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Cultural critic Gerald Early has gathered here a collection of 13 writers who offer personal reflections on the public obsession with sport. They range from the pool hustler to the closet baseball fan; from late-night rodeo on cable TV to tennis games on the weathered fields of Illiis. But beyond fan or competitor or social commentator, these writers are storytellers, and it is in their personal stories - poignant, funny, extreme, illuminating - that we begin to identify the themes that galvanize both sport and literature: conflict and sacrifice, ritual and passion, humiliation and heroism.
Gerald Early (editor) is the author of The Culture of Bruising: Essays on Prize Fighting, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award.