I hate to say it but the sports pages, I generally don’t read them. I like to watch sports but often the columns talk about sports in a way that makes it hard for me to understand. I often don’t know who they are talking about or I don’t know enough about sports so that a writer’s discussion of the minutia of a game will be completely over my head. Hence, this is the reason why I stay away from the reading the sports pages.
The writing of George Vecsey is something different. I am not sure exactly when I began reading Vecsey’s columns but I remember the first time, thinking what I had just read was a fluke. Then I began to look for his columns because I enjoyed them so much. I did not have to know all the ins and outs of the game to understand his columns; in fact I did not have to know anything about sports at all. The subject of sports for George Vecsey seems to simply be a vehicle for him to tell a greater story, the story people and human interaction. The playing of sports provides a superb stage for the examination of the human spirit.
There is no place better to find the best and worst qualities of people than on a sports field, be it on the 26 mile course of the New York City Marathon or daily grind of the Tour de France. George Vecsey eloquently reveals the human side behind the Adonis like athletes, like he did in his Sept 24 article “The ‘Other’ Armstrong is Bowing Out of Cycling in Style,” about cycling champion Kristen Amrstrong. He also brings the people behind the big names to life, like he recently did for his Oct 22 titled “Sympathy for the Umpires.” The crux of the article is we are all human and sometimes some of us have to pay more dearly for our mistakes than the rest of us. Vecsey’s seems to say love the sport for its human qualities and give a guy a break who usually does a damn good job is what I got from that wonderful article.
Please join us at the Mid-Manhattan Library on Wednesday Nov 18 at 6:30 PM on the 6th floor to listen to Mr. Vecsey talk about his work.