The Long, Slow Fall of a Gridiron God

By Loren Feldman GQ December,1988 Art Schlichter is scrambling. Running late, headed from his father’s farm in Bloomingburg, Ohio, to the Springfield Antique Show and Flea Market, he flips on his Road Patrol XK radar detector and hits the gas, challenging the two-lane...

Dark Times at Glen Ridge High

By John Marchese 7 Days June 28, 1989 The horrible days in May, as they came to be called in Glen Ridge, actually began on the first day of March on a baseball diamond owned by the borough, a New Jersey bedroom community 15 miles west of Manhattan. It was still a few...

The Brotherhood of Selmon

By Pete Dexter Inside Sports September 1980 Their people were farmers who had come to eastern Oklahoma from Texas, and they grew up in the black dirt and still skies there and hired out as field hands after their own work was done. And it was not in them to resent the...

Jimmy the Greek: The Living Dead

By Peter Richmond The National Sports Daily April 13, 1990 His words break the silence of a breakfast conversation that has wound down to nothing. They are as soft and insubstantial as rust flaking away, so soft that at first you think you might have heard him wrong,...

Down and Out in Fat City

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader “Sometimes you only get to win one championship.”—Leonard Gardner In 1969, Leonard Gardner’s novel Fat City was published. It a story about boxing and drinking in Stockton, California, about losers losing. “I have a strong sense of...

No Tresspassing

By Pete Dexter Inside Sports September 1981 “The old lion is still a bad mother,” he said. “He just wants to roam. Leave him alone. He’s fading, but he’s still a lion.” St. Simons Island lies four miles off the coast of southern Georgia, connected to the mainland by a...

Butkus

By Arthur Kretchmer Playboy October 1971 Dick Butkus slowly unraveled his mass from the confines of a white Toronado and walked into the Golden Ox Restaurant on Chicago’s North Side. He is built large and hard, big enough to make John Wayne look like his loyal...

No Pain, No Game

By Mark Kram Esquire January 1992 Observe, please, the human skeleton, 208 bones perfectly wrought and arranged; the feet built on blocks, the shinbones like a Doric column. Imagine an engineer being told to come up with the vertebral column from scratch. After years,...

The Most Hated Winner in Football: Al Davis

By Leonard Shecter Look November 18, 1969 The day in 1966 when AI Davis, who now runs the Oakland Raiders with a small, iron fist, was appointed commissioner of the American Football League, he leaned over the shoulder of the young publicist who was typing the...

The Toughest Man in Pro Football

By Leonard Shecter Esquire January 1968 One of the favorite things of Vince Lombardi, coach, general manager and spiritual leader of the world-champion Green Bay Packers, is the grass drill. He lets an assistant coach lead the bending and stretching exercises, the...

The Stacks Chat: John Schulian Football

By Alex Belth Bronx Banter August 14, 2014 Today marks the publication of the Library of America’s latest sports anthology—-Football: Great Writing about the National Sport. It’s edited by our old chum John Schulian. Alex Belth: When you read boxing or baseball...

The Stacks Chat: Rich Cohen

By Alex Belth Bronx Banter November 1, 2013 Rich Cohen’s new book, Monsters: The 1985 Chicago Bears and the Wild Heart of Football, is a keeper. I’ve been a fan of Cohen’s writing ever since my pal Steinski hipped me to Tough Jews. A few weeks ago I talked to Rich...