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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 him to read from and talk about their favorite WSJ sports work and emails from the boss.

Speakers include:

Rachel Bachman
David Biderman
Pia Catton
Jim Chairusmi
Jonathan Clegg
Ben Cohen
Brian Costa
Darren Everson
Geoff Foster
Matt Futterman
Jason Gay
Sara Germano
Kevin Helliker
Mike Miller
Vanessa O'Connell
Tom Perrotta
Adam Thompson
Robert Thomson
Sam Walker
...and more!
Hosted by WSJ alum Carl Bialik

• Read Gelf's interview with some of WSJ Sports' finest about the section and Walker.

Varsity Letters logo

Graphics by Mister Lister.

Event Details:

The Gallery at LPR (Official site, map)
158 Bleecker St. (between Sullivan St. and Thompson St.)
New York, NY 10012
Blocks from ACE/BDF/MNR/1/6 trains

Doors open at 7.
Event starts at 7:30.
There is no admission charge.
Attendees must be 21 or older, as per Le Poisson Rouge rules. (Email varsityletters@gmail.com if you are under 21 and would like to attend. The farther in advance, the better; no guarantees.)

Please spread the word to sports fans and lovers of good writing.


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Varsity Letters

March 22: The Audacity of Hoop

In the middle of primary season and March Madness, Gelf returns to The Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge to discuss the meaning of basketball. Sports Illustrated senior writer Alexander Wolff will be discussing his new book The Audacity of Hoop: Basketball and the Age of Obama. He'll be joined by Shawn Fury, author of Rise and Fire: The Origins, Science, and Evolution of the Jump Shot --- and How It Transformed Basketball Forever.

Varsity Letters

Varsity Letters Feb. 23: Fan Appreciation Night

Gelf returns to The Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge for a night to devoted to you, the fans. Sports Illustrated executive editor Jon Wertheim., will read from and discuss his new book co-written with Sam Sommers, This Is Your Brain on Sports: The Science of Underdogs, the Value of Rivalry, and What We Can Learn from the T-Shirt Cannon. He'll be joined by ESPN producer Justine Gubar, author of Fanaticus: Mischief and Madness in the Modern Sports Fan. Rounding out the evening will be Wall Street Journal sports columnist Jason Gay, who wrote Little Victories: Perfect Rules for Imperfect Living.

Varsity Letters

Dec. 14: We Can Finally Talk About the Mets

Enough time has passed since the New York Mets' whirlwind run to the World Series that we're now ready to talk about it. New York’s sports reading series returns to the Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge with three of the premier Mets writers in the game: Wall Street Journal beat reporter Jared Diamond, Vice Sports contributing editor David Roth, and Greg Prince of the venerated Mets blog Faith and Fear in Flushing.

Varsity Letters

Nov. 23: Grantland Appreciation Night

New York’s sports reading series returns to the Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge with a night devoted to the recently shuttered site Grantland—an indispensable outlet for high-quality writing about sports and pop culture over the past four years. Come show your appreciation for the site's contributors as they read from their own and each others' work. Speakers include: Rafe Bartholomew Brian Phillips Holly Anderson Jason Concepcion Amos Barshad Jordan Ritter Conn Zach Lowe Ben Lindbergh Andy Greenwald Rembert Browne Jonah Keri ...and more! Space at the venue is limited, so please RSVP here.

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.

Varsity Letters

Sept. 30: Wright Thompson and Seth Wickersham

New York’s sports reading series returns to the Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge with the writers of two of the most engrossing football stories in recent memory. ESPN’s Wright Thompson wrote an indelible piece on the spirit of New Orleans in the years after Katrina. He’s joined by his colleague Seth Wickersham, who—along with Don Van Natta Jr.—recently blew the lid off of Roger Goodell’s mishandling of both Spygate and Deflategate.

Varsity Letters

July 22: Mark Kram Jr. and Brin-Jonathan Butler

Varsity Letters returns to the Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge for a special Wednesday night edition. Mark Kram Jr. will read from and discuss his new collection of his father's work, Great Men Die Twice: The Selected Works of Mark Kram. He'll be joined by SB Nation's Brin-Jonathan Butler, author of The Domino Diaries: My Decade Boxing with Olympic Champions and Chasing Hemingway's Ghost in the Last Days of Castro's Cuba.

Varsity Letters

June 15: The Sport of Kings

Varsity Letters returns to the Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge for a special Monday night edition looking at horse racing in the wake of American Pharoah's historic Triple Crown victory. Joe Drape, who covers horse racing for the New York Times, and Pia Catton, who does so for the Wall Street Journal, will participate in a panel discussion along with writer and pari-mutuel clerk Elizabeth Minkel. The event will be moderated by Teresa Genaro, who blogs about the sport at Brooklyn Backstretch.

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