Boys, when they are young and troubled, do not talk to each other about what bothers them, no matter how close the friendship. There is no real intimacy among us. We talk about things of the exterior, about sports. Baseball was not merely a subject for us, it provided us a social form as well.
From "Why Men Love Baseball," by David Halberstam
Halberstam was talking about boys, but I think the same often applies to us when we become men. Not that the conversation here at Bronx Banter, and so many other blogs, is just for men, of course. Still, I believe that most men are drawn together because of a mutual interest--sports, cars, video games, record collecting--and that's how we express intimacy.
The Halberstam bit quoted above is part of a satisfying collection of the author's sports writing, Everything They Had (edited by Glenn Stout). It is a handsome volume that features pieces on fishing, baseball, football, and basketball. The Stuff Dreams are Made of, an expert analysis of the Lakers and Celtics in the 1987 NBA Finals finds Halberstam at his best, and is just one of many highlights.