I told my wife, who has endured my passions for both writing and gaming for 18 years, about the mention on The Deep Lying Podcast last night. And she laughed, saying I should write a sports novel. I seized the opportunity to campaign for a new laptop (as mine creaks and moans when it tries to run in 3D), and FM17 on release day.
But as I returned, to find my Benfica manager turned down in his pursuit of the FC Barcelona position by Herr Scratch n’ Sniff, I thought about it. Why do we see movies about sports with regularity. Even the occasional TV series. But rarely books. And never aimed at adults. It certainly isn’t because adults lose their passion for sports, the filled stadia and all of us playing FM, and the EA sports conglomerate put the lie to that.
This article from the Atlantic, contends it’s that men don’t read books. But I find that dubious. I may be a geek with shelves filled with Jim Butcher, Steven Erickson, Larry Correa, the obligatory Tolkien, along with the Historical Fiction of Clavell, Wouk, and the in-between of G.G. Kay. But I’m not the only one. And I see enough tweets and FB posts to know there are many, many more whose lives stop for major events, and are fired by the moments of drama they provoke. As many people who mock such moments with “It’s only a game,” there are good reasons a movie like Miracle made three times its budget. Quite aside from the fact it’s the best acting Kirk Russell has done in his career.
It may be a niche. But 90% of writing these days is niche. That’s why the mainstream publishers are circling the drain and screaming about Indie authors they never thought to recruit. It’s something I never really considered until now. My own work in the craft of writing has, to this point, been in speculative fiction. But there’s something to the idea. Sports mirrors culture, politics, and provides some of the most fascinating character studies in real life. Why shouldn’t it be so in fiction as well?