"On any given day, sports will offer us stories -- the most human stories -- in richer supply, and more reliably, than any other branch of endeavor . . . When someone does write how it was, or how it is, it thrills us with the same exultation that we feel when a fellow being excels on the field, the court, the course, or the track . . . I don't think it's stretching things to say that the writers in this book show, in their field, the same sort of hyper-acuity that athletic heroes show in their games." -- from the introduction by Richard Ben Cramer
Not just for readers of the sports pages, these selections bring together the finest writing on sports from the past year. Richard Ben Cramer assembles a fascinating look at the sporting world, showcasing the triumphs and heartaches of human endeavor and covering all aspects of sport.
Lynne Cox chronicles her extraordinary swim in the Arctic Ocean. Gary Smith provides rare insight into the complexities of Mia Hamm. Michael Leahy details the final days of the Michael Jordan Wizards. Susan Orlean takes the definition of sport in a different direction with an insider's look at the World Taxidermy Championships. Greg Couch and Lisa Olson both offer a glimpse of sports' underbelly as a professional baseball team scalps its own tickets and as women single-mindedly pursue million-dollar athletes. Carlton Stowers follows a six-man high school football team as they strive for success, and Michael Hall chronicles a man's escape from death and his journey of renewal through running.
With Cramer at the helm, this year's selections embrace the world of sports in all its drama, humanity, and excitement.