A treat and an education about multiple aspects and the fundamental allure of sport and the amazing story of the human struggle ... These stories are centered on sports that are off the beaten track or deal primarily with people who are not well-known public figures ... These are not stories of extreme sport, although some may regard some as being within this category. Rather, they are sports or activities that take place within extreme circumstances or conditions ... Not all of these stories carry this contrast of light and darkness. Some are just adventures, but memorable and unusual ones ... As with most anthologies, and especially those showcasing the work of one author, it should be read in small portions. One disconcerting element stems from an editorial decision on how to present the material that represents a series of stories run sequentially in the newspaper. Offering publication dates might have relieved the irritation of the repetition of basic information, or even better the repetitions might have been deleted. A small thing perhaps, and. Indeed, it does not detract from the stories in which it occurs. In single pieces, of course, this is not a problem. No matter, these are powerful tales, great or small, and they take you to worlds of sport that cannot be seen in the way in which most of the world consumes sport.
20 articles from more than 2,000 pieces featuring people whose passions drive them to take on intense, quirky, sometimes risky challenges ... Among the most moving were one of his daughter’s soccer games, in which a girl whose mother was slain by the Las Vegas shooter in 2017 scored a winning goal; and a profile of the Lady Jaguars, a girls’ basketball team operated by the Carroll County Juvenile Court (Tennessee) to give structure and focus to the players’ lives. Spirited tales from a sympathetic observer.
... keen ability to find unusual human interest angles in sports and culture journalism in this expansive collection ... Branch delivers consistently smart, startling observations—and offers something for every reader, whether or not they’d consider themselves 'sports fans.'