Over on The Stacks, we've been running excerpts all week from a fun new anthology of Chicago sportswriting, edited by Ron Rapoport, whose interview with Alex Belth is below. The book is worth a look. There's Lardner and Lincicome and Royko, and if dyspeptic smartasses aren't your thing, there's young Telander and John Schulian. And if neither dyspepsia nor deadline lyricism is your thing, we have the entire phylum of Chicago hackery on hand, presented here in all its rich diversity—controversialists like Jay Mariotti and water-carriers like David Haugh and unfunny boobs like Gene Wojciechowski and pandering sentimentalists like Bob Greene. (I'd take Ben Joravsky's predicates alone for the best column Jay Mariotti ever wrote, but alas he's nowhere to be found.)

In the interview below, Rapoport suggests that the city's sportswriting retained the "boisterous, rough, and undignified" DNA of late-19th-century Chicago newspapering. If that's the case, then I suppose the hacks belong in a collection like this, too. Anyway, read on and check out the book, too.