Articles

In January of 2010, Neil Chamberlain left Brooklyn for a three-month tour of Muay Thai boxing camps in Thailand. While abroad he kept an online chronicle of his experiences that was followed voraciously by his family and friends.  Neil returned from Thailand in early April; less than two weeks later he was dead at age twenty-eight, killed by a hit-and-run driver. In light of the brute intensities he’d so recently and lovingly chronicled, the cruel and sudden randomness of his passing was impossible to comprehend. Like many others close to him I’ve re-read this often since his accident, missing my friend, lusting after his sentences, wishing desperately that I could read even one more. It’s a great cliché to describe prose as “alive” and I’d be perfectly content if this is the last time I ever do so, but it’s a privilege to say it now, and to share Neil’s words and travels here. -Jack Hamilton

Gambling has been big business in New Jersey for a long time, and the state is prepared to go to federal court in hopes of opening its first sports book. But the recent history of the Garden State's less-than-legal sports betting scene suggests that the criminals will always understand this game better than anyone else.

West is one of only a handful of professional athletes of note to acknowledge a diagnosis. Gonzo gun play and locker room quarantine are signs of a man in need of psychiatric care; it's a testament to West's value as a ballplayer, an open secret in NBA circles, that he's still around. His personal challenges are a largely private matter, but West will always come across as different. Even when West is medicated and functional, he raises eyebrows.

There is a place where the University of Kentucky's basketball team still rocks the cat-scratch uniforms, high-top fades never went out of style, and Pete Maravich scores 50 in total silence. Thanks to the booming, but still strangely secretive, internet trade in vintage sporting events, that place is your DVD player.

The Baseball Hall of Fame will announce the members of its 2012 class on January 9. If all goes according to plan, one or a few inductees will get phone calls from some suit in Cooperstown and they will cry. Then word will be leaked our way. We will sing the praises of the chosen, pour one out for Edgar Martínez, and begin anew the cycle of arguing about what greatness is, how you measure it, and how you deal with the fact that sometimes greatness is built on a foundation of bullshit.

A few weeks ago, Arsenal's Robin van Persie scored the only goal of the match amidst a mediocre team performance against Everton. The day before, in celebration of the club's 125th anniversary, statues were unveiled outside the Emirates Stadium commemorating Tony Adams and Thierry Henry—two great figures from Arsenal's recent past—and Herbert Chapman—the great figure of Arsenal's distant past. Van Persie's goal was moving sculpture. As Alex Song played a delightful ball over the defence, van Persie snuck behind his marker and let loose a volley that was damn near perfect, a goal so shattering that it was almost a miniature Big Bang.

Between now and 2012, we're going to be getting a lot of sports in our respective monitors. Which, given everything else that we see there, is a very good thing, indeed.

Todd Haley has the misfortune of looking like a huge asshole. Fleece vests, intermittent shitty beard, jocko-dickwad sunglasses, things dangling on a lanyard, golf visors (the worst), even right down to being named Todd—a first name that’s been repurposed as a common noun meaning “alpha douche.” I hate dudes like Todd Haley, and that reflects poorly on me.  But Todd Haley also has the misfortune of acting like a huge asshole. While dressed in fleece vest, shitty beard, golf visors, right on down the line, which amplifies everything. His sideline demeanor as a coach was like a composite sketch of the worst possible Little League dad.

In January of 2010, Neil Chamberlain left Brooklyn for a three-month tour of Muay Thai boxing camps in Thailand. While abroad he kept an online chronicle of his experiences that was followed voraciously by his family and friends. Neil returned from Thailand in early April; less than two weeks later he was dead at age twenty-eight, killed by a hit-and-run driver. It’s a great cliché to describe prose as “alive," but it’s a privilege to say it now, and to share Neil’s words and travels here. 

The WWE's early-'00s hardcore moment was riotously fun while simultaneously being sickening. The matches themselves are deeply satisfying as spectacle; they move fast, tell big stories, and give Jim Ross chances to air out his most gleefully horrified commentary: "Broken bodies everywhere, King!" But they also function as pro wrestling's Faces of Death. Even as I enjoy the living hell out of the carnage, a voice in my soul keeps asking if this is the chairshot that sent Matt Hardy into a permanent painkiller-induced K-hole. Is there a include such insane action without permanently damaging the talent?