History Lessons

15 April 15
by Dan Kaufman
Illustration by Marshall Hopkins

Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano talks soccer. More.

Elegy Written in a Coaching Graveyard

31 December 14
Matt Nicholas

Marc Trestman’s values were at odds with the culture of the NFL. So he was fired.

Big Data Meets the NBA

17 March 15
Matt Nicholas

Recent tirades by Charles Barkley and Kevin Durant provoke questions about why some NBA players may be so resistant to analytics. The basketball hellscape depicted in Space Jam may have something to do with it.

Experimental Football Matt Nicholas 29 October 14

A new, “experimental” football league grows in Brooklyn.

On Bad Faith in the NFL Katie Muth 29 September 14

Comparing the Hope Solo domestic violence case to the Ray Rice domestic violence case is at best a false equivalency and more probably deeply nefarious.

Football, Dogfighting and How the NFL Helps Us Get Off on Violence and Feel Really Good about Ourselves Mark O'Connell 23 September 14

The spate of domestic violence cases involving NFL players prompts reconsideration of another incident of violence from recent history: Michael Vick’s dogfighting case.

An Ex-Fan's Notes Noah Cohan 8 September 14

When considering the overwhelming evidence that links traumatic brain injuries to football it’s also crucial to consider how such arguments against watching the NFL are constructed.

The Sound of Silence Matt Nicholas 28 July 14

Watching a baseball a game without the meddling presence of curmudgeonly announcers really helps you appreciate those curmudgeonly announcers.

The Enormous Screen Brian Schwartz 20 June 14

Watching the U.S. – Ghana World Cup match on a new, gigantic television screen — and experiencing the frustrations and exhilarations it provides.

Please Wear Blue to My Funeral Beth Boyle Machlan 18 June 14

For one new fan, the Rangers playoff run inspires anxieties about bandwagon-jumping and the kind of faith inspired by fandom.

World Cup Dad Austin Kelley 16 June 14

Before the US-Ghana match, a new father reflects on the birth of his first child and on watching the World Cup. Welcome to the world, August Fiorello Thompson Kelley

Tough Jungle Love Matt Nicholas 13 June 14

It isn’t soccer that brings us together as much as it is the crushing terror and indifference of the natural world. Ole Ola!

Rethinking Those Deacon Blues Matthew Shipe 5 April 14

A new book about Alabama football during the 1960s elicits a reflection on the Crimson Tide’s past and present football glory.

Lay It Down, Big Man Matt Nicholas 20 March 14

Bill Walton put out a spoken word record two decades ago, which unified, if only for a moment, the disparate jock, punk, and hippie cultures.

Curling, Sweep Me Away Patrick M. O'Connell 19 February 14

The sport of curling looks simple enough to play that those of us watching at home think we could do it and complicated enough to keep those of us watching at home fascinated for hours.

Losing the "Big Fight" Matt Nicholas 14 February 14

Downhill skiers experience a form of terror imagined in paintings by Goya, poems by Shelley, and, more subtly, films like Hot Dog…The Movie.

Welcome to the Jungle Brian Schwartz 13 February 14

Sage Kotsenburg won the gold in slopestyle snowboarding. Perhaps his weirdness could offer some much needed inspiration to the U.S. Men’s World Cup team.

The Armed Circus-Pony Competition Austin Kelley 12 February 14

The biathlon can look ridiculous but it’s still a primal test of endurance and accuracy with would-be assassins as competitors.

Going out on Top Noah Cohan 7 February 14

For the first time in their nearly 40-year existence, the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl. So now seems like a good time to leave the party.

Coded Hate Speech on the Pitch Austin Kelley 22 January 14

Nicolas Anelka scored a goal. Then he performed the “quenelle.” And now we’re left to determine what’s offensive.

Fight Songs and Drone Strikes Matt Nicholas 31 December 13

Bowl games are sponsored by investment banks and restaurants chains. And defense contractors and helicopter manufactures.

Your Weekend Guide to Fetish Objects Matt Nicholas 29 November 13

The last weekend of the regular season in college football brings us: apple cups, and golden eggs, and old oaken buckets.

Reasons to Care Sam Beebe 16 November 13

Rooting for a sports team that you don’t normally root for provides an opportunity to think about what it is that attracts you to sports. And also what repels you.