THE BEST AMERICAN SPORTS WRITING 2015

 

CONTENTS

 

 

 

Foreword by Glenn Stout

 

 

 

Introduction By Guest Editor Wright Thompson

 

 

 

SETH WICKERSHAM.  Awakening the Giant            

 

            from ESPN The Magazine

 

 

 

CHRIS JONES.   One Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty-Eight Pounds of Sons                                                         

 

from Esquire

 

 

 

JOEL ANDERSON.  The Two Michael Sams

 from Buzzfeed

 

 

 

JEREMY COLLINS.  Thirteen Ways of Looking at Greg Maddux                                          

 

from SB Nation

 

 

 

ELIZABETH MERILL.  Being Tommy Morrison’s Son                                                                                   

 

 from ESPN.com

 

 

 

DAN O’SULLIVAN.  Money in the Bank                                                                   

 

from Jacobin

 

 

 

RICK BASS.  The Rage of the Squat King                                          

 

from New Nowhere

 

 

 

CHRIS BALLARD.   Haverford Hoops                                                                      

 

from SI.com

 

 

 

TOMMY TOMLINSON.  Precious Memories                                                              

 

from ESPN.com

 

 

 

DON VAN NATTA.  Jerry Football                                                                                                  

 

from ESPN.com

 

 

 

TIM GRAHAM.  Broke and Broken                                                                           

 

from the Buffalo News

 

 

 

GREG HANLON.  Sins of the Preacher                                                         

 

from Sports on Earth

 

 

 

FLINDER BOYD.  Run and Gun                                                        

 

from FoxSports.com

 

 

 

KATIE BAKER.  Those Kansas City Blues : A Family History           

 

from The Daily Beast

 

 

 

BRIAN PHILLIPS.  The Sea of Crises                                                                                    

 

from Grantland

 

 

 

BURKHARD BILGER.   In Deep                                                                               

 

from The New Yorker

 

 

 

WELLS TOWER.  Who Wants to Kill an Elephant?                                        

 

from GQ

 

 

 

ARIEL LEVY.  Breaking the Waves

 

from The New Yorker

 

 

 

CHRISTOPHER BEAM.  The Year of the Pigskin                                                       

 

from The New Republic                       

 

 

 

SCOTT EDEN.  No One Walks Off the Island

 

 from ESPN.com                                         

 

 

 

DAN WETZEL.  Peyton Manning Leaves Crushing Super Bowl Loss with Reputation Intact                                    

 

from Yahoo.com

 

 

Contributor’s Notes and Notable Sports Writing of 2014 will appear in the book

 

 

 

Series Editor’s Note:

 

Each year I put about 75 stories forward to the guest editor. These are done so blindly, in WORD files, not identified by either author or source. The Guest Editor is responsible for the final selections, and is always welcome to select stories not put forward by the Series Editor.

 

When I began working as a consultant to SB Nation just over three years ago, helping to launch their longform page, I immediately asked my editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt if she believed this represented a conflict of interest with my duties as BASW Series Editor. She did not. For one, the selection of stories each year is, as indicated above, the sole responsibility of the Guest Editor. As Series Editor I only suggest, but do not make, a single selection. Furthermore, it is virtually impossible for either a Series or Guest Editor for any of the Best American titles not to have some kind of relationship with some authors of stories under consideration, either as friends, acquaintances, colleagues, or even as editors or publishers.

 

Nevertheless, in regard to stories from SBNation.com, I adhered to a higher standard. I only put forward those few stories that had been widely cited and praised by multiple notable longer form journalism aggregators, and/or had been cited by a wide variety of end of the year “Best” lists, such as those compiled by Sports On Earth, Sports Illustrated, Longfrom.org, The Nieman Storyboard, Longreads.com, USA Today and others. In addition, at the beginning of the process, since 2013 I have informed the Guest Editor of my role with SB Nation and asked if he still wished to consider material from that source, if I considered any worthy. On both occasions, the Guest Editor found that acceptable (Note: No stories from SBNation.com were selected for BASW 2013 – so much for putting in the fix).

 

This year, at the end of the process, when the Guest Editor made his selections, I informed him that he selected one story from SBNation.com for inclusion. The Guest Editor was offered the opportunity to remove them from consideration. He indicated that he felt their inclusion was merited and felt no need to do so.

 

In January 2014, I was named Longform Editor of SBNation.com. I continue as Series Editor of The Best American Sports Writing. Going forward I plan to continue to follow the procedure outlined above to preserve the high standards and integrity of The Best American Sports Writing.

 

The Notable Sports Writing of 2015 list will appear in the book and here: http://www.hmhbooks.com/hmh/bestamerican/sportsbookdetails   It generally includes most, but not necessarily all, of the stories submitted to the Guest Editor for consideration.