An anthology of the late American sportswriter Jim Murray was my holiday reading and he is turning out to be one of the few things in life that lives up to the hype. His mastery of wry observation and sense of the ridiculous denotes the best kind of sports journalist – he or she who never loses sight of the fact that games are but part of life’s bigger picture.
Did anyone quibble, for example, that the column he devoted to his wistfulness at having to abandon his home by the Pacific for one nearer his LA office, had little to do with sport? I doubt it, so beautiful a lament was it for irretrievable youth.
Then there is this piece on organised children’s baseball (and I hope the publishers will excuse me excerpting just one of the book’s many articles) – a gently withering denunciation of those who insist on making life far harder than it need be, merely to justify their salary.
You will either be appalled that social meddling by do-gooders is far older than you realised, or else inspired that it fared just as badly when colliding with common sense 40 years ago as it does today…
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