RARA-AVIS: Hard-boiled Sports

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@colba.net)
Date: 06 Apr 2000

So Bob Randisi thinks the only two hardboiled sports are boxing and horse-racing?

Hmmm, I wonder if Bob really thinks that, or if Miles Jacoby or Henry Po might have put him up to it...

At one point, I would have said hockey is hard-boiled, in the best sense of the word, but now it's just embarrassing. I must be getting old--I remember when the players had grace and smarts and guts. Even a certain amount of class. To see Jean Beliveau or Maurice Richard or Ken Dryden play was like reading Chandler. But today's overpaid thugs have agents, endorsement deals, and spin doctors, and regularly use their sticks as weapons. It's like watching bad Mickey Spillane directed by Peckinpagh on an off day.

But the actual sport has very little to do with it, really-it's the greed and corruption and the egos and the money that pervades the sports industry that makes it such fertile ground for hard-boiled writing. I'm not sure if Mohammed Ali was the Athlete of the Last Century, but Tonya Harding certainly has set the tone for this one.

Maybe she's trying out for the NHL...

Kevin Burton Smith The Thrilling Detective Web Site http://www.colba.net/~kvnsmith/thrillingdetective/ This month: The P.I. Poll on Short Fiction, plus new stuff from Hugh Lessig, Peter Parmantie and Dave White.

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