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Varsity Letters

January 11, 2011

February 3: 5th Anniversary Varsity Letters

Gelf's Varsity Letters sports reading series returns on Thursday, February 3, at 7:30 p.m., at Manhattan's (Le) Poisson Rouge, with a special event ahead of our fifth anniversary. Varsity Letters founder Dan Shanoff—who will be celebrating the launch of his new news site, Quickish— and Gelf—which has been hosting the event since December 2006—will be co-hosting the event. It will feature more than a dozen sportswriters, including Varsity Letters alumni and first-time speakers, who will take the stage in rapid-fire, three-minute installments to recall a defining moment in sports. The speakers include Sam Walker, who appeared at the first Varsity Letters in April 2006; Will Leitch; Chuck Klosterman; and Jeff Pearlman. Here are Gelf's rapid-fire, Quickish-style interviews with all of our guests, where they answer questions about their favorite Twitter feeds, whether pro athletes are Democrats or Republicans, and more.

Varsity Letters logo

Graphic by Mister Lister.

Please spread the word to sports fans and book lovers.

The event will be Gelf's first at (Le) Poisson Rouge, a multimedia art cabaret founded by musicians on the site of the historic Village Gate. (UPDATE: See event photos and hear audio from the event.)

Event Details:


Le Poisson Rouge (Official site, map)
158 Bleecker St. (between Sullivan St. and Thompson St.)
New York, NY 10012
Blocks from A/C/E/B/D/F/M/N/R/1/6 trains

Doors open at 7.
Event starts at 7:30.
There is no admission charge.

The lineup:

•ESPN's Henry Abbott (spoke at Varsity Letters in March 2007, then recapped the night)

•Deadspin's Katie Baker

•Bronx Banter's Alex Belth, editor of Lasting Yankee Stadium Memories: Unforgettable Tales from the House That Ruth Built (Varsity Letters in April 2009 (video), October 2010)

Ben Cohen of Deadspin and the Wall Street Journal

Joe Drape of the New York Times, author of Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen (Varsity Letters in December 2009)

Jason Fry, co-blogger at Faith and Fear in Flushing and columnist for the National Sports Journalism Center (Varsity Letters in March 2007, plus appearances at other Gelf events: Media Circus in December 2009 and Geeking Out in January 2010)

Chuck Klosterman, author of Eating the Dinosaur (Varsity Letters in February 2010)

Will Leitch of New York magazine, author of Are We Winning?: Fathers and Sons in the New Golden Age of Baseball and God Save the Fan: How Steroid Hypocrites, Soul-Sucking Suits, and a Worldwide Leader Not Named Bush Have Taken the Fun Out of Sports (Varsity Letters in October 2006, March 2007, January 2008, February 2009 (video), and July 2010; Leitch also served as a moderator in November 2008)

Amy K. Nelson of ESPN

Jeff Pearlman, author of The Rocket That Fell to Earth: Roger Clemens and the Rage for Baseball Immortality; Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty; and Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero (Varsity Letters in May 2006, October 2008, and June 2009 (video))

Dan Shanoff, founder of Quickish.com and of Varsity Letters (also spoke at Varsity Letters in March 2007)

Emma Span, author of 90% of the Game Is Half Mental: And Other Tales from the Edge of Baseball Fandom (Varsity Letters in April 2010)

Sam Walker, sports editor at the Wall Street Journal and author of Fantasyland: A Sportswriter's Obsessive Bid to Win the World's Most Ruthless Fantasy Baseball (Varsity Letters in April 2006)

Michael Weinreb, author of Bigger Than the Game: Bo, Boz, the Punky QB, and How the '80s Created the Modern Athlete and Game of Kings: A Year Among the Oddballs and Geniuses Who Make Up America's Top HighSchool Chess Team (Varsity Letters in May 2007 and September 2010)

Upcoming Varsity Letters

March 3

John Eisenberg, author of That First Season: How Vince Lombardi Took the Worst Team in the NFL and Set It on the Path to Glory

Doug Merlino, author of The Hustle: One Team and Ten Lives in Black and White

•Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim, co-author of Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won
(three times before, Wertheim was a Varsity Letters guest)

April 7: Boxing night

Thomas Hauser, author of Boxing Is…: Reflections on the Sweet Science and contributor to At The Fights: American Writers on Boxing

George Kimball, author of Manly Art: They Can Run-But They Can't Hide and co-editor of At The Fights: American Writers on Boxing (Kimball appeared at Varsity Letters in January 2009)

Gary Andrew Poole, author of PacMan: Behind the Scenes with Manny Pacquiao--the Greatest Pound-for-Pound Fighter in the World (Poole appeared at Varsity Letters in December 2008)

May 5: Baseball night

Harvey Frommer, author of Remembering Fenway Park: An Oral and Narrative History of the Home of the Boston Red Sox (Frommer appeared at Varsity Letters in September 2008)

Jonah Keri, author of The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First (Keri appeared at Varsity Letters in April 2007)

Lang Whitaker, executive editor of SLAM Magazine and author of In the Time of Bobby Cox: The Atlanta Braves, Their Manager, My Couch, Two Decades, and Me

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