Denver vs. Carolina: the super books
I’ll freely admit that I’m not the biggest sports fan in the world. Oh, I have a basic knowledge of what’s happening in all the big sports. I’m a very broad based consumer of information: as the Doctor (on Doctor Who) once said, “Everything’s important.”** I know it’s an impossible goal, but I like it to be that I’m at the level where it’s not embarrassing in just about any endeavor. ;)
However, of the big American sports, in my life I probably have followed football more closely than any other (well, except the San Francisco Giants).
I’ve had this discussion with people several times: I think football is the most intellectual of the big sports.
I get pushback on that right away, because some people conceive of it as just big people crashing into each other, but that’s not it at all.
Name another sport where they stop every few seconds to discuss what they are going to do. ;) I’ve seen a stat that in an NFL game, the actual time played, from snap to down, is about eleven minutes. I use that when I teach time management and project planning. :)
When people Monday morning quarterback, they don’t say, “We lost because they were bigger than we were.” They say, “They shouldn’t have gone for it on fourth down” or “What were they thinking, throwing that pass?”
Now, I will entertain an argument for baseball being as or more intellectual, since they do decide every pitch what to throw, who should throw it, where everybody is going to stand in the field, and so on. It feels to me like baseball may be more tactical (a move and response) and football may be more strategic (how does what we are doing now affect what happens several moves from now), but baseball does have some of that as well.
I’ll just put it this way: American football is an intellectual sport. :)
So, as someone who is certainly not an expert in today’s game (I do know the mythology of Newton vs. Manning), I thought I’d switch it up a bit.
Let’s look at the authors from the two cities, and see how they measure up!
The first thing I did was find the city for the Carolina Panthers. :) Why are they named after the state instead of after a city? Is the thought that there will ever only be enough room in North and South (they don’t even differentiate that) Carolina for one football team? Anyway, it’s Charlotte, North Carolina.
Denver is Denver, Colorado.
Taking the field first are the authors from Charlotte!
Actually, I’m surprised at how few authors born in Charlotte I could find. There are certainly famous authors born in North Carolina (O. Henry, for one), and Carson McCullers has a connection to Charlotte…but that’s not quite the same thing.
Writing children’s literature, it’s Newbery, Edgar, and National Book Award winner
From works as varied as The Summer of the Swans, Wanted…Mud Blossom, and The Keeper of the Doves, Byars is a versatile competitor.
Next up is second generation author
Son of Kathy Reichs, they have co-authored books featuring the great-niece of the older Reich’s famous character, Temperance Brennan (Bones). Brendan is currently working on a solo Young Adult novel, due in 2017. Arguably less well-known, look for Reich’s modern thinking to throw the Coloradans…and the relative rookie might just go “Virals”.
Those are probably the two best known authors from Charlotte (there are others).
Now entering from the West side of the field…Deeeeeennnnnnnvveeeerrrrrrrrr!
With a massive eleven Hugo Awards and seven Nebulas, it’s SFWA Grand Master
Having written about time travel many times, Willis’ mastery of the clock should spell Doomsday (so to speak) for the team from Charlotte!
You don’t get much more Denver than our next “play”er Pulitzer Prize-winner playwright
With only two children’s books, the former Rocky Mountain News reporter might seem to have a lack of experience, but the massive hit Harvey just might let Chase pull a rabbit out of a hat!
For the half time show, here are lists of books set in the two cities:
- Goodreads list of books set in Denver, Colorado
- Goodreads list of books set in Charlotte, North Carolina
Enjoy the game! I’ll have it on, but mainly for the commercials and the performances…and so it isn’t embarrassing for me when it comes up on Monday. ;)
What do you think? Have I left off your favorite Charlotte/Denver author? I didn’t talk much about the stories set in those cities…any recommendations there? Do you read fiction set in a city/country before you travel there (I have)? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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** Harriet Jones (played by Penelope Wilton): “Is it important?”
The Doctor (played by Christopher Eccleston): “Everything’s important.”
The Beast Below episode of
screenplay by Stephen Moffatt
collected in my book, The Mind Boggles: A Unique Book of Quotations (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
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