Honestly, I've got to know: What is it that you want from sports journalism, exactly? In one breath, you make the patently obvious (and, honestly, trite) statement that sports are meaningless. But then you want sports journalism to be written with the passion and gravity that you have come to expect from the NY Times, Time Magazine, and Slate. Mind you, I think you overstate the brilliance of Dowd's prose — she's good, and without question the best writer on the staff, but that's because Safire's done — but I will admit that in terms of opinion writers, the vast majority of the good ones write on politics or other serious issues. But I can't help but think they have the monopoly on the good, substantive subject matter as well. And isn't that a point you made yourself?
You ask where the great pieces of investigative journalism are in the sports world. What the fuck is there to investigate, really? Woodward's book is selling like wildfire because it's about something important! The steroid stuff stands as the only real "issue" that's come up in sports, off the top of my head, in the last half-dozen years that can be remotely considered important. And there was a capably written book that did some prison-inducing investigation into the issue. And, frankly, if we're talking about whipping boys, is there a bigger one right now than Rumsfeld? Yes, I'm being facetious, but I think you're too quick to dismiss "Shadows" as 500 pages of Bonds excoriation. He was the central character in a book about a much bigger issue. In terms of writing, I bet "Shadows" holds up to Woodward's latest offering; I'll tell you for sure when I'm done with the Woodward book, but I can say that because I've read his older stuff and he's no fucking Hemmingway. But even if it doesn't, shouldn't a book about the bungling of the Iraq War, which involves more than 2,000 American soldiers dying, be more compelling than a book about baseball players using steroids and HGH?
I'm ignoring a lot, either because it's been covered by others or it's not really germane.
Heh. Germane. Germain. Funny.