His top 12 didn’t include my favorite, Wright Thompson’s great piece from Lionel Messi’s hometown of Rosário, Argentina, which was included in the lengthy “receiving votes” category.
Shanoff disappointingly has nothing in either batch from The Classical, which debuted a year ago. It isn’t corporate-owned but was hatched through a Kickstarter fundraising effort, doesn’t have full-time writers on an expense account and is naturally irreverent and off-beat, almost zine-ishly so.
Flinder Boyd’s recent “The Ricky Rubio Experience” is star-quality stuff. So is Elliott Turner’s “Rope A Dope,” which as I blogged about earlier, laid waste to how anti-doping zealots and sports governing bodies do as they please when it comes to disciplining athletes.
But this is Shanoff’s list, and here’s what he likes the best:
Jonathan Abrams, “The Malice at the Palace: An Oral History,” Grantland
Sam Alipour, “Will You Still Medal In the Morning?” ESPN the Magazine
Chris Ballard, “Man In Full,” Sports Illustrated
Chris Brown, “Luck and Griffin III: The Future Is Now,” Grantland
Bryan Curtis, “The Ballad of the Piggyback Bandit,” Grantland
Spencer Hall, “Bury a Man, Keep a Statue,” SB Nation
Christopher McDougall, “On the Trail of the White Horse,” Outside
Michael Mooney, “The Most Amazing Bowling Story Ever,” D Magazine
Tom Scocca, “Why the Baltimore Orioles Matter,” Deadspin
Wright Thompson, “Urban Meyer Will Be Home for Dinner,” ESPN the Magazine
Kevin Van Valkenburg, “Games of Chance,” ESPN.com
Dan Wetzel, “Tom Brady’s Daze of Disappointment,” Yahoo Sports
But it’s happening in more than four or five places.