Beyond the Game | EW.com

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Beyond the Game ''What makes them do it? What makes me watch it?'' Smith wonders this while watching Larry Holmes batter the skull of Muhammad Ali. For the author, the...Beyond the GameSports, Nonfiction ''What makes them do it? What makes me watch it?'' Smith wonders this while watching Larry Holmes batter the skull of Muhammad Ali. For the author, the...2000-12-08Atlantic Monthly Press
B+

Beyond the Game

Genre: Sports, Nonfiction; Author: Gary Smith; Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press

”What makes them do it? What makes me watch it?” Smith wonders this while watching Larry Holmes batter the skull of Muhammad Ali. For the author, the sweet science is a branch of anthropology, and the 15 Sports Illustrated pieces in Beyond the Game amount to an empathetic field study. From Mike Tyson’s fractured psyche to Roger Maris’ shattered home-run record, he compellingly goes beneath the game, down to the urges that propel athletes and their admirers. Unlike hall-of-fame ironist Frank Deford, Smith is eager to indulge the sentimental, and there’s a gaudy how-I-got-the-story flourish to his delivery. Never mind — he’s got the goods. B+