The Minority Quarterback: And Other Lives in Sports by Ira Berkow
"If there's anyone doing sports who is even close, I haven't read him."Mike Royko. Ira Berkow's stories in the sports pages of the New York Times transcend what we know as "sportswriting." Mr. Berkow has a clear understanding of the games he reports, but he also has a sharp eye for the lives of the players, an appreciation of the larger social context, and–not least–an affinity for the well-turned phrase. The Minority Quarterback contains thirty-eight examples of his craft. His subjects have often been touched, transformed, enriched, or, in some cases, destroyed by circumstances that may have nothing to do with their sports connection. The centerpiece of the book is Mr. Berkow's widely admired story of a white quarterback who chose to play football at an all-black college in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and what happened to him. Like most of his stories, it offers a surprising perspective and is certain to provoke. But Mr. Berkow can also capture the playfulness of Muhammad Ali, the dignity of Arthur Ashe, the intensity of Michael Jordan, or the buffoonery of Marge Schott. He can report engagingly on lunch at Lutéce with Chuck Norris, or describe the carnival atmosphere of Jake La Motta's wedding in Las Vegas. The Minority Quarterback is a book for anyone who loves good writing; for sports lovers especially, these pieces are candy treats–but without soft centers.
Pulitzer prize-winning author Ira Berkow has written sports and occasional features for the New York Times for more than twenty years. Among his other books are To the Hoop, Hank Greenberg, and Red: A Biography of Red Smith. He lives on Manhattan's East Side.
What People are Saying About This
I follow Ira Berkow in the Times with unfailing interest.
If there's anyone doing sports who is even close, I haven't read him.
This collection of poignant stories establishes Ira Berkow as one of the most talented and multifaceted sports writers of our time.
Berkow over the years has regularly given us sportswriting of the most elegant kindhis work glistens with intelligence and sensitivity.
George F. Will
Sports at its best is a kind of music, and sports writing is a kind of libretto. Ira Berkow is among the besta Sondheim of the sports page.
Ira Berkow is simply one of America's best writers, sports or otherwise.