Bob Cook, Your Kid's Not Going ProOffering advice in the arena of youth athletics and keeping us up-to-date on all the latest happenings in the surprisingly contentious world of sports for the under-18 crowd, Bob Cook is your man on the field.
When Cook isn't (tactfully, sometimes aggressively . . . when absolutely necessary) reminding parents, Your Kid's Not Going Pro, this is what he's clicking on and cracking open.
I must confess, I've gone all-digital. The only print magazine that comes to my house is my wife's Us Weekly, which I grab to devour the "Stars Are Just Like Us!" section. I feel reaffirmed that stars buy toilet paper, lick ice cream off their lips and chase their children, just like us.
However, for a long time (like from age 11 for at least two decades or so) I had a Sports Illustrated subscription.
I'm still influenced by all the Mad magazines I read as a kid in the late 1970s, though I have yet to, in my own writing, work in many Don Martin sound effects like "sizafitz."
On the web:
True/Slant, naturally. And I have a lot of friends from my Flak Magazine days who write great blogs, such as Zulkey, Movie Day at the Court, the Heavy Table and GameWit and probably some that I'm leaving out.
Can't Stop the Bleeding is a great sports blog curated by Gerard Cosloy, a co-founder of Matador Records, and has the great sensibility of sports fandom/music geekdom that I like to bring to my own writing.
As a roller coaster fan, I love Theme Park Review.
I regularly read Wall of Paul, which is written by Paul Tatara, who you might remember as the excellent movie reviewer from CNN.com.
During NCAA time, Kyle Whelliston's Mid-Majority. It's devoted to the non-big time NCAA Division I basketball teams, and some deep, deep thoughts.
I just finished Game On, by Tom Farrey, the best book out there about why the youth sports world is what it is now, and why the crazy parents in it are less crazy than you think as they try to work that system. I usually read nonfiction, particularly sports or music.
I think I've read Terry Pluto's Loose Balls, a history of the American Basketball Association, about 3,000 times.
For fiction, I've read a lot of Kurt Vonnegut Jr., who no matter what he did or where he was, was always the prototypical Hoosier crank, like David Letterman, John Mellencamp or, often, myself.
As a kid, I was a big fan of Edgar Allan Poe.
Philip Roth's The Great American Novel is, indeed, the Great American Novel, not because it's about baseball, but because it's a wonderful, loud, unholy mess about baseball.
Read more of Bob's words at Your Kid's Not Going Pro.