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50 Great Articles and Essays about Sport

The best short articles and essays about sports — Interesting sport articles and sports essays by famous authors

Basketball

We Are Grown Men Playing a Child’s Game
by Gilbert Rogin

The bearded man laughing at his daughter is Bill Russell, the most remarkable basketball player of our time. Sport, however, is one of his lesser interests. Here are his trenchant, often angry observations on today’s Negro-white crisis and his role in it

Shoot the Moon by Susan Orlean

White men in suits follow Felipe Lopez everywhere he goes. They are ubiquitous. They rarely miss one of Felipe’s games or tournaments…

The No-Stats All-Star by Michael Lewis

His greatness is not marked in box scores or at slam-dunk contests, but on the court Shane Battier makes his team better, often much better, and his opponents worse, often much worse.

Jordan’s Moment by David Halberstam

A great profile piece exploring a quintessential moment from the legendary career of basketball’s biggest star.

Baseball

The Trading Desk by Michael Lewis

For the past four years, working with one of the lowest payrolls in the game, the Oakland A’s have won as many regular-season games as almost any other team. How on earth did they do it?

Baseball for Life by Sara Corbett

People have accepted that it’s O.K. for a talented 7- or 8-year-old gymnast to go away and not see her family at all, but for a baseball player to do anything close to that, it’s like, ‘Oh, my God, that’s terrible!’

The Curious Case of Sidd Finch by George Plimpton

You can hardly see the blur of it as it goes by. As for hitting the thing, frankly, I just don’t think it’s humanly possible

Football

The Ballad of Big Mike by Michael Lewis

Every other high-school football player in America was dying for Lemming to invite him to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Michael Oher had left his invitation on the table…

Friday Night Lights by Buzz Bissinger

Outside, the August night was cool and serene, with just a wisp of West Texas wind. Inside, there was a sense of excitement and also relief, for the waiting was basically over…

Game Brain by Jeanne Marie Laskas

Let’s say you run a multibillion-dollar football league. And let’s concussions are making your players crazy. What would you do?

G-L-O-R-Y! by Jeanne Marie Laskas

The hot, peppy, underpaid world of the NFL cheerleaders

There’s No Crying at the Pee Wee Super Bowl by Jeanne Marie Laskas

The biggest little game in the world…

Tennis

Federer as Religious Experience
by David Foster Wallace

The world of top-flight tennis, and arguably its greatest exponent

The String Theory by David Foster Wallace

An obsessive inquiry into the physics and metaphysics of tennis

Running

Usain Bolt, Mutant by Luke Dittrich

What would happen if the fastest man on earth started making an effort?

Is the Fastest Human Ever Already Alive? by Chuck Klosterman

Allow me to spare you the hyperbole: Usain Bolt is fast…

The Fast Life of Oscar Pistorius by Michael Sokolove

Should a double amputee be allowed to race against the world’s best able- bodied athletes, or could his disability offer him an unfair advantage?

Either/Or by Ariel Levy

How world-class sprinter Caster Semenya puts the idea of binary genders into question.

Yoga

Why Yoga Can Be So Irritating by Sarah Miller

(Although You Should Go Anyway!)

How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body by William J. Broad

Popped ribs, brain injuries, blinding pain. Are the healing rewards worth the risks?

Misc.

The Istanbul Derby by Spencer Hall

Soccer, fire and a game at the world’s crossroads

The Sea of Crises by Brian Phillips

On sumo, ritual suicide and the death of samurai culture

Triumph Of The Swoosh by Donald Katz

With a keen sense of the power of sports and a genius for mythologizing athletes to help sell sneakers, Nike bestrides the world of sport like a marketing colossus

Why Sports Are for Losers by Matti Taibbi

“There is a dirty truth that professional sports keeps hidden from fans, i.e., guys like you and me who spend winter after winter wondering, What if? And that truth is: Watching sports sucks”

Documentaries

Hoop Dreams

Inside the world of top flight high school basketball

People in Motion

Spellbinding footage of some of the world’s best free runners

Bigger, Faster, Stronger

Muscle, steroids, and the American Dream

Dogtown and Z-Boys

The birth of modern skateboarding, with tons of stunning archive film

Bouncing Cats

How breakdance is helping heal the wounds of civil war in Uganda

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