To mark the publication of The Ecstasy Of Defeat, The Onion takes a look at the proud tradition of sports literature.

  • Paper Lion, Again: A 74-year-old George Plimpton returns for another lighthearted look at trying out for the Detroit Lions and is surprised at how easily he earns the starting quarterback job for the 2001 season
  • Moneypuck: Details how the shrewd Atlanta Thrashers managed to go 11 seasons without paying a single player
  • My Losing Season: The anonymous author looks back on playing basketball his senior year of high school, and although the book is compellingly written, its title completely ruins the ending
  • In The Rough: Author Jay Goldsmith spends countless hours with some of the all-time greatest PGA golfers and explains to each one of them just how much he fucking hates golf
  • The Book Of Basketball: Two paragraphs in, Bill Simmons' 736-page tome sets a new record for how quickly a sportswriter can become long-winded, get off topic, and start grating on your last nerve
  • Charlotte's Webb: E.B. White's timeless story of how an unlikely friendship with a dying barn spider inspired Spud Webb to win the 1986 NBA Slam Dunk Contest
  • When Pride Still Mattered: David Maraniss details the life of Vince Lombardi, vividly capturing a man who overcame responsibilities as a father and husband to succeed in football
  • Bullet In The Brain: Tobias Wolff's elegiac two-page story reminds us all that no matter how rich or tragic our lives, baseball is the last thing we think of before death