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The compendium, published by Hyperion, features recollections on the sports century that was by top writers and sportscasters, including Dick Schaap, Joyce Carol Oates, Chris Berman, David Halberstam, Roy Blount Jr., and Thomas Boswell.
The book is divided into decades, with at least one athlete highlighted as the defining athlete of that time period. EDT (1808 GMT)
By Jamie Allen
CNN Interactive Senior Writer
(CNN) — The sport of watching sports, for those who don’t know much about sports, is really the debate of it all.
”My top three were Jim Brown, Wilt Chamberlain and Bo Jackson,” says Schaap. The athlete ranked in that spot: Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown winner. Schaap says the former Baltimore Colts quarterback, like many athletes, has become a symbol of the era in which he played.
”I always thought of him as a stoic, solid person, that I think was typical of that era of the 1950s,” says Schaap. My complaint was that he only played one sport.
”I also love the controversy of it. “We don’t have Pele in there. It seems some thought the list should only list human athletes.
”I think anybody is entitled to vote for whomever they want, and I think Secretariat does qualify as an athlete,” says Schaap. He realizes that his picks might not top the ultimate ESPN list — Jackson is not even offered in the network’s Top 20 — but he thinks he used a different scale to appraise athletes.
”I did not choose necessarily on the basis of significance,” says Schaap. Even if I didn’t think he should be up that high, I like the controversy it created.”
But Schaap points out that the list has another source of contention.
”We are limiting it to North Americans,” he says.
October 25, 1999
Web posted at: 2:08 p.m. So we missed Pele, but we had Secretariat.”
And the debates continue.
Halberstam: ‘Best American Sports Writing’ a window on the century
June 7, 1999
Feinstein’s ‘Majors’ goes behind the scenes of golf’s big four
May 7, 1999
Review: ‘The Muhammad Ali Reader’
March 10, 1999
Reviewer: Book on Ali ‘interesting, but awkward’
August 31, 1998
Check out the latest sports on CNNSI.com
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. 35. They changed the face of sports.”
– sportswriter Dick Schaap
But as any sports fan knows, ESPN has been trying to do just that with its ongoing series, “ESPN SportsCentury.” The network, using the opinions of sports reporters, authors, academics and observers, is counting down its top 100 athletes of all time. “People came out of the war years with great hope and great faith in the future. “If you have a vote for the most significant athlete, then you have Ali, then you have Babe Ruth, then you have Michael Jordan. Couch potatoes and bar patrons tuning in to the latest televised contest inevitably battle it out over who is the greatest boxer, the greatest baseball team, the greatest golfer or the greatest quarterback.
And then there’s the ultimate debate: Who is the greatest athlete of all time?
Trying to compare competitors from different athletic endeavors — Muhammad Ali and Jim Thorpe, Michael Jordan and Babe Ruth, Bo Jackson and, uh, Bo Jackson — proves a nearly impossible task.
”If you have a vote for the most significant athlete, then you have Ali, then you have Babe Ruth, then you have Michael Jordan. But I voted purely on what I considered to be athletic ability, and if I had anything in the back of my mind it was, ‘If you put these guys on a field and they played each other in 20 sports, who would win the most?’ I think Jim Brown would win the most, and I think Chamberlain would be awfully close.”
’I love the controversy of it’
The ESPN pick that caused the biggest grumble from sports fans was No. So far, they’ve reached No. They changed the face of sports. “(But) I wouldn’t have voted him very high. Fighter Jack Johnson, for instance, represents the 1900s; basketball star Michael Jordan defines the 1990s.
In decades between, readers will find lengthy pieces on Jim Thorpe, Babe Ruth, Joe Louis and Babe Didrikson, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams, Johnny Unitas, Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali, and Pete Rose.
”I think it’s a labor of love for everybody who was involved with it,” says Schaap, the author of several sports books, the former editor of Sports Magazine and current host of ESPN’s “Sports Reporters.” Schaap, who praised ESPN’s Mark Shapiro for organizing the book, writes about Unitas. Unitas sort of represented that.”
’Who would win most?’
So, who did Schaap vote as his greatest athlete ever? Let the debate begin. 14; the top athlete remains a mystery, though the list has been narrowed to a chosen few.
And to compliment the show, the sports network that started in 1979 has released a new book by the same title
Sports contribute to economic benefit through direct and indirect employment in sports and sporting facilities, income from sports such as taxation by government, gate tickets collections during matches and from sale of recreation goods and services. This less than perfect information could lead to a level of private investment that is either too high, or too low, from a social perspective, therefore information failure can be a rationale for government to ensure perfect information on both costs and benefits is delivered to private investors, in the right time.
Relationship between market failure and externalities of sports teams and sport events There is a relationship between market failure and externalities generated by the activities of professional sports teams and the conduct of the sport events as highlighted below:
2. Externalities (spillovers) of costs Sports and sporting events is a public good and it can exhibit a unpredictable characteristics, firms may be uncomfortable financing special events, such as car racing, because they are unable to capture all of the benefits of funding the event, individual firms may fail to finance the events and still capture the benefit of business that the event generates, hence lack of financing can lead to market failure. The planning horizon that is implicit in the evaluation of these proposals can have a big impact on the perceived attractiveness of these projects. Other examples of public goods and/or positive externalities include: local loyalty, fan loyalty and civil pride. Private investors may as well have a high discount rate than the community as a whole; this may mean that sporting programs that can make a potential positive contribution to the society will not be undertaken without some form of government intervention to prevent failures of such programs.
Case study The major sporting organization in Australia undertakes the significant economic activity in their own rights. Consider a case study of Australia.
Leisure time is necessary, sports offer experiences that contribute to relaxation. When government invests in sports and sporting facilities and events; there are various benefits: sports is healthy to the citizens, all levels of the industry have found out that exercise (for those participating in games) is vital to keeping fit, maintaining morale and increasing productivity. Satisfaction of living in a big league town and being able to view coverage of the events in the media causes direct demands for games that are experienced by sports teams to understate the total value of sports to the local consumer (Siegfied&Zimbalist, 2000). The construction of sporting facilities and programs can involve a large sum of money outlaid over an extensive period of time with benefits accruing far into the future. Sports also generate benefits by attracting tourists (Pty, 1997).
Information failure Sports investments are also characterized by less than perfect information on both the costs and benefits involved. For example, cricket Australia collected total revenue of eighty-seven million in 2003, the Australian rugby union had net revenues of more than sixty million dollars, and the Australian football league reported a net operating surplus of around fifteen million dollars for the same period.. Improved productivity associated with the physical and psychological individual benefits. 1. Sources of government revenue Professional sports teams and sporting events are currently major sources of government revenue to the economy of any country hence market failure in sports can be a big blow to the economy of that particular country. Nevertheless, sporting events can also cause negative externalities, such as lack of social cohesion.