“The 7 Questions” is a new sports questionnaire — the Eephus way of catching a snapshot of the fan’s life. From writers to artists and beyond, we bring you answers every Monday morning.
We’re very excited to welcome our inaugural guest, Will Leitch. Will is a senior writer at Sports On Earth, culture writer for Bloomberg Politics, film critic for The New Republic, contributing editor at New York Magazine, and the founder of Deadspin. He has written four books, including Are We Winning? about the connection of baseball and fatherhood.
- When was the last time sports made you cry?
I’ll confess: I am not a crier. I say that not as some sort of tough guy: I think growing up in the Midwest fries out some people’s tear ducts somehow. I’ll say that I am often made more emotional by fans’ reactions to sporting events than I am by the sporting events themselves. I’ve watched David Freese’s triple in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series hundreds of times. But I bet I’ve watched this more.
- What’s your most treasured piece of sports apparel or memorabilia?
My scorebooks. I’ve kept score of every baseball game I’ve attended since high school, and I use the same scorebooks, the C.S Peterson Scoremaster, for every one. If there were a fire in my home, I’d save my wife and my children first. I’d save my computer second. And I’d save those third. Anything else, we can survive without.
- Competed in any sports lately, at any level?
There used to be a group of guys here in Athens who played basketball every Thursday night, but it broke up, as they all do once people start hitting their 40s. I run 30 miles a week, but that might not count as a sport. I do listen to sports podcasts on my run, but I don’t think that helps my cause much.
- What’s your desert island sports movie or book?
Movie: Hoop Dreams, directed by Steve James (non-fiction); Bull Durham, directed by Ron Shelton (fiction).
Book: The Summer Game by Roger Angell (non-fiction); Semi-Tough by Dan Jenkins (fiction).
- What do you like to eat and drink while you watch sports?
I never eat while watching sports: I make enough of a fool of myself without food flying out of my mouth everywhere. What do I drink during a game? If it’s a game involving the Cardinals, Illini, or USMNT/USWNT . . . whatever is within arms reach. (And sometimes beyond.)
- What’s the greatest length you’ve gone to watch or attend a game?
On my wedding day six years ago, I got obsessed, for reasons I don’t particularly understand (and probably don’t want to), with whether or not the Cardinals won a random June game against the Brewers. I was checking my phone obsessively, up to the point when I had to walk out there. I looked at my dad in the front row, who had been doing the same thing. His eyes met mine. He looked at his phone and mimed a left handed swing; I’d watched enough games with Dad that I knew it was Colby Rasmus’ swing. Walk-off win. It was the only time I was relaxed all day.
- Ever caught a foul ball?
No. Stupid little kids near me keep grabbing mine, the varmints.