We have to admit we don't generally make a habit of reading Chuck Klosterman's column on ESPN.com, but when he starts writing about sports in his regular Esquire column—well, that's cause for alarm. His subject this month is athletic "second acts"—sports stars who move from the field to the commentator's booth:
In reality, there are lots of second acts in American life; it's what happens to everybody who isn't a) hyperprecocious and b) prone to drinking oneself into the boneyard. It's not that second acts are nonexistent; they're usually just less interesting than the first. If your life's first act is "hospital administrator," your life's second act will typically be "veteran hospital administrator." Such a narrative arc lacks panache.Which leads us to wonder: Could Chuck, in his infinite wisdom, also be talking about ... himself? Could even he have gotten sick of himself after years of windbaggery about pop culture, and has now retreated into the somewhat safer confines of sports writing, where windbaggery is all but a given? We heartily approve.