The biggest news of this young baseball season is that Manny Ramirez is hanging up his batting gloves and saying goodbye to the Major Leagues. This is sad because Ramirez was one of the game’s great natural hitters and because he was (probably without meaning to be, but occasionally I wasn’t really sure) one of the most compelling performance artists in pro sports....more
In July, two nights after my daughter was born, I took the subway home from the hospital in the very early morning and spilled water all over the floor of the N train. The water poured out of a vase of celebratory roses sent by my parents, which I had put in a paper bag and nestled between my tired feet; when I fell asleep the vase toppled over in the bag and slowly seeped its lifeblood out through the brown paper....more
In 1994, David Foster Wallace published an essay about the difficult-to-pin-down pleasure of watching great athletes during their most intense moments of competition. The essay, “How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart,” looks simple on the surface: it is “unaccompanied,” by which I mean there are no numbered footnotes, no preambles, no subtitles and no flow charts framing or attached to the text....more
One time I was in the checkout line at the grocery store, standing behind a dark-haired woman whose left arm was covered in tattoos. Another shopper—a young man wearing a summery straw hat—approached the woman and asked, “Do you mind if I take a picture of your heart tattoo to show my cardiologist stepfather?”...more
What was the best play made by a wide receiver during last weekend’s NFL playoff games? Hint: it wasn’t a touchdown catch.
Last Saturday night, during the Indianapolis Colts-Baltimore Ravens matchup, Colts wide receiver Pierre Garçon showed amazing heart and hustle. Here’s what happened:...more
When I need a haircut, I go to a barbershop run by a pair of balding Italian brothers in Park Slope, Brooklyn. My hair is thin enough now that I’m no longer sure how often I should have it trimmed; is it better to keep it short all the time so people know I’m not trying to hide anything?...more
This past week’s pro football storylines were, in a word, beautiful. First of all, before the games even began, there was the matter of Rush Limbaugh wanting to become an owner of the St. Louis Rams. The Rams totally suck this year, so something in Limbaugh’s wanting a piece of them feels, I don’t know, almost tender....more