by Sarah Marine
I’ve never been good at sports. I just don’t have that athletic gene. The closest I get to deliberate exercise is spending Sundays behind my sewing machine, facing the television, watching football. I mean, I still think about resurrecting Umbros (my friend Vanessa has)- but I haven’t been cool enough for fashion since like 2006. Cool enough for sports? Never. So there you go.
There’s a scene in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall that goes as such:
Wife: What is so fascinating about a bunch of pituitary cases trying to stuff a ball through a hoop?
Woody: What is fascinating is that it's physical.
That’s basically my argument…also everyone following the same rules.
The Encyclopedia of Surfing by Matt Warshaw
I have an ongoing, undeterrable obsession with surfing. It was set off by viewing the phenomenal by-Netflix-only sci-fi surf drama, John From Cincinnati, furthered by the fact that my landlord/downstairs neighbor surfs all year round on Lake Michigan, resulting in a basement littered with wetsuits and surfboards and then ultimately sealed by my purchase of the Encyclopedia of Surfing. Further reading has included Gidget.
In brief, the Enyclopedia is a goldmine of seminary facts about wacked out goofy-footed Aussies, dodging sharks and hazing grommets, mini reviews of surf movies, descriptions of waves everywhere from Indonesia to Oman to Imperial Beach. What holds my interest most recently in this huge book is the cataloging of coastline by these people. I mean, they’ve journeyed to Pakistani coastline, been confronted by groups of armed men and come away to tell that they found a young Pakistani boy living in a seaside shack, who would ride the tide on a piece of driftwood. Well, they’re probably lying, but anyway…
Sportscape by Paul Wombell
This monster from Phaidon has been a remainder at the Downer store for awhile- 20% at 29.99. It’s a collection of sports photography dating back to the early 20th Century. The evolution of the sports through integration, league regulations, technological advances and the rise of the celebrity of athletes in respective sports is subtly catalogued here in photographs. My favorite photos are the old boxing ones because “My god how does somebody just let someone else punch them in the face, for fun?” Really, it’s an important question. I also enjoy the shots of runners at the finish line.
The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac presented by FreeDarko
I dedicate this section of the blog post to my manager Doug James because I’m a suck-up and also because he coaches sports and likes basketball and things. This book wins not only for being a beautiful nod to an American sport dying in popularity but also because it takes chances with its topical and visual presentation of these basketball legends and outstanding newcomers. It includes charts gauging the level of anger to the number of points scored for one player, style guides for others and an overall highbrow modern take on the NBA and its players. Kind of makes me wish I had saved that Shawn Kemp Supersonics basketball card I was for some reason so fond of when I was eleven. Anyhoo, the book has also inspired a challenge which places Jordan and I against Doug- a 6’4” life-long athlete. We told him he has to play with his arms tied to his sides…its only fair.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008