Seven Scenes From The Life of A Quiet Champ

By Pete Dexter Inside Sports June, 1980 “I don’t ever want to fight Ali. Ali’s a legend, I’m hoping he retires. It would be a lot of money [for an Ali fight], but money isn’t everything. When Ali dies, people going to remember him being more than a fighter…”  ...

The Education of Jim Craig

By Pete Dexter Playboy February 1983 In the afternoon, the wind changes and the color of the water changes with it, darkens and takes a bigger bite. In the afternoon, it could be a different ocean. Above that, the moon and the gulls are floating, pale and timeless...

Revenge of the Quiet Man

By Pete Dexter Playboy September 1985 Nobody knows exactly when the quiet man turned the corner—they don’t call him the quiet man for nothing—but somewhere along the line, Doug Campbell, a ten-year reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer, came to a point in his life...

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...

No Trespassing

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...

Manchild in the Promised Land

By Pete Dexter Inside Sports April 1980 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...

If This Is Wednesday, It Must Be Toozday

By Pete Dexter Inside Sports October 1981 At three in the morning, coming east across the Bay Bridge in a limousine the size of a cattle truck, a quiet falls over the back seat. It is the last day before John Matuszak goes to Santa Rosa for training camp. More to the...

The Apprenticeship of Randall Cobb

By Pete Dexter Inside Sports May 1981 The face suggests more than 21 fights, but that’s how many there have been. Counting the two as an amateur. There is a scar over the left eye, a missing tooth. The nose is flat and soft, without cartilage. Apart from that, it’s a...

The Impression

By Pete Dexter Inside Sports December 1980 When I heard Ali had agreed to fight Holmes, the first thought I had was that Ali would be killed. The punch was five years gone, his hand speed had been mediocre over his last half dozen fights, and he’d been getting hit by...

The Old Man and the River

By Pete Dexter Esquire June 1981 Early morning, Seeley Lake, Montana. The sun has touched the lake, but the air is dead-still and cooler than the water, and the fog comes off the surface in curtains, hiding some of the Swan Range three miles to the east. And in doing...

The Stacks Chat: Pete Dexter

By Alex Belth Bronx Banter April 7, 2010 I met Pete Dexter last fall when he was in New York promoting his seventh novel, Spooner. Dexter was a wonderful newspaper columnist and is now one of our greatest novelists. First thing I noticed about him was that he was...

The Good, The Bad and The Marvelous

By Pete Dexter Esquire May 1985 All right, let’s start with the head. Say check-out time is 1:00 and everybody who reads this magazine is stuck in a room at a Holiday Inn somewhere in Louisiana because nobody can figure out how to unlock the security chain, and...