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3:33 Sports Shorts

3:33 Sports Short #9 // Hustle

by Julia Shipley

Don't be a shrinking violet, her field hockey coach still yelps from the sidelines of her memory. Don’t be… that shout, still chiding her inclination to contract when the world ongoingly asks, insists, demands: expand!

Then, too, she remembers coach’s warm reward for aggression, or, was it only assertion?

Insertion: when she wasn’t shrinking, oh, how she whacked that solid ball—heavy as a lead egg—at the pad-covered goalie, how she rushed toward that shut door of a girl, (Go! Don't be....), how she took her stick and flicked and tucked that stone bolus behind the goalie's squeezed knees. 

Every game, it seemed, was about forcing a protective female to accept something she didn't want, again and again.

3:33 Sports Short #7 // Drone Dads: Killing It on the Youth Soccer Field

by Jen Karetnick

Forget the clueless but cheerful soccer mom with her SUV hatchback spilling uniforms and her ponytail threaded through her sequined ball cap. We’ve got a more recent phenomenon out on the youth soccer field: the “Drone Dad” (DD).

What’s a DD? He’s the guy who pilots up and down the sidelines, conferencing with his kid at every opportunity. He may or may not know what he’s talking about. He may or may not have played or coached before. But he’s usually countermanding everything the real coach wants the player to do.

3:33 Sports Short #6 // On Dave Mirra's Death

by Nathan Sindelar

This week's first 3:33 Sports Short is a meditation on the death of BMX superstar Dave Mirra at the age of 41. It comes courtesy of Nathan Sindelar, a current graduate student at Creighton University, and a former Prairie Schooner intern. The internship program is a big part of the work we do here at Prairie Schooner. We're lucky to get a new crop of talented young people to help out every semester, and we're excited to see what interesting directions their lives will take them. Very happy to be publishing Nathan today. If you want to read more great sports writing, become a subscriber, and we'll mail you our Winter Sports Issue. We're running a belated Valentine's Day special this week. Four issues for $25, and each subscription includes a handwritten Valentine from someone on our staff.

3:33 Sports Short #5 // Baseball and American Spiritual Life

by Diane Cameron

The first thing I learned about baseball is this: If you raise your hand a man will bring you food. I learned this at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, and in my first year as a fan I spent most of the game facing the wrong way. Raise my hand, get ice cream, raise my hand, get popcorn, raise my hand, get peanuts. It was 1958.

Later, I understood it was a game.  On summer afternoons I’d beg my brothers to take me to the ball park. I was falling in love with baseball.

If baseball has taken hold of you too, you know it’s about more than your team winning.  Sport, like religion, offers consolations: A diversion from our daily routine, heroic examples to admire, and a sense of conflict in which nobody dies. 

3:33 Sports Short #4 // The Lithe Adolescence

by Jennifer Fliss

So far in the 3:33 Sports Shorts blog series we've run pieces on Peyton Manning, running, and the strange zen of late-night call-in sports talk radio. Today we've got a piece on gymnastics. Do you have an idea for a piece? Want to get involved? Consider sending us a few hundred words on the subject of your choice. Another way to support the work we're doing is to become a subscriber.

3:33 Sports Short #3 // Running is a Kind of Drowning

by Jonathan Crowl

I was sixteen, I crossed the line third. I was so exhausted I shit myself.

I kept sprinting past the finish line, tripping over a rope that funneled runners into a long chute. My best friend’s mother, a nurse, helped bring me back to the team tent. A teammate said “Oh” and pointed behind me: My white jersey had come out of my shorts, stained in brown. I tucked in the shirt. We haven’t talked about it since.

*

This was not as bad as when my friend collapsed from heat exhaustion, and while receiving treatment on the ground grew an erection.

*

When I pooped myself, I’d just run the race of my life. The experience taught me something I wouldn’t have admitted, and probably didn’t realize: I no longer wanted to try my hardest.

3:33 Sports Short #2 // The Overnight

by Miles Doyle

Whenever I have trouble sleeping, which seems to occur more regularly with age, I turn on the local sports station here in New York—WFAN, Sports Radio 66, the FAN. In place of rest and reinvention, I listen to men and women with biographies polished down to poetry—Bruce from Bayside, Lisa from Whitestone, Ira from Staten Island. To a person, they obsess about strategy and statistics, turning points and missed opportunities, anything that might help them make sense of events completely out of their control.

The overnight, as the five-hour slot is called, is made up entirely of hyperbole and hard lines. An athlete is celebrated or condemned based solely on the latest box score; he is, according to these disembodied voices, only as good as his last at-bat, the previous possession.

3:33 Sports Short #1 // Three Poems for Super Bowl Champ Peyton Manning

Welcome to the first installment of our 3:33 Sports Shorts blog series. Here in the Prairie Schooner office we had our fingers crossed for a Broncos loss so thhis blog post could be titled "Three Poems for a Loser" but alas. Anyways, we're going to be posting a new short post on the theme of SPORTS every day at 3:33 p.m. Some notes: 1) the two "somewhat sonnets" for Manning were written before last night's game, so please consider some of the commentary within to be historical in nature 2) we're still looking for 3:33 Sports Shorts submissions 3) the reason we are doing this is to hype our Winter Sports Issue which can be yours if you become a subscriber today. Now, without further ado...

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