Best Sports Writing

 

This page includes an ever-growing list of the greatest pieces of sports writing.  I’ve subjected them to a rankings system, which will change from time to time.  Please feel free to submit your own favorite works for consideration via the tool on the left.   The hope is to one day keep a living list of the 100 greatest sports articles of all-time.

 

1. Federer as Religious Experience – David Foster Wallace (The New York Times’ PLAY Magazine, 2006)

2. The Silent Season Of A Hero – Gay Talese (Esquire, 1966)

3. The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent And Depraved – Hunter S. Thompson (Scanlan’s Monthly, 1970)

4. What Do You Think Of Ted Williams Now? – Richard Ben Cramer (Esquire, 1986)

5. Death Of A Racehorse – W.C. Heinz (The Sun, 1949)

6. Lawdy, Lawdy, He’s Great – Mark Kram (Sports Illustrated, 1975)

7. Ego – Norman Mailer (LIFE, 1971)

8. The Power And The Glory – Paul Solotaroff (Village Voice, 1990)

9. The Last American Hero Is Junior Johnson. Yes! – Tom Wolfe (Esquire, 1965)

10. Pure Heart – William Nack (Sports Illustrated, 1990)

11. The Shame Of College Sports – Taylor Branch (The Atlantic, 2011)

12. Raised By Women To Conquer Men – Frank Deford (Sports Illustrated, 1978)

13. A Fan’s Notes On Earl Monroe – Woody Allen (Sport, 1977)

14. A Voice Crying In The Wilderness – Tony Kornheiser (Sports Illustrated, 1983)

15. The Boxer And The Blonde – Frank Deford (Sports Illustrated, 1985)

16. Medora Goes To The Game – George Plimpton (Sports Illustrated, 1981)

17. Heaven Help Marge Schott – Rick Reilly (Sports Illustrated, 1996)

18. Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu – John Updike (The New Yorker – 1960)

19. The String Theory – David Foster Wallace (Esquire, 1996)

20. The Rocky Road Of Pistol Pete – W.C. Heinz

21. Jordan’s Moment – David Halberstam (The New Yorker, 1998)

22. The Mourning Anchor – Rick Reilly (Sports Illustrated, 1988)

23. One Throw – W.C. Heinz (Collier’s, 1950)

24. Holy Ground – Wright Thompson (ESPN, 2007)

25. Butkus – Arthur Kretchmer (Playboy, 1973)