The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

The Stacks is Deadspin's living archive of great journalism, curated by Bronx Banter's Alex Belth. Here are a few of our favorite stories so far.


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

My Dinner With Ali

By Davis Miller | I'd been waiting for years. When it finally happened, it wasn't what I'd expected. But he's been fooling many of us for most of our lives. Read…


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

Great Men Die Twice: Muhammad Ali In Decline

By Mark Kram | Two years after that last fight, Ali seemed as mystified as everyone else as to why he hadn't ended his career earlier. His was living with his third wife, the ice goddess Veronica, in an L.A. mansion, surrounded by the gifts of a lifetime—a six-foot hand carved tiger given to him by Teng Hsiao-ping, a robe given to him by Elvis Presley. Fatigued, his hands tremoring badly, he sat in front of the fire and could only say: "Everybody git lost in life. I just git lost, that's all." Read...

The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

Risk And Romance Among NBA Groupies: An Embed's Report

By E. Jean Carroll | "Most of the athletes I've dated swear to God they could not marry me, 'cause l'd kill them," says Miss Power, smiling at two waving chaps in a black Range Rover. "They tell me, 'Between you and basketball I would not be alive.'" She accelerates and the percussion of the motor fills the front seat. "First of all. I will not go to sleep without an orgasm. No. Not with any man I've been with. And I don't fake orgasms." Read...


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

The Loser: The Most Honest Sports Story Ever Written

By Gay Talese | At the foot of a mountain in upstate New York, about 60 miles from Manhattan, there is an abandoned country clubhouse with a dusty dance floor, upturned barstools and an untuned piano... Read…


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

The Brief Life And Complicated Death Of Tommy Lasorda's Gay Son

By Peter Richmond | Nighttime in Los Angeles, on a quiet street off Melrose Avenue. An otherwise normal evening is marked by an oddly whimsical celestial disturbance: Baseballs are falling out of the sky. Read…


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

Thurman Munson In Sun And Shade

By Michael Paterniti | Catfish is standing in front of the Caddy, and when he sees Thurman Munson with that .44, his eyes nearly pop out of his head. He goes, Holy shit, Thurman, you got a gun! Read...


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

Frank Sinatra Jr. Is Worth Six Buddy Grecos

By Tom Junod | Well, can you blame him? This is his life: No matter what he knows, all anybody really wants to talk about is the Old Man. Can you blame him if he builds a bunker of facts, an enormous fallout shelter of facts, and climbs into it? At least the facts are his. At least they are not his father's. Who cares if people say that the son of Frank Sinatra is boring? Facts fill up the empty places, they shine in the shadows, and Junior hoards them with the hunger of a prisoner. Read...


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

Thin Air: In The Mountains With Steve Carlton, Armed Conspiracist

By Pat Jordan | "I came to Durango in 1989 to get away from society," he says. Read…


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

The Double Life Of A Gay Dodger

By Michael J. Smith | The game is over and the baseball player sits in the hotel lobby, his eyes fixed on nothing. He thinks his secret is safe but he is never quite sure, so at midnight in the lobby it is always best to avoid the other eyes. Read…


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

Leroy's Revenge: Two Dogs, Father And Son, Fight To The Death

By Gary Cartwright | Otis Crater was late for the fanciers' organizational meeting at the Cherokee Lounge for good reason. He had just stabbed a U-TOTE-M attendant following a discussion of the economic impact of a five-cent price increase on a six-pack of beer. Read…


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

Can Dennis Rodman Survive Retirement?

By Stephen Rodrick | Dennis Rodman, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, lounges in a chair on the patio of his oceanfront home in Newport Beach, Calif. After multiple hues and shades, Rodman's hair is back to its original black, although it's now permanently brittle. Read…


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

Butkus: One Season And One Injury With The Meanest Man Alive

By Arthur Kretchmer |I once asked Howard Mudd if the 49ers, his previous team, had a special game plan for Butkus. "Sure," he said. "The plan was to not run between the tackles: always ensure that you block Dick. Once the game started, the plan changed, though. It became, 'Don't run. Just pass.'" Read...


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

The Night Tex Cobb Saved My Life

By Pete Dexter | The first time I ever brought up the subject of retirement, Randall Cobb had just stopped Earnie Shavers in the eighth round of a fight that ruined appetites all over Detroit. Read…


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

My Old Man On The Scales: Was My Racist Truck-Driver Father A Hero?

By Paul Hemphill | During the week, when he would be on the road somewhere, the days at home began with the muffled slapping of screen doors and the dull starting of cars and I could look through the living-room window and see the same thing happening up and down the block... Read…


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

Who Shot Battling Siki? The Life And Murder Of A Prizefighter

By John Lardner | Hell's Kitchen, the region west of Eighth Avenue around the Forties, won its name many years ago and continued to deserve it until about the time the Eighteenth Amendment was repealed. Read…


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

Rae Carruth, The Women Who Loved Him, And The One He Wanted Dead

By Peter Richmond | One by one, day by day, they'd glide to the witness stand, this procession of improbable women, a spangled harem of them, drifting into the courtroom and out again, leaving the scent of their perfume and the shadow of their glitter and the echo of their cool. Read…


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

Playboy's Candid Conversation With The Superswinger QB, Joe Namath

By Lawrence Linderman| If expressions could talk, I'd be hearing things like, "You think you're such a big deal. You expect me to go to bed with you just because you're Joe Namath; but I won't, because I'm different!" Hell, I don't expect to go to bed with every good-looking girl I meet. I'd like it, but I don't expect it. All I want to do is get to know them and hope to get sexually involved with them. Read...


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

How Dr. J Blackified Pro Ball, Found Himself, And Stayed Eternally Cool

By Mark Jacobson | I went for a ride through downtown Philadelphia with Julius Erving in his Maserati the other day, and with each passing block it became more apparent: Julius cannot drive very well. Read…


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

The Longest Day Of Sugar Ray: A Boxing Great Becomes A Sideshow Freak

By Dave Anderson | The great ones never lose their style. Even today Joe DiMaggio swings the bat majestically in the Old Timers games. Sammy Baugh can show a rookie quarterback how to lead a receiver slanting across the middle. Put Eddie Arcaro up on a three-year-old in the backstretch and the horseplayers would know him without binoculars. It's this way with Sugar Ray Robinson. Read…


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

The Better Man: How Sugar Ray Leonard Handled Fear And Marvin Hagler

By Juan Williams | In the street Leonard would not have been able to rely on a 12-round limit or the judge's scoring. He would do better to talk his way out of a disagreement with Mr. Hagler. By that standard this fight was polite, bloodless, a delight for the cognoscenti. It was evidence that brains and strategy can defeat brawn. Read...


Manchild In The Promised Land: Where Darryl Dawkins Came From

By Pete Dexter | Early February. Frank Dawkins is sitting in a second-floor office made of cement and insulated against the noise downstairs in the plant. Exactly what is manufactured in the plant is hard to say, but it has something to do with a lot of guys dropping pipes on a concrete floor. Read…


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

The Most Hated Winner In Football: Al Davis In 1969

By Leonard Shecter | Winning is all Al Davis knows and is probably the only thing he enjoys. A humorless man, he laughs only at conquest. "Tell him a joke," says a man who used to work for him, "and you'll get a blank look. But if a general manager on another club calls him up and congratulates him on some fast deal he put over, he'll laugh like hell." Read...


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

Dick Young's America ... The Reactionary Who Changed Sportswriting ...

By Ross Wetzsteon | Idols grow old like everybody else. Dick Young was once the patron saint, the most respected sportswriter in America, the one who changed all the rules, the guy who brought street smarts into the sports pages. Read…


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

The Hit King: Pete Rose In Purgatory

By Scott Raab | "They're all the same," says Rose, pen gripped tightly, hunched in concentration, unsmiling, not looking up. After signing each ball with a smooth stroke that seems to be one careful, continuous motion, he rolls it away, down the table, toward me. The tail of each final e in Petelifts to cross the t before it. Each curlicued R flows into the combined os in an almost floral kiss. He's absolutely right: they are all the same. Read...


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

Cracking Up With Charlie Barnett, The Legendary Street Comic

By Ivan Solotaroff | Charlie lowers his right fist and inhales for a long time, closing his eyes. He looks like he's seeing something horrible when he opens them again. "When you smoking crack," he says with a lowering voice, "you get paranoid. Like a motherfucker. I'd be checking out the woman, the rubbers, then back at the bitch. And she be saying, 'C'mon Charlie, I wanna get down.' And I get mad. Furious. 'Soon's I finish,"' he inhales, glowering, his eyes growing wide until he looks furious, dangerous. "'Soon's I finish,"' he inhales again, "'I am gonna fuck the shit out your black ass. Just as soon as I finish."' He inhales once more, then looks at his left hand. "I'm so paranoid now I put on all the rubbers. Sixteen of them." Read...


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

Little Big Mouth: The Unfunny Comedy Of Andrew Dice Clay

By Ivan Solotaroff | "Looks like a fuckin' Jew to me," his friend shoots out. I immediately calculate odds on getting in a sucker punch and getting out alive. Knowing I wouldn't get five feet, I think to ask if he knows Dice Clay's real name, then get a nasty inspiration. "What," I ask, "do you do for a living?" It's good for about two seconds. Read...


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

"Make Way For Brother Mike!": When Tyson Left Prison The First Time

By Richard Hoffer | Three years in prison, while he stewed in bitterness, might even have made him dangerous in ways beyond his previous flamboyance. Three years ripped right out of him, when it is time that is always the principal factor of wealth and achievement in an athlete's young life. That lost time denied him earning power, and maybe his place in boxing history. He had been stubbornly unrepentant in prison, so it didn't seem likely he'd forgive the debt. All the powers of the media were trained upon him this cold morning: What was he like? What would he do? How did he plan to make us pay? Read...


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

"That Moment Before It Starts When You're Scared": Tyson In His Prime

By Pete Dexter | So young Michael kicked the shit out of the kid who had tried to steal his pigeon; then he kicked the shit out of some of the kids who had stolen his clothes and money; and then he kicked the shit out of a bunch of people who just seemed to need the shit kicked out of them.

Noticing this, members of the Brownsville community began to include him in their activities. "They held the guns," he told Sports Illustrated in 1986."I just put everything in a bag. I was 11."
 Read...


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

Off-Broadway Joe: The Song And Dance Of A Playboy Nearing Middle Age

By Tony Kornheiser | "Women were never a problem," says Tannen. "Not that it was territory indigenous to Joe; a lot of athletes have women. But we would be sitting in Bachelors III, and when it came time to go, Joe would walk in to the front room, tap a woman on the shoulder and say, 'Let's go.' ... Once we were in Memphis for an exhibition game, and Joe was hurt and didn't come. I knew he always paid his own way for a suite, so I asked them to give me Namath's room. It was a knockout. There was a circular bed, and fresh flowers, and a bottle of Scotch, and on the bed were these two envelopes with letter to Joe from women staying in the hotel. I'm in Joe's debt. I certainly used those letters to my advantage." Read...


The Best Of The Stacks (So Far)

The Champ And The Chump: The Meaning Of Liston-Clay I

By Murray Kempton | He came into the ring long before Liston and danced with the mechanical melancholy of a marathon dancer; it was hard to believe that he had slept in forty-eight hours. Liston came in; they met in the ring center with Clay looking over the head of that brooding presence; then Clay went back and put in his mouthpiece clumsily like an amateur and shadowboxed like a man before a mirror and turned around, still catatonic and the bell rang and Cassius Clay went forward to meet the toughest man alive. Read...