The Baseball Hall Of Fame Is A Grim, Cruel, Terrible Place

In 1999, I was teaching advanced dialectical history at a small northeastern liberal arts college whose name I will not mention here. The season of that year that stands out the most in my own memory is Autumn. The Autumn of 1999. I remember, that Autumn, getting home from the last class of the day, putting on the… »10/23/15 5:05pm10/23/15 5:05pm


ESPN Kills Kevin Johnson Propaganda Movie; Kevin Johnson Throws Himself A Party

The lines snaking out from the Crest Theatre extended halfway down K Street, past clubs and restaurants, amused bystanders, and two light-rail platforms. It was a full hour before the Sacramento premiere of Down In The Valley, a new entry in ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, and yet the street was already aswarm with fans and… »10/13/15 12:45pm10/13/15 12:45pm

You Can Take Yo La Tengo To A Mets Game, But You Can't Make 'Em Do The Wave

Credit where credit’s due: The New York Mets are very good this year, and they wholeheartedly earned the NL East title. But given the team’s habit of historic late-season collapses—recall, for example, when they blew a sturdy seven-game September division lead in 2007 by losing 12 of their last 17 games—there must’ve… »10/02/15 2:10pm10/02/15 2:10pm

The Cool Pope In Central Park: A Totally Worthwhile Five-Hour Ordeal

When Pope Francis was still known as Jorge Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he would ride the subway into the most impoverished parts of the city for home visits. If you know only one thing about the guy, that’s likely it—it’s his origin story and, if you’re a true believer, a symbol of his humility and his… »9/28/15 5:16pm9/28/15 5:16pm

At The Sports Brand Awards, Brands Tell A Story About Telling Stories

When I walked into Cipriani on 42nd St.—a gorgeous Manhattan event space highlighted by stone archways, Greek columns, and ceilings higher than those of a Renaissance cathedral’s—on Wednesday night, I was greeted by a bank of MacBooks, each manned by a well-dressed young person, their faces glowing warmly in the dim… »7/10/15 12:44pm7/10/15 12:44pm

Body Ritual Among the Swimsuit Models in the Horny Hell of SwimCity

SWIMCITY, U.S.A.—The climate of SwimCity is humid subtropical, with temperatures hovering around an equatorial 78 degrees between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. It is a small city, boasting about 60 full-time residents, though quadruple this number in tourists and drifters clog its thoroughfares at any given time,… »2/13/15 2:07pm2/13/15 2:07pm

Rush After 'A Rape On Campus': A UVA Alum Goes Back to Rugby Road

It's a blue, cold Thursday in January and I'm walking down Rugby Road on the first night of fraternity rush at the University of Virginia, brushing past groups of identical gossiping boys in matching preppy outfits: fleeces, checked oxfords, khakis, boots. "Excuse me," they say politely when our coats touch, then… »1/28/15 11:12am1/28/15 11:12am

A Day At The Track For The World's Biggest And Strangest Horse Race

TOKYO — One of the most-watched and best-attended sporting events in the world took place in Tokyo last Sunday. More than 100,000 people, thousands of whom slept outside overnight, streamed into Tokyo Racecourse for the $5 million-plus Japan Cup. But as the Cup's 18 runners entered the walking ring just after three… »12/05/14 4:58pm12/05/14 4:58pm

The Tour De France Is Agony For The Spectators, Too

Whenever I hear hardcore cycling fans explain the Tour de France to novices, they seem to emphasize one aspect of the race—the suffering—above the rest. Sure, they talk about the sprints and the hills and the strategy, and explain how the cobbles of northern France, when wet, make the road as slippery as a skating… »7/17/14 4:01pm7/17/14 4:01pm

Where Jürgen Klinsmann Comes From

Before Jürgen Klinsmann snubbed Landon Donovan, before he coached Bayern Munich or the U.S. and German national teams, before he won the UEFA Cup as a player with Internazionale and again with Bayern, before winning the World Cup and captaining the German team to the European Championship, he lived with his parents in… »5/27/14 4:52pm5/27/14 4:52pm

The Devil And Phil Robertson: My Day With Duck Dynasty

So GQ sent me down to Monroe, La. (GUMBO GUMBO GUMBO), to hang out with the Duck Dynasty family. You can read the story right here, and whenever I go deep into the heart of 'MERICA—be it for this assignment or the Kid Rock cruise or the Values Voters Summit—I'm always careful not to be the sneering LIBRUL who ventures… »12/18/13 9:19am12/18/13 9:19am

Health Is Bad For You: My Weird Weekend At Toronto's Fitness Shitshow

TORONTO—"Dear Toronto Pro Supershow Delegate," read a slip of paper handed to everyone checking in at Toronto's Intercontinental Hotel on Friday. "For your convenience we have 'Special Towels' through our Housekeeping Department. We recommend that these special towels/ linens be used in conjunction with any treatments… »6/11/13 3:00pm6/11/13 3:00pm

Searching For Anything But Bobby Fischer At School Scrabble Nationals

There are 45 tables set up down in Exhibit Hall C of the Woodley Park Marriott in Washington, D.C., a hotel roughly the size of the Pentagon. Each table has a black tablecloth, a Diamond Anniversary Edition Scrabble board, a crushed velvet tile bag, two racks, four all-purpose banquet chairs (able to switch… »5/13/13 2:59pm5/13/13 2:59pm