Does A.J. Daulerio represent the future of sportswriting?

According this story, Buzz Bissinger seems to think so.

If he’s correct, I’m in serious trouble.

Jones, maybe you could teach me to sell copiers.

The Calling

Roy Wenzl: Jeff Miller of El Dorado crawled exhausted into his airplane seat and had himself a two-finger serving of Scotch in a glass. It was 2004, and he’d been coming to Ghana along the Gold Coast of West Africa off and on for five years, to have a look at all the poverty.

Now he was on the airfield in Accra, the capital, and he was leaving for good, or so he decided.

He wanted to go home to Kansas and stay there.

He wanted to tell his friends from Charlotte and from El Dorado that he was done with Africa. That he was tired of the Republic of Ghana, sick of Ghanaian corruption. And though a Christian, compelled to love and help others, he was sick of suffering in Ghana.

The plane took off, and he took a sip of Scotch. “So much for being a spiritual giant,” he thought.

He thought he’d never come back.

“Thank you, Jesus,” he thought. “I am going home.”

And just like that, a vision appeared.


I know I’m about seven years late to this party, but damn if this isn’t cool. Two songs on the same subject from near opposite perspectives. And, man, the ending on “Uncle Frank” is special. I’d love to see a newspaper try something like this around a big, hairy controversy.

Could that work?

TVA first, then Uncle Frank.

Dear Nate

Tom Friend: EDMOND, Okla. — Something keeps calling Zane Fleming to the back bedroom, 10 years later. It’s not a voice he hears; it’s a throb in his temples, an outright ache to walk back there. Whenever he enters the room, he takes a whiff of his son’s cologne, lies on his son’s bed, closes his eyes and relives a day in the life of Nate Fleming.

Sometimes, he’ll find himself in a packed high school gym, surrounded by homemade posters that read “Nate the Great.” Sometimes he’ll find himself standing by a high school desk, watching Nate sail through a calculus exam. But a lot of times he’ll find himself remembering 10-month-old Nate, the most precocious baby he ever met.

He can picture it so clearly. Every night, after being placed in his crib, Little Nate would hop right out and curl into bed with his mother and father. If they told him no, Nate would cry, and Zane and Ann would cave in and let him stay. Zane had been told by friends that this was a bad precedent to set, that toddlers need to learn to separate from their parents at some point. So one night, he let Little Nate stay up until about 10 p.m., got him good and tired and laid him down in his crib. And in case the kid climbed out, Zane locked the master bedroom door.

The next morning, he woke up, thinking, wow, it worked. Then he looked over at his door and noticed a tiny hand underneath. Nate had again escaped the crib and fallen asleep trying to reach through the bottom of the door. All Zane could see was five baby fingers.

The Unluckiest Man Alive

Alex Zayas: TAMPA — Four years ago, John Wade Agan told deputies he was robbed at gunpoint in his taxicab, roughed up and stuffed into the trunk of the car.

Three years ago, he drove to a fire station with a butcher knife sticking out of his chest.

Two years ago, in a news conference from his hospital bed, he told the world he’d been bitten by two different snakes at the same time, a claim experts doubted.

He told the St. Petersburg Times he might have been the unluckiest man in the world.

Now, Agan occupies another hospital bed, befallen, he said, by yet another freak calamity: lightning.


The blog has been ill the past few days thanks to either a terrible boll weevil infestation or an STD from Wickersham’s last comment. My man is working to get her up and running in full again, so you might notice some kinks. Thanks for all your love and support during this difficult time.

Dogs And Cats And Birds And Bees

Stephanie Hayes: There are stage lights and a clap board and a Chihuahua named Dane, as in Great Dane, who is very, very calm, considering what’s about to happen.

Dane is fitted with a belt — a Gas Girdle — that farts on command. Instant birth control. No one wants to get busy when noxious fumes waft into the woo. Not even an animal biologically programmed to seek a whole bunch of sex.


“Voila! Instant turnoff.”

That’s Joey. He presses the button, expelling a cheeky battle cry from the speaker strapped to patient Dane.


“Seriously, dude. You should get that checked.”

Everyone in the studio stifles a laugh. Awkward silence is crucial.

RIP Reynolds Price

Reynolds Price, whose novels and stories about ordinary people in rural North Carolina struggling to find their place in the world established him as one of the most important voices in modern Southern fiction, died on Thursday in Durham, N.C. He was 77.

Here’s the first sentence of his first novel, A Long and Happy Life, published in 1962:

“Just with his body and from inside like a snake, leaning that black motorcycle side to side, cutting in and out of the slow line of cars to get there first, staring due-north through goggles towards Mount Moriah and switching coon tails in everybody’s face was Wesley Beavers.”

And for your Friday reading pleasure, here’s the short story that launched his career: Michael Egerton.

A Lifetime of Shortcuts

Dirk Chatelain: AUBURN, Neb. — On a Thursday in November, at a nursing home just before dawn, a 97-year-old man took his last breath.

Elly Ingersoll hunted pheasants and chased golf balls. He loved Lawrence Welk and Golden Gloves. Before dinner, he drank a vodka and Coke.

For 68 years he cut hair on the same block downtown. Businesses came and left. Faces and names changed. But hair keeps growing.

Start with the clippers. Outline around the ears. Taper it up. Scissors the top. Kick ’em out.

Five steps, 15 minutes. But that’s not why they came from all over southeast Nebraska to the shoebox of a shop in a 19th-century brick building.

They came for the Ingersoll shortcuts.

The unwritten tufts of wisdom. The unspoken clumps of truth. The strands that bind fathers and sons.

Elly didn’t have brothers or sisters. His wife, his dogs and his job were long gone.

But there was someone sitting beside him that Thursday morning. His business partner, his only child, the boy who followed Elly from the fields of Nemaha County to the islands of the Pacific Ocean and, finally, to the smallest storefront window at the busiest intersection in Auburn.

The next morning, just before Friday dawn, Joe Ingersoll climbed on his motorcycle and rode three cold miles. He unlocked the shop door and flipped the sign in the window.