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3:33 Sports Short #20 // Twenty Years of Tango by Tariq al Haydar

Today's pair of 3:33 Sports Shorts are both about the most popular sport in the world: fùtbol, or, as we more commonly call it, soccer. Below is a post by Tariq al Haydar about how a Saudi winds up being a fan of Aregentina's soccer team. Click here for Rob Jacklosky on playing pick up soccer in New York City.

I’m a Saudi who loves soccer but hates the Saudi national team. I started rooting for Argentina in the early nineties, when the great Diego Maradona’s career was tiptoeing toward its twilight. Sometimes, I tell people that Maradona seduced me into loving Argentina, but that’s a lie. I fell in love with Argentina because of a video game. Pixelated players with fictional names: Fuerte, Domingo, Repala, Capitale. My cousin gave his fictional Germans nicknames like “Son of Satan” and “Hell’s Messenger.” To this day, I can’t stand Germany.

3:33 Sports Short #19 // Sixth Man by Nick Ripatrazone

Havlicek, McHale, Walton. Sundays meant 10:30 mass at Our Lady of Mercy, then our family cramped on living room couches, watching the NBA on CBS throughout the afternoon. The Celtics were our team, Boston Garden my home, and my dream was to step on that parquet. I hated the flashy Lakers. Jack Nicholson was an asshole in The Shining but he was even worse courtside. I preferred Bird and Parrish over Worthy and Johnson. I was raised to love the Celtics.

3:33 Sports Short #18 // Green Monster by Marissa Landrigan

Today's duo of 3:33 Sports Shorts share a geographical affinity... both relate to Boston, Massachusetts, one of the truly great American sports cities. Marissa Landrigan's piece below gives us a first person account of just what it's like to be in Boston's Fenway Park. Click here for Nick Ripatrazone's piece about Boston Celtics Sixth Man John Havlicek.

The only time I’ve ever come close to getting punched in the face was at Fenway Park. I was somewhere around twelve or thirteen, on one of my family’s regular summer Saturday outings to see the Sox play. The air was heavy, thick with humidity, and smelled of hot dogs. My father’s clear plastic cup of beer nearly melting in his hand, my ears buzzing with the electric hum of the crowd’s cheers, the drumbeat of stadium anthems a constant drone.

3:33 Sports Short #17 // On Saturday Night’s Coin Flip, Cardinals 26, Packers 20 by Rob Stephens

Modern athletes stretch their bodies upon an anvil, the spectators raising the scalpel, the clamps, the hammer to destroy that body, a reverse transubstantiation in which the body turns into spiritual nourishment for the spectators, their bodies an oozed opiate leaking into the stands and through the TV. The sporting event bills skill as the deciding factor in a match between the bodies, and that skill is a measure of the body’s malleability as the athlete dashes, hops, throws, catches, crushes, or sways. Football players cover this malleability with the plastic and styrofoam of their pads, and so we demand more brutality from them to expose the body for an hour.

3:33 Sports Short #16 // Sports are Fun? by Theressa Slind

The 3:33 Sports Shorts are back! We're kicking off this week with two posts that explore one of sports' most consistent bedfellows: anger! In this post Theressa Slind talks about raising a daughter who plays sports for *gasp*... fun. Click here to read Rob Stephens's post about the (occasionally) rigteous anger that sports fans direct at referees.

Alberta Clipper: 03/15/16: “Horror Story” by Agnes Lam

Camuccini's painting "The Death of Ceasar" (1798)

“Beware, beware, the Ides of March.”

Famously dramatized by William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, these are the words that were declared to Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. The Ides of March was the first full moon of the new year according to the Roman calendar, and though Julius Caesar was warned of his fate, he refused to pay heed. Historians have denied for decades that these words were spoken to Caesar, instead favoring the theory that Shakespeare’s play influenced the world to romanticize the brutish murder of a man by his colleagues who sought to save Rome from his tyrannical rule.

'More moon, more roses, more silence!': an Interview with Valzhyna Mort

The Prairie Schooner Book Prize is entering its final week! This week, Katie interviews Valzhyna Mort, author of "Factory of Tears" and "Collected Body" about writing toward the body and whether or not triteness in language can be said to exist.

How many books have you published, and where?

3:33 Sports Short #15 // Talisman by Justin Carter

after Robert Rauschenberg

In the dining room,
my father—tanned
from climbing pipelines
& still young—
clutches a signed ball,
listens to the radio
& the announcer,
each strike bringing him
farther & farther
from his dream—
until it’s over,
so suddenly he doesn’t
know what comes next.
In Houston, there
are tears. What to do
with that sadness?
& nineteen years later,
my own self clutching
a different signed ball,
I watch a small screen
while we go down
four straight games.
Why do we place
such faith in this tradition?
Even now, I wear
the same jersey each night
& blame losing on
how I forgot to wear it,
like my body communes
directly with a spirit
that determines these things.

'We are so tough': Porochista Khakpour on Writing the Body

Marion Ettlinger

The Prairie Schooner Book Prize is now open! In honor of the 2016 Book Prize season, Book Prize Coordinator Katie Schmid Henson will interview authors about the process of constructing a manuscript and bringing it to publication. This week, Katie interviews highly acclaimed NEA-winning writer Porochista Khakpour about her two critically lauded novels, Sons & Other Flammable Objects, and The Last Illusion, as well as her forthcoming memoir about Lyme disease.

How many books have you published, and where?

3:33 Sports Short #14 // Snatch and Drop

by Catherine A. Brereton

The house shudders when Evan lifts. He lifts upwards of 300lbs, maybe even 350lbs, he told me, when he apologized in advance for the noise. I told him it was fine because, really, how do you tell a man of his size, of his strength, that it isn’t fine, that the house trembles and the cats are anxious and you can’t sleep. He lifts at night, always at night, and although he’s promised that he’ll be finished by nine, he never is.

The thuds come ten minutes apart. In-between, when the house is quiet, the bass of his music thumps in the background. It’s almost soothing. Then, he lifts—snatches, I think, is the correct term—then, he drops, onto the concrete floor of the garage, and the whole house quakes.  


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