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The Tour de France may provide the most obvious fame and glory, but it is cycling's one-day tests that the professional riders really prize. Toughest, longest and dirtiest of all are the so-called 'Monuments', the five legendary races that are the sport's equivalent of golf's majors or the grand slams in tennis. Milan–Sanremo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris–Roubaix, Liège–Bastogne–Liège and the Tour of Lombardy date back more than a century, and each of them is an anomaly in modern-day sport, the cycling equivalent of the Monaco Grand Prix.
Time has changed them to a degree, but they remain as brutally testing as they ever have been. They provide the sport's outstanding one-day performers – the likes of Philippe Gilbert, Fabian Cancellara, Mark Cavendish, Tom Boonen, Peter Sagan and Thor Hushovd – with a chance to measure themselves against each other and their predecessors in the most challenging tests in world cycling. From the bone-shattering bowler-hat cobbles of the Paris–Roubaix to the insanely steep hellingen in the Tour of Flanders, each race is as unique as the riders who push themselves through extreme exhaustion to win them and enter their epic history.
Over the course of a century, only Rik Van Looy, Eddy Merckx and Roger De Vlaeminck have won all five races. Yet victory in a single edition of a Monument guarantees a rider lasting fame. For some, that one victory has even more cachet than success in a grand tour. Each of the Monuments has a fascinating history, featuring tales of the finest and largest characters in the sport. In The Monuments Peter Cossins tells the tumultuous history of these extraordinary races and the riders they have immortalised.
The globalizing influence of professional sportsProfessional sports today have truly become a global force, a common language that anyone, regardless of their nationality, can understand. Yet sports also remain distinctly local, with regional teams and the fiercely loyal local fans that follow them. This book examines the twenty-first-century phenomenon of global sports, in which professional teams and their players have become agents of globalization while at the same time fostering deep-seated and antagonistic local allegiances and spawning new forms of cultural conflict and prejudice.Andrei Markovits and Lars Rensmann take readers into the exciting global sports scene, showing how soccer, football, baseball, basketball, and hockey have given rise to a collective identity among millions of predominantly male fans in the United States, Europe, and around the rest of the world. They trace how these global—and globalizing—sports emerged from local pastimes in America, Britain, and Canada over the course of the twentieth century, and how regionalism continues to exert its divisive influence in new and potentially explosive ways. Markovits and Rensmann explore the complex interplay between the global and the local in sports today, demonstrating how sports have opened new avenues for dialogue and shared interest internationally even as they reinforce old antagonisms and create new ones.Gaming the World reveals the pervasive influence of sports on our daily lives, making all of us citizens of an increasingly cosmopolitan world while affirming our local, regional, and national identities.
The legendary NPR sports commentator and Sports Illustrated journalist retells the story of an unusual friendship between two towering figures in baseball history. At the turn of the twentieth century, Christy Mathewson was one of baseball’s first superstars. Over six feet tall, clean cut, and college educated, he didn’t pitch on the Sabbath and rarely spoke an ill word about anyone. He also had one of the most devastating arms in all of baseball. New York Giants manager John McGraw, by contrast, was ferocious. The pugnacious tough guy was already a star infielder who, with the Baltimore Orioles, helped develop a new, scrappy style of baseball, with plays like the hit-and-run, the Baltimore chop, and the squeeze play. When McGraw joined the Giants in 1902, the Giants were coming off their worst season ever. Yet within three years, Mathewson clinched New York City’s first World Series for McGraw’s team by throwing three straight shutouts in only six days, an incredible feat that is invariably called the greatest World Series performance ever. Because of their wonderful odd-couple association, baseball had its first superstar, the Giants ascended into legend, and baseball as a national pastime bloomed. “A fine baseball book but just as fine a study of American popular culture.” —Booklist, starred review
How the NRA became a political juggernaut by influencing the behaviors and beliefs of everyday AmericansThe National Rifle Association is one of the most powerful interest groups in America, and has consistently managed to defeat or weaken proposed gun regulations—even despite widespread public support for stricter laws and the prevalence of mass shootings and gun-related deaths. Firepower provides an unprecedented look at how this controversial organization built its political power and deploys it on behalf of its pro-gun agenda.Taking readers from the 1930s to the age of Donald Trump, Matthew Lacombe traces how the NRA's immense influence on national politics arises from its ability to shape the political outlooks and actions of its followers. He draws on nearly a century of archival records and surveys to show how the organization has fashioned a distinct worldview around gun ownership and used it to mobilize its supporters. Lacombe reveals how the NRA's cultivation of a large, unified, and active base has enabled it to build a resilient alliance with the Republican Party, and examines why the NRA and its members formed an important constituency that helped fuel Trump's unlikely political rise.Firepower sheds vital new light on how the NRA has grown powerful by mobilizing average Americans, and how it uses its GOP alliance to advance its objectives and shape the national agenda.
A shocking exposé of widespread corruption and mob influence throughout the National Football League—on the field, in the owners’ boxes, and in the corporate suitesAccording to investigative journalist Dan E. Moldea, for decades the National Football League has had a strong and unspoken understanding with a dangerous institution: organized crime. In his classic exposé, Interference, Moldea bares the dark, sordid underbelly of America’s favorite professional team sport, revealing a nest of corruption that the league has largely ignored since its inception.Based on intensive research and in-depth interviews with coaches, players, mobsters, bookies, gamblers, referees, and league officials—including some of the sport’s all-time greats—the author’s shocking allegations suggest that the betting line is firmly in the hands of the mob, who occasionally manipulate the on-field action for maximum profit. Interference chronicles a long-standing history of gambling, drugs, and extortion, of point-shaving and game-fixing, and reveals the eye-opening truth about numerous gridiron contests where the final results were determined even before the kickoff. Moldea exposes the mob connections of many of the team owners and their startling complicity in illegal gambling operations, while showing how NFL internal security has managed to quash nearly every investigation into illegality and corruption within the professional football world before it could get off the ground. Provocative, disturbing, and controversial, Interference is a must-read for football fans and detractors alike, offering indisputable proof that what’s really happening on the field, in the locker room, and behind the scenes is a whole different ball game.
The bestselling annual baseball preview from the smartest analysts in the business
The essential guide to the 2013 baseball season is on deck now, and whether you're a fan or fantasy player?or both?you won't be properly informed without it. Baseball Prospectus 2013 brings together an elite group of analysts to provide the definitive look at the upcoming season in critical essays and commentary on the thirty teams, their managers, and more than sixty players and prospects from each team. Contains critical essays on each of the thirty teams and player comments for some sixty players for each of those teamsProjects each player's stats for the coming season using the groundbreaking PECOTA projection system, which has been called "perhaps the game's most accurate projection model" (Sports Illustrated)From Baseball Prospectus, America's leading provider of statistical analysis for baseball
Now in its eighteenth edition, this New York Times bestselling insider's guide remains hands down the most authoritative and entertaining book of its kind.
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