Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Read about it in the Sunday papers

While spending most of my afternoon with the Sunday edition of the New York Times, I found some intriguing articles. Just in case you might be interested, I'm passing some links along.

▪▪ If you're like me, this is probably a question that's never occurred to you: Why has The Great American Hockey Novel never been written? Maybe because its North American popularity is concentrated in Canada? Maybe because it's largely become a boutique sport in this country? And is that because we've never had a good hockey novel (or even an essay)? (We've had good hockey movies.) Actually, I can't even think of a good basketball novel. But I thought it was an interesting question.

▪▪ During baseball season, you'll see several pitchers insist on their own catcher. With the Yankees, for instance, Randy Johnson wanted John Flaherty to catch him, not Jorge Posada. While in Atlanta, Greg Maddux asked for Eddie Perez, even when Javy Lopez was mashing the ball. Of course, knuckleball pitchers often have their own catchers, but that's a different story. Some pitchers feel more comfortable with particular catchers, but apparently, there's no good statistical evidence to endorse such moves. Should catchers have an E.R.A.? Or is their effect on a pitcher overrated?

▪▪ This might be the only time auto racing gets mentioned on this blog (The Wayne Fontes Experience isn't afraid to embrace his inner NASCAR fan), but here's something else worth asking on the fifth anniversary of Dale Earnhardt's death at the Daytona 500: How many lives have been saved because of that tragedy? With the safety measures that were implemented following that accident, here's the number of NASCAR drivers that have been killed in crashes since Earnhardt died: Zero.



  • At February 20, 2006 11:03 AM, Anonymous susannah said…

    Hey, I bet I'm the only person to comment on the Hockey Novel article. :) It is an interesting question, but I found myself wondering what the essay's author wanted from the "great novel" -- a good memoir? A compelling fiction story set against a hockey backdrop? A Feinstein/Bissinger-esque story about an important team/moment? Sorry, I'm probably being nit-picky there.

    But beyond that, I don't think the fact that hockey is a niche sport has anything to do with people's enjoyment of it. People would read about a f-ing curling team if it was a well-told and compelling story. I think that because it's a niche sport, more good writers just aren't familiar enough with the sport to feel comfortable getting into it as deeply as they would basketball/baseball/football.

    By the way, I read this and was like, "I'M ON IT!" We'll see. :)

  • At February 20, 2006 12:48 PM, Blogger Ian C. said…

    Yes, Suz - thank you for commenting on the hockey novel.

    And if you write it, I will read.


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