Memoirs

An Accidental Sportswriter by Robert Lipsyte

By Robert Lipsyte

An established activities columnist for the recent York instances interweaves tales from his existence and the occasions he lined to discover the relationships among the video games we play and the lives we lead starting to be up, Robert Lipsyte used to be the smart-aleck fats child, the bully magnet who went to the library rather than the ballpark. because the perpetual outsider, even into maturity, Lipsyte's alienation from Jock tradition made him a rarity within the press field: the sportswriter who wasn't a activities fan. this sense of otherness has coloured Lipsyte's activities writing for 50 years, a lot of it spent as a columnist for the hot York instances. He did not persist with specific athletes or groups; he wasn't awed via the entry afforded by way of his press cross or his familiarity with the avid gamers within the locker room. among bouts on the instances, he introduced a winning occupation writing younger grownup fiction, frequently approximately activities. The adventure and perception he earned over a part century infuse An unintended Sportswriter. Going past the standard memoir, Lipsyte has written "a reminiscence loop, a round look for misplaced or forgotten items within the puzzle of a life." In telling his personal tale, he grapples with American activities and society—from Mickey Mantle to invoice Simmons—arguing that Jock tradition has seeped into our company, politics, and family members existence, and its definitions became the normal to degree price. choked with knowledge and an realizing of yank activities that contextualizes instead of celebrates athletes, An unintended Sportswriter is the crowning success of a wealthy occupation and a publication that may converse to us for years yet to come.

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139, teachers had been alert to predatory kids, and because I lived near school I could waddle home while Willie was being detained for questioning and then bury my shame in peanut butter sandwiches, Hydrox cookies, Three Musketeers candy bars, and a glass of chocolate milk. But in the laissez-faire atmosphere at Halsey, where Willie found support among other fag bag kickers, I didn’t stand a chance. At least once a week, he found me and pushed me around. Nothing that I ever reported or complained about—at worst a bruise, a little blood, a pocket torn off a shirt—but plenty to feel bad about.

I worked that way, too. Had I caught it from him? He told me to call when I was ready to come back and talk some more. I would have to because I hadn’t asked the Big Question. Had he been serious about giving me $5,000? Didn’t I want to know? Burying the lead (or lede in journo jargon) is a journalistic misdemeanor, but not asking the question the lede will be based on is a felony. Gay went off to Europe on a speaking engagement, so it was four weeks before we met again. I was wearing my hearing aids this time.

Using that as a weapon, the newsroom rose up and drove Raines out of the arena. But not before he got me. At the end of 2002, Raines, who may have felt personally defied by my columns on the corruption of college football, refused to renew my thirteenth consecutive annual contract. Hurt and angry, but not surprised, I slinked off. Less than six months after I left, right after Raines was fired, Lelyveld returned as interim coach and the Times sent me a new contract. I never signed it. I had moved on again, back to young adult fiction and TV, ahead to online sportswriting.

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