As long as there has been sport to watch, there has been sport to write about. There are your game recaps in the paper, longer and more in-depth pieces in magazines like SPORT, (auto)biographical books, and fictional works.
As the representatives of The SPORT Archive we work to keep the magazine's output alive, but we also look to offer a selection of the best sports books, both new and old, at our three galleries.
Here's a rundown of the titles that we're reading right now:
Game Change: The Life and Death of Steve Montador and the Future of Hockey, by Ken Dryden
Dryden, former goalie for the Montreal Canadiens, is best known for his book The Game
, an inside look at the NHL – what it's like to be on the ice, in the locker-room, and on the road. With Game Change
he tackles one of the biggest issues modern hockey is faced with: brain injuries. Dryden expertly explains how the sport has changed over the years, from a slower-paced, below-the-neck skill game to a fast and violent grind. Changes must be made to ensure player safety, he argues, using the story of Steve Montador's career and passing as sobering proof. For those that care about the future of hockey, this is a must read.
Saturday, 3pm: 50 Eternal Delights of Modern Football, by Daniel Gray
Times may change, but some things stay the same. This is Daniel Gray's thesis put simply. As soccer has modernized, some of its qualities – like standing sections and simple, ad-free uniforms – are no longer, but that doesn't mean that the game has lost all of its beauty and charm. Gray breaks his writing up into a collection of short think-pieces and rememberings that eloquently show us just how many things there are to love: seeing a ground from the train, the first day of the season, slide tackles in the mud, talking to an old man about football, club eccentrics, singing, collectors, club nicknames, watching people get player autographs... and that's just to name a few!
Ball Four, by Jim Bouton
If one were to make a list of must-read sports books, Ball Four
would certainly be near the top. Named one of the New York Public Library's Books of the Century, Bouton's tell-all is an unfiltered account of life in professional baseball. Ball Four,
broken up in day by day accounts, is as a personal journal would be. While this makes Bouton's telling easy to dive into, it also makes it controversial; many in the baseball community felt such behind-the-scenes stories were better left private. Becoming somewhat of a social pariah was well worth it, as Bouton himself would say, as Ball Four
has transcended the sporting sphere and become a cultural landmark.
Ball Four, by Jim Bouton