Wednesday, December 24, 2008

List: My Top Sports Books of 2008

Just in time for the holidays, it's time for my annual year-end Best Sports Books of the Year list.

Here is what I know: This may or may not turn out to be the best year ever for sports bloggers publishing books, but it was certainly the best and biggest of the Internet Era so far.

The apex of sports blogging -- arguably -- in 2007 yielded a couple of very high-profile book deals; we finally saw those books published in 2008, and they delivered:

God Save The Fan (Will Leitch): Coda of the most influential sports writer of the decade. (Out in paperback next month.)

Men With Balls (Drew Magary): Bawdy and brilliant, just like KSK and his other online work.

The Macrophenomenal NBA Almanac (Free Darko): The essays are typically terrific, but the real genius is in the book's design.

(And John Gasaway and Ken Pomeroy joined the esteemed "Prospectus" annual rotation with their insightful "College Basketball Prospectus" season preview.)

That's not to say there weren't several notable books produced by "mainstream sports media's" finest:

A Few Seconds of Panic (Stefan Fatsis): My favorite "traditional" book of the year, this was a gripping, fascinating read about a guy like you or me in the NFL -- or, more specifically, at its margins.

Big Book of Baseball Legends (Rob Neyer): The latest in Neyer's "Big Book" series, it might be my favorite and his most accessible. Rob is the original online sports columnist -- I was torn by his recent admission into the Baseball Writers Association of America.

I'm sure there were others. And, for one more year, my own book goes unpublished. (I know I've got it in me! Ahh: Maybe '09.)

Put any recommendations of your own in the Comments.

-- D.S.

UPDATE: Wow, how could I forget Tom Farrey's remarkable and provocative "Game On!" Loved that book, by my longtime friend and ESPN colleague.

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