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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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The Best American Sports Writing 2012 Paperback – December 7, 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

These 20 pieces culled from the likes of GQ, the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, and Runner’s World aren’t so much concerned with the most important sports stories of 2011—the Penn State scandal, for instance, is absent here—as they are with sharing insights into extraordinary athletes among us. John Brant’s piece on Frank Shorter reveals the horrific physical and emotional abuse the 1972 Olympic Gold Medalist and his siblings suffered as children at the hands of their father, a doctor ironically considered a hero by their hometown community. Dave Sheinin’s profile of Bryce Harper and his working-class family gives context to the meteoric rise of the Washington Nationals phenom. And for those of us utterly befuddled by the game of cricket, Wright Thompson conveys its profound meaning to the nation of India and, by association, the rest of the world. “The power of sport,” he writes, “is that, on occasion, it redeems the messes we create around it.” This fine collection, worthy of its predecessors in the annual series, helps deliver that redemption. --Alan Moores

Book Description

Previous ISBN 978-0-547-33696-1
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Product Details

  • Series: Best American
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 2012 ed. edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547336977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547336978
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #827,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a sports journalist, I've been a big fan of Best American since '91, but recent editions have disappointed. For some reason, the editors seem to think that bigger is better, and the more serious the topic the more worthy it is of inclusion. So where haver all the wonderful 700-800 word pieces gone? Where is the humour? The title is Best Sports Writing, not Best Sports Stories. The stories are good but they tend to be on the sombre side, forgetting that sport is a pastime and, as such, should have its share of good humour. I'm writing this in the hope that future editions will get the balance right - or has America no worthy successor to Jim Murray, Rick Reilly and their like?
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Format: Paperback
A slightly uneven but generally appealing anthology of American sports writing from 2012. These published chapters are generally extended (15-25 pages) profiles or investigative pieces; a couple of pieces run to 40+ pages.

Many of these essays explore the often tragic personal costs of sports, particularly those sports, like football and hockey, where repeated blows to the head are an almost unavoidable feature of the game. Of the three or four essays that dealt with the effects of concussions, "Punched Out, the extended profile of hockey's Derek Boogaard, is the best.

Other pieces point out how sports act as a positive influence, serving as an escape from poverty and abuse. The profiles of Frank Shorter, the famous marathoner who was abused as a child, and of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania's high school football program are both excellent.

My single favorite piece was Taylor Branch's devastating attack on the NCAA, "The Shame of College Sports." It underscores just how cynically the ideal of "amateurism" has been manipulated in college sports, and how the organization that is supposed to represent and protect "student-athletes"--in a bit of Newspeak-like censorship, the NCAA requires that journalists use this label rather than "players"--often does just the opposite, extracting wealth.

If I had a complaint about the principle of selection, it is that these essays almost exclusively survey the human or business side of sports. There ought to be a place here for a few pieces that represent the best technical analysis of gameplay, player technique, coaching, or strategy.
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I give this collection to my son every year as a birthday gift for his late November birthday. He loves getting it and reads it cover to cover. He keeps all the older ones and re-reads some of those articles, too. No one has the time to read all the source publications that are culled to make this collection. Even if my son might have read one or two of the articles, he always finds gems he never would have come across without this book.
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Halfway through this year's edition of "Best American Sports Writing," I was ready to stop watching any major sport ever again. A litany of stories about brain-damaged football players and hockey players, as well as pschotic basketball players, left me wondering why anyone would want to compile these stories into a book that is supposed to celebrate sports. Generally absent from this edition are the funny stories about sports characters or the interesting and poignant ones about obscure sports and forgotten champions or losers. It's as if the book was edited by someone who doesn't care about the games and who hates the centrality that sports has in our society.

Then I remembered that Michael Wilbon is the guest editor. Wilbon's schtick in the last 15 years has been to rip sports as a business and a social phenomenon. He hates all owners, the entire NCAA infrastructure, and most players. He hates the media hype surrounding the sport, even as he has parlayed it into an ultra-lucrative career in which he doesn't have to actually do any hard journalistic work any more. Basically, he name-drops his pals from the 1980s and 1990s and moans about how today's athletes are coddled, or cheaters, or stupid, or whatever. This book reflects his bias in many ways.

By the end of the book, I'd calmed down a bit. I enjoyed the pieces about kooky Rangers manager Ron Washington and rakish sportswriter George Kimball. I'd seen the pieces about Bryce Harper and Novak Djokovic when they were first published, but I enjoyed re-reading them with the reflection time to have enjoyed watching those players ascend the heights that were only beginning when the articles were written.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fantastic book with sports stories about all sports. Mostly it is about people and brings to the table the human side of the wonderful world of sports. A doctoral thesis could be written about the human psyche from just this book. It highlights the importance of sports on the every day person and how we relate to our sportsmen and women and our need to be a part of the action.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My husband, an avid television sports fan who doesn't read magazines, loves this collection of articles by various well known sports writers. Many different sports besides football, baseball and basketball are included, and actually got him (temporarily) interested in expanding his horizens. I am happy to see him engrossed in this book, and hear an occasional chuckle.
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