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January 12, 2008

A Reason to Hit the Local Bookstore Tonight

The Oxford American, a superb magazine about good writing and Southern culture, has issued its first ever sports issue. The OA has been around since I was attending Georgia (think Goff/Donnan era) and has often given short shrift to sports. This always concerned me because it is difficult to be such a good Southern magazine without paying some attention to ball games. Most Southerners, after all, spend a lot of time thinking about, watching, or discussing them. The OA has started to make up that ground with their latest issue.

Be forewarned, the OA is a literary magazine, not Sports Illustrated. The articles are all centered around sports, but not necessarily about specific teams, players, or events. The writing is the show. Clay Travis compiled an employment exam for your college's next head football coach.
"True or False: It is better to have won the SEC with a running back who can't read than to never have won the SEC at all."
Wright Thompson has a sizzling piece on those barbecue nachos they serve at Ole Miss games.
"All I see is the cardboard tray on my lap, a saturated-fat All-Star team: pulled pork, dry rub, sweet barbecue sauce, tortilla chips, jalapeƱo peppers, and a blanket of molten cheese that may or may not be a dairy but sure as hell is an awesome. If I were tobacco-lawyer rich, I'd hire someone to paint a replica of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel on the ceiling of my Gulfstream, except I'd want God reaching down His Almighty Finger into this very plate. It's almost too beautiful to eat."
And there is more. Taylor Bruce writes about the death of Dernell Stenson, a Georgian who was playing for the Reds when he was killed. Farrell Evans writes a profile of eccentric distance runner Brian Pope. The list goes on: Frank Broyles, John L. Sullivan, dogshows, and cockfights. It's got something for everyone.

It's a great collection of sports stories that are worth your time and your five bucks. Pick one up.



sreggin said...

this post is one big buzz kill

Paul Westerdawg said...

No way Sreggin. It's worth reading just for the Sistine Chapel line.

SSB Charley said...

Thanks for the update. I've checked the American's website, and apparently the Barnes and Noble just down the street from me carries it. And that line about the Sistine Chapel was outstanding. Thanks again.

Isn't the Georgia Review also a publication of Southern literature?

skidawg1985 said...

Wow, it goes all the way back to the Goff Era?

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