THE BEST AMERICAN SPORTS WRITING 2014

 

Contents

 

 

Foreword by Glenn Stout

 

Introduction by Christopher McDougall

 

 

PAUL SOLOTAROFF with RON BORGES.  The Gangster in the Huddle

from Rolling Stone

 

DAVID MERRILL.  The One-Legged Wrestler Who Conquered His Sport, Then Left It Behind

from Deadspin.com

 

CHRIS JONES.  When 772 Pitches Isn’t Enough

from ESPN: The Magazine

 

FLINDER BOYD.  20 Minutes at Rucker Park

from SBNation.com

 

AMANDA RIPLEY.  The Case Against High School Sports

from The Atlantic

 

PATRICK HRUBY.  The Choice

from SportsOnEarth.com

 

TIMOTHY BURKE and JACK DICKEY.  Manti Te’os’ Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking And Inspirational Story Of The College Football Season, Is A Hoax

from Deadspin.com

 

DON VAN NATTA JR.  The Match Maker

from ESPN.com

 

MARY PILON.  Tomato Can Blues

from The New York Times

 

JAY CASPIAN KANG.  The End and Don King

from Grantland.com

 

IAN FRAZIER.  The Last Days of Stealhead Joe

from Outside

 

JEREMY MARKOVICH.  Elegy of a Race Car Driver

from SBNation.com

 

STEPHEN RODRICK.  The Great One

from Rolling Stone

 

BROOK LARMER.  La Ni, China’s Tennis Rebel

from The New York Times Magazine

 

AMANDA HESS.  You Can Only Hope To Contain Them

from ESPN: The Magazine

 

ELI SASLOW.  Anybody Who Thinks This Is Porn or Abuse Doesn’t Know Me or My Family

from ESPN: The Magazine

 

JONATHAN MAHLER.  The Coach Who Exploded

from The New York Times Magazine

 

BEN MCGRATH.  The Art of Speed

 from The New Yorker

 

NICK PAUMGARTEN.  The Manic Mountain

 from The New Yorker

 

BUCKY MCMAHON.  Heart of Sharkness

from GQ

 

ALICE GREGORY.  Mavericks

from n + 1

 

RAFFI KHATCHADOURIAN.  The Chaos of the Dice

from The New Yorker

 

KATHY DOBIE.  Raider. QB Crusher. Murderer?

from GQ

 

CHRISTOPHER SOLOMON.  The Last Man Up

from Runner’s World

 

CHARLES P. PIERCE.  The Marathon

from Grantland.com

 

Notable Sports Writing of 2013 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 two 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, both this year and last, I 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 two stories 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, 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 2013 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.