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Varsity Letters

Nov. 29: Varsity Letters Goes To The Theater

Join Gelf for a night at the theater. Gelf readers save $10 on tickets to the tennis-themed play Don't You F**king Say a Word on Tuesday, November 29, in Manhattan. The performance will be followed by a panel discussion of sports and rage, featuring Patrick McEnroe.

Tickets can be purchased at Discount code is dyfsaw25

The play, about a tennis match that tears apart a friendship, is based on a real-life on-court meltdown by the playwright, Andy Bragen. Stick around after the play to hear a discussion about tennis and rage with ESPN commentator and former tennis pro Patrick McEnroe, who peaked at No. 28 in the world singles rankings and No. 3 in doubles; Sara Germano, who has covered the last 5 U.S. Opens for the Wall Street Journal; child psychiatrist Tony Charuvastra; and former Varsity Letters host Carl Bialik.

Varsity Letters logo

Graphics by Mister Lister.

Event Details:

59E59 Theater B (Official site, map)
59 E. 59th St. (between Madison Ave. and Park Ave.)
New York, NY 10022
Blocks from 456/NRW/EM/F/Q trains

The 80-minute play starts at 7:15.
Tickets are $25, $10 off the usual price, with discount code dyfsaw25

Please spread the word to fans of sports and theater.

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Varsity Letters

Oct. 17: Shaun Assael, Matthew Futterman, and S.L. Price

Gelf returns to The Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge with a night of books about boxing, sports business, and small-town football. The guest authors are ESPN the Magazine senior writer Shaun Assael, author of The Murder of Sonny Liston: Las Vegas, Heroin, and Heavyweights; Wall Street Journal sportswriter Matthew Futterman, author of Players: The Story of Sports and Money, and the Visionaries Who Fought to Create a Revolution; and Sports Illustrated writer S.L. Price, author of Playing Through the Whistle: Steel, Football, and an American Town.

Varsity Letters

May 18: Mina Kimes, Ben Lindbergh, Allison McCann, Oliver Roeder, and Nate Silver

Gelf returns to The Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge with writers from FiveThirtyEight, ESPN's empirical-journalism website. Ben Lindbergh, co-author of the New York Times bestseller The Only Rule Is It Has To Work, will be joined by colleagues Allison McCann, Oliver Roeder, and Nate Silver. Also appearing: ESPN the Magazine writer Mina Kimes.

Varsity Letters

April 18: Seven Years of Sam Walker's WSJ Sports

Gelf returns to The Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge to pay tribute to the Wall Street Journal's sports coverage, led by editor Sam Walker, who is leaving the section this spring to become the Journal's deputy enterprise editor. Many of the writers and editors who worked with Walker to build the WSJ's distinctive approach to daily sports coverage starting in March 2009—a mix of scoops, humor, investigation, insight, obsessive quantification, deep analysis, the offbeat, and a notable lack of traditional game stories—will be taking the stage with Walker to read from and talk about their favorite WSJ sports work and emails from the boss.

Varsity Letters

Oct. 12: Neil Paine, Walt Hickey and Jon Bois

New York’s sports reading series returns to the Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge with chroniclers of all things Madden, the video game that often seems more popular and influential than the NFL itself. Neil Paine went to Florida to learn how Madden ratings are made, while his colleague and self-avowed schlub Walt Hickey got rated himself and written into the game. They documented their exploits in a two-part series for FiveThirtyEight (where tonight’s host, Carl Bialik, also works). They’ll be joined by Jon Bois, who writes about the absurdities of Madden for SBNation, where he is an associate editor, and gives his readers a way into his surreal tours of its outer extremes in his column Roster Cuts.


The Champion of the Bracketless Bracket

The NCAA tournament ended with a brick-laden thud in the championship game. But even if Butler had somehow found a way to win (perhaps by making more than 9 field goals), Joel Landas would still have won Gelf's inaugural Bracketless...


Bracketless Bracket: The Final Two

After two weeks and 64 games, the 2011 NCAA basketball tournament is down to just four teams. Gelf's Bracketless Bracket field has constricted even further—only two contestants are still competing for the grand prize. The favorite is Joel Landas, who has been dominating the field since the early rounds. (Earlier, Landas told Gelf how he decided which teams to pick.)


The Bracketless Bracket Leader Speaks

All of the NCAA tournament's 6 and 7 seeds have washed out after the first two rounds, as have all the teams seeded 13th and below. That leaves nine of the 16 seed lines still alive in Gelf's Bracketless Bracket tournament, and Joel Landas is the only contestant to have a team still playing in each one. As the current leader, Landas is also the only contestant to have racked up more than 3000 points, and he has a 260-point lead over his closest competition.


Bracketless Bracket: Sweet Sixteen Update

The first two real rounds of the thoroughly entertaining 2011 tournament are over, and two things are abundantly clear. First is that our student-athletes should spend more time learning when is and isn't an appropriate time to foul. Second is that Brian Westbrook will not be winning this years Bracketless Bracket tournament. Over the course of just two games, every single team in Westbrook's bracket has lost, meaning he can earn no more points in this competition. Since he already has the lowest point total, he will definitely be the overall loser of the Bracketless Bracket tournament. (Indeed, everyone else has at least one team left in his or her pool.)

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