Arts & Culture

Shtickball: The Dave Zirin Lovefest

Hell hath no fury like a Zirin with a cocktail in his hand. Read More

By / January 6, 2012
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Hell hath no fury like a Zirin with a cocktail in his hand. Let me explain:

Dave Zirin, inducted this year into the exclusive Big Jewcy club, recently wrote a book with John Carlos about his famous moment at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games. Last night he gathered with a intimate crowd at the gallery at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge, as a guest speaker at Gelf Magazine’s Varsity Letters, their much lauded monthly speaker series (ok maybe not lauded per se but they do get great speakers and you should definitely check it out next time around). Joining him were George Vecsey, speaking about his book on the great Stan Musial and whose columns for the New York Times have been intellectually engaging readers for the past 30 years (he recently semi-retired),  and Mark Ribowsky, who penned a book about the larger than life sportscaster Howard Cosell (it’s mandatory to utter his name in Cosell’s voice, try it once, you’ll never go back). Vecsey and Ribowsky both shared poignant anecdotes about their subjects, and Vecsey fondly ruminated on a truly legendary career in the business. Zirin animatedly capped off the night, speaking passionately about getting to know John Carlos, a man who never compromised his beliefs, enduring great personal and professional tragedies in championing human rights. Slightly spilling his drink as he swayed onstage, Zirin regaled the crowd with stories of Carlos sharing a cup of coffee with his FBI tail and going shoulder to shoulder with a Michael Oher-sized inner-city high schooler who interrupted Carlos during a speech. I’m glad it was Zirin who Carlos let tell his story; two men who have dedicated their lives to championing sports and social justice. If you despise the current glut of greed and egotism in sports and want an outlet for your frustration, go read Dave Zirin; he’s fighting the good fight in an age of absolute moral decrepitude. Check out the Gelf interview here.

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