Issue 59, Winter 2007

The Sports Issue

“How smart are Southern college-football coaches? Your fall sanity relies on their analysis, decision-making, and roughly hewn moral code. Not since the Iraq War have so many men of potentially unsound intelligence been entrusted with our complete faith.” — Clay Travis, “An I.Q. Test for College Coaches”

With stories on horseracing, baseball, hunting dogs, fishing, and much more. Essays by John Updike, Ron Rosh, Jill McCorkle, and others.

Additional contributors include M.O. Walsh, Mary Miller, Mark Edmundson, David Payne, Belle Goggs, Taylor Bruce, John T. Edge, and more.


Columns & Departments


Publisher’s Note
by Ray Wittenberg


Editor’s Box
by Marc Smirnoff


Gone Off Up North
South Carolina native Kirby Higbe played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, hung out with Hemingway, and opposed the hiring of Jackie Robinson.
by Roy Blount, Jr.


Local Fare
Do you need to be a rocket scientist to enjoy good food?
by John T. Edge


Dealer’s Choice
There are worse things than sports scandals happening in this country, aren’t there?
by Hal Crowther


A profile of a fierce competitor for Civil War relics.
by Belle Boggs


Sober, divorced, and middle-aged, he wanted to channel his inner athlete.
by Michael Parker


Brian Pope may be the fastest and most enigmatic man in the South—or at least in Oxford, Mississippi.
by Farrell Evans


The mysterious death of a baseball player from Georgia.
by Taylor Bruce


Writing on Writing
Why are Northern writers “national” and Southern writers “regional”? On economics, media bias, and literary status.
by David Payne


Writing on Writing
How you, too, can become a millionaire writer!
by George Singleton


Southern Scenes
photograph by William Eggleston





On the powerful compulsion to drive more than 500 miles and sleep on floors for three nights just to join 150,000 people in watching a two-minute horse race.
by Kane Webb


Her world seems to be coming apart, starting with the hole in her ceiling.
a story by Mary Miller


This is how you play the game: Start with a lover you’ve never met.
a story by M.O. Walsh


What happens when you take a strange, 300-pound janitor up on his invitation to come over to his trailer for dinner?
a story by Mark Edmundson


James Perry Walker’s 1970’s-‘80s photographs from Mississippi and Tennessee.



The Sports Section


Dog Show
by Mike Powell


by Pia Z. Ehrhardt


Mississippi Knockout
by Jim Ruland


Talk Radio
by Melissa King


College Town
by Beth Ann Fennelly


Bareback Riding
by Marianne Gingher


by Robert Parham


Fly Fishing
by Ron Rash


Coach Quiz
by Clay Travis


New Orleans Chessman
by William Caverlee


by Any Selsberg


Hunting Dogs
by Jill McCorkle


Arkansas Hogs
by Rainer Sabin


Godly Grub
by Wright Thompson


by Brooks Haxton


Cockfight House
by J. David Stevens


by John Updike


“Man At The Summit” (2006) by Eric Zener