New Feature: Monthly Short Stories

Hi Folks,

I want to announce a new feature here on The Granite Notebook : a monthly short story rotation. I realized the other day that I have written quite a bit of awesome short fiction over the years and need to give readers here the opportunity to see some of it. Soon, probably early next year, I will publish a short story collection that will include many of these stories, but they are being published here for the first time. So readers of The Granite Notebook get to see them before everybody else. :)

You can see the link now in the menu bar above, and you can Continue reading

Why Americans Don’t Embrace Soccer

[ For a more positive look at the sport of soccer, and why it is the best sport in the world, please refer to my other recent article on the subject: “Why Soccer? -And How Soccer is Like Boxing- A Letter to American Sports Fans” ]

The special Copa America Centenario tournament that was held in the United States this summer has given me a great jumping off point for an article that I have been wanting to write. Brazil were eliminated from the tournament by a single goal that one of their Peruvian opponents scored by intentionally slapping the ball into the net with his hand. In other words, the Peruvian player did not actually score a legitimate goal, instead he committed a major infraction of the rules, but the game officials awarded the goal anyway, Peru moved on to the next round, and Brazil (who would have moved on instead of Peru if not for that single goal) were eliminated from the tournament. At the highest level of soccer, whether it is with professional clubs or national teams, events like this are so common that they are barely even a scandal. Continue reading