Some Stuff I’ve Done

I am mostly an editor these days, but I used to write a fair amount: profiles, reported fare, book reviews, etc. Some stories are below. A lot of these are about race, the war on drugs, the NCAA, moralists, and various grotesques and grotesqueries within sports and without, but I can write about other things, too.

What’s the matter with cultural politics? (Mother Jones)

Don’t listen to the blowhards. The 2016 election was about the issues (Slate)

A draft prospect’s bong video revealed the substance the NFL hates more than any other: bad publicity (Slate)

The doping allegations against Peyton Manning were a great argument against the sports world’s war on drugs (Slate)

How Cam Newton stretched the sports world’s racial boundaries (Slate)

How Steph Curry became a basketball folk hero (Slate)

How a high school kid became a basketball folk villain (Play: The New York Times Sports Magazine)

The selling of a shit-talking black bass fisherman (SF Weekly, anthologized in the Best American Sports Writing 2004, back when the series seemed to have a one-fishing-story-per-year quota)

My uncomfortable encounter with an angry Joe Morgan (SF Weekly, reprinted in Deadspin)

On assignment for New York magazine, I hung out with Stephon Marbury one night back in 2007, just before Marbury’s final season with the Knicks. We had a memorable conversation. The story that resulted is here; a more complete version is here. (New YorkDeadspin)

I obtained via public records request all the emails exchanged between the media and the Auburn football team’s PR apparatus during the school’s national championship season. The emails told a story about how media narratives are built, unbuilt, and built anew, and about the power of ESPN (back then, at least) to distort everything that entered its orbit. (Deadspin)

On Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA, by Joe Nocera and Ben Strauss, and the resilience of the college sports status quo (Washington Post)

What the stupid, preening NFL referee lockout was really about (Slate/Deadspin)

God, John Wooden was an insufferable prig (Slate)

So was Grantland Rice (Deadspin)

I wrote a lot about ESPN during my time at Deadspin. Here’s a story about Skip Bayless, Jamie Horowitz, and the deeply cynical “Embrace Debate” era of ESPN. Here’s one about what Howie Schwab meant to ESPN. Here’s one about the time I crashed ESPN’s “state of the union” address. (Deadspin)

The media diminished Hank Aaron by turning him into a cudgel against Barry Bonds (Slate, anthologized in the Best American Sports Writing 2008)

Back in 2010, I obtained financials for several MLB teams, some of the most closely guarded documents in sports. In part because of our story, the SEC launched an investigation into the financing of the Marlins’ new stadium. (Deadspin)

A layman’s etymology of “scrappy” disguised as a profile of Dustin Pedroia (Boston Magazine)

How an NBA scorekeeper cooked the books (Deadspin)

The moral panic over mocking Tim Tebow (Deadspin)

David Stern vs. Roger Goodell (New York Times Magazine

The happy man who invented the end zone dance (Slate)

Here’s a cranky interview I did with something called the National Sports Journalism Center about Deadspin‘s reporting on the Manti Te’o dead girlfriend hoax. (

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