Though I am a sports fan I am not a fan of football— especially the comic operatic machinations of an endlessly monetizing NFL. Why, you ask? Mostly to do with the greed and violence attached to the sport. That said, I must confess that I have been unable to kick the life-long habit of watching televised games. Thus,I spent last Sunday watching the two conference championships. I came away with two small questions which a few days later are still lingering.
When I first watched the now famous play where Bronco’s Wes Welker cut Patriot’s Aquib Talib, which was just on the periphery of the live action shot, I thought it looked like an illegal pick. Now I had a fleeting view and my recollection was that the play(which effectively and seriously reduced the Patriot’s defense) went without commentary.
I am a fan of Fox’s blonde sports reporter Erin Andrews an upbeat sports gal/reporter, who has shown much pluck and mettle as a sports journalist, none more vivid than her being drenched on screen, during the Red Sox post victory doings. A sousing she accepted with aplomb and good humor. By now sports fans probably have seen Andrews post game exchange with Seahawk’s fiery star Richard Sherman. Lasting all of 30 seconds or so, Andrews asked 2 questions and then quickly passed back to the dull chatter of colleague Joe Buck. Andrews’s expression led me to think that there was something off about the way Andrews dumped very quickly out of her moment with the vociferous Sherman. And in the ensuing chatter with Fox’s committee of experts, Michael Strahan commented that, “Sherman scared Andrews…” And if you look at the countless versions of the the clip that last instant where she says something like “Back to you…” has been edited out and shifted to an image of QB Russell Wilson.A minor curiosity but no big thing…
The only sports books I have ever read were Dave Meggysey’s seminal Out of Their League and Charles’s Pierce’s Tom Brady biography, and Tito Francona’s post Red Sox tenure apologia. Yet despite my antipathy to football, I picked up Nicholas Dawidoff’s Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football (Little Brown) on the obvious premise that good writers are able to make almost any topic worthy of attention. And Davidoff does exactly that—as he embeds himself for an intense year spent with the NFL’s New York Jets.
In Matthew Klam’s introduction for Dawidoff’s recent appearance at the celebrated DC independent bookstore, Politics and Prose, he observes that the author approached his subject from a nerd point of view—which should mean that there is an amplitude of useful facts and information and shrewd cogitation.
I spoke with Nick for the second time recently (the first time about his homage( (The Fly Swatter: How My Grandfather Made His Way in the World)to grandfather, the great economist Alexander Gershenkron.
Currently reading Havana Gold by Leonardo Padura (Bitter Lemon Press)