Nicholas Dawidoff writes for the New Yorker and the New York Times Magazine. His books include The Catcher was a Spy, about a 30s-era Yankees catcher (who mostly rode the bench) who was a spy for the OSS. A multi linguist, about whom a Yankee manager said, “He can speak seven languages but can’t hit in any of them.” Later books by Dawidoff include a look at country music, In the Country of Country, and a biography of his grandfather, Alexander Gerschenckron. New Yorker readers may remember his piece about his father and mental illness.
He is a very fine writer, of the quality that makes me willing to follow him into pretty much any subject.
His latest is Collision Lw Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football. He was able to become “embedded” with the 2011 New York Jets, assigned an office, on the sidelines or up with the coaches at every game for the entire year. I was not sure whether I was up for this one until I read an excerpt at Men’s Journal and then, sitting in Square Books, a chunk of the prologue to the book. I’m about 60 pages in, and, so far, really recommend it.
Friday night, Dawidoff will be at Square Books, where he will do a talk about the book with ESPN writer Wright Thompson (who has had an essay in Best Sports Writing for the last seven years running now, and eight of the last nine years). It should be a good event, and I’ll be there.
For extra (and for Anderson), here’s Dawidoff’s thoughts about the Dolphins / Incognito flap, from the New Yorker blog.