deadline.

Yes, it was great writing, but I just don't think I can go through that again.

Gary Smith is definitely putting out some good work these days. "Remember This Name" in the Sept 11th issue of SI this year was a classic.


Michael Lewis is a glorious writer. His typical subject is the Maverick - the man, or boy (I haven't seen him write about significant women yet) who understands a Deep Truth which everyone else misses.

Think Lewis Ranieri in Liar's Poker, John McCain in Losers, Jim Clark in the New New Thing, Jonathan Lebed in Next, Billy Beane in Moneyball, and Coach Mike Leach of Texas Tech in his NYT Magazine piece on football offense (I don't know if Leach shows up in his new book).

What's also interesting is the resistance the Maverick encounters. Over time, you'll notice the Maverick rarely Triumphs - the world mostly carries on as it did before. It's hard to change things. I believe Malcolm also wrote a book on this, once (albeit from a different perspective).

God Hates Cleveland Sports

Just read the first couple chapters of The Blind Side at lunch, and can't wait til I get time to not put it down!


Lewis is one of the few authors whose books I will pre-order regardless of the topic. I thought the book was great, but the subtitle was a little misleading. He weaves in the evolution of the game of football with the story of Michael Oher, but spends far more time on Oher (and with good reason, his is a better story). I haven't seen the movie or the TV show, but the book version of Friday Night Lights by Buzz Bissinger is a must read for sports books fans, and it touches on some of the same subject matter as Blind Side. Interestingly, Bissinger played high school ball with Bill Belichick.

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