An Ex-Fan's Notes

8 September 14
Noah Cohan

The overwhelming evidence about traumatic brain injuries and the subconcussive collisions intrinsic to football may not be enough to sway others to give up football: it’s also crucial to consider how such arguments are constructed.
Read on.

The Enormous Screen

20 June 14
Brian Schwartz

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

The Sound of Silence

28 July 14
Matt Nicholas

Watching to baseball a game without the meddling presence of curmudgeonly announcers helps you appreciate the real value of moralistic curmudgeons.

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.

Chock Full of Half-Emptiness Patrick O'Connell 25 October 13

Trying to understand pessimistic sports fans can be difficult. Are they just masochistic?

Child's Play Matt Nicholas 1 October 13

Are we doing enough to protect our athletes from humiliation and psychic trauma?

A Lonely Centaur Roams the Uncanny Valley Matt Nicholas 9 August 13

Alex Rodriguez is an all-star, a steriod user, a cheater, a fraud, and a creepy, inhuman life-form who evokes a kind of primal anxiety within the legion of baseball fans who despise him.

Sports + Literature = Sports Literature? James Williams 24 July 13

Concern over teaching a class called “Sports Literature” leads to a consideration of the ways in which sports and literature actually work at cross purposes to one another.

The Team Dream Austin Kelley 18 July 13

Major League Baseball designates captains to choose participants in its annual Home Run Derby, awakening those anxious moments spent on the playgrounds of childhood waiting to be chosen.

Wimbledon and the Family Romance Matt Nicholas 9 July 13

The big winners at Wimbledon this year were Marion Bartoli, Andy Murray, and dime-store psychoanalysts everywhere. Read more.