The best writing and reporting of 2021, from sport and beyond – The Athletic


Choosing the best writing and reporting in any given year is an impossible task, as well as an entirely subjective one. But it’s also fun and rewarding because you can replay so many great songs.

I published each year at the end of the year the pieces that marked me as a reader. This year I tweaked it a bit and did a mid-year piece with 129 pieces that touched me throughout the first part of 2021. Here’s that piece in case you have it missed. (This compilation includes this brilliant piece of writing by Patrick Freyne of the Irish Times.)

Below are my picks for the second half of the year. The pieces reflect the publications and writers I read or follow on social media. Your list and posts will obviously be different from mine, so if posting isn’t your cup of tea, my advice is to bypass it. Stories are neither categorized nor categorized. It is not a competition. Sports and non-sports stories are listed below. I could have chosen a lot more. I’m sure I left out a lot of interesting pieces, and I intentionally didn’t include those of my Athletic colleagues.

• What Bobby McIlvaine Left Behind: Twenty years after their son died on September 11, a family still looks for him in the words he left behind.By Jennifer Senior of the Atlantic.


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