Texas Literary Outlaws: Six Writers in the Sixties and beyond

By Steven L. Davis | Go to book overview

35.
CHANGES
AT
SPORTS
ILLUSTRATED

While Bud Shrake’s interest turned toward screenplays, he continued his employment at Sports Illustrated. Shrake’s work for the magazine was steady and competent, but a real dichotomy existed between his sports reporting and his “serious” writing. Editor André Laguerre, who much admired Shrake’s narrative technique, increasingly pulled Shrake off the football beat, assigning him long, heavily researched feature articles. Shrake wrote profiles of Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry, running back O. J. Simpson, rodeo star Larry Mahan, and others. In his 1972 article on Landry, Shrake became the first journalist to address criticisms of the coach’s handling of his team. Focusing on Landry’s intense devotion to Christianity, Shrake also posed one of the more provocative questions to appear in the sports-oriented magazine: “Could Jesus have been a fan of a game that is so violent and mercenary?”1

Shrake also wrote several stories only marginally related to the sports world, and here his writing blossomed as his reporting became filled with his observant, subversive, and playful eye. By the early 1970s, he was contributing memorable pieces on diverse subjects such as the Kilgore Rangerettes drill team, a canoe trip through the canyons of Big Bend National Park, and the resurgence of alligators in Louisiana and Florida. His story on alligators began with a lead that

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Texas Literary Outlaws: Six Writers in the Sixties and beyond
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Texas Literary Outlaws 1
  • Part One - Coming of Age in Texas 7
  • 1 - A Rebel in West Texas 9
  • 2 - A Texas Oasis 25
  • 3 - The Gay Place 39
  • 4 - Fort Worth’s New Journalism 55
  • 5 - The Texas Beats 72
  • 6 - Big D Meets the Flying Punzars 84
  • 7 - A Gathering Force 96
  • 8 - A Long Way from Beaumont 109
  • 9 - Dallas, 1963 118
  • Part Two - Too Much Ain’t Enough 127
  • 10 - A New Beginning 129
  • 11 - The Doors of Perception 140
  • 12 - Literary Comanches 152
  • 13 - These Happy Occasions 157
  • 14 - The One-Eyed Man 166
  • 15 - Cowboys and Indians 172
  • 16 - Harper’s on the Rise 183
  • 17 - Obscure Famous Arthurs 188
  • 18 - Absurdism in the Southwest 198
  • 19 - Busted in the Oasis 207
  • 20 - Harvard’s "White Racist" 215
  • 21 - Land of the Permanent Wave 220
  • 22 - Mad Dog, Texas 228
  • 23 - King’s Road 239
  • 24 - Outlaws 250
  • 25 - Hack Observations and Literary Feuds 259
  • 26 - Redneck Hippies 268
  • 27 - Strange Peaches 275
  • 28 - Semi-Tough 281
  • Part Three - Texas… Chic? 287
  • 29 - A New View of Texas 289
  • 30 - The Cowboy Professor 294
  • 31 - Live Music Capital 298
  • 32 - North Dallas Forty 302
  • 33 - The Regenerator Erection Laboratory 309
  • 34 - Challenging Texas 315
  • 35 - Changes at Sports Illustrated 320
  • 36 - Texas’s Gonzo Journalist 325
  • 37 - Texas Brain Fry 334
  • 38 - LBJ, Speed, and Paranoia 341
  • 39 - Hollywood vs. Sports Illustrated 349
  • 40 - Whorehouse 355
  • 41 - A Fraction of His Talent 362
  • 42 - Measures of Success 367
  • 43 - Hitting the Wall 374
  • 44 - A Recovery 381
  • 45 - "Ever a Bridegroom" 385
  • 46 - Third Coast 394
  • 47 - Faces in the Fire 397
  • Part Four - How Time Slips Away 401
  • 48 - Jenkins 403
  • 49 - King 417
  • 50 - Cartwright 433
  • 51 - Shrake 441
  • 52 - "Doing Indefinable Services to Mankind" 451
  • Notes 460
  • Bibliography 492
  • Index 502
  • About the Author 512
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