The Role of Sports in Small-Town America

Sat, May 20, 2023
Greensboro History Museum Auditorium

Baseball and football are seen as twin pillars of an American sports obsession. These two authors examine the role of sports in small-town life--both for good and ill. McGee's look at the Asheville Tourists coincides with our Greensboro Grasshoppers playing them this weekend in Asheville.

About the authors

RYAN MCGEE is a senior writer for ESPN and cohost of Marty & McGee on ESPN radio and the SEC network. He has won five Sports Emmys, including two for his scriptwriting and feature work on College GameDay. McGee has authored several books, including cowriting the New York Times bestseller, Racing to the Finish, with NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. He also works as a field reporter for ESPN's SportsCenter, and as a feature reporter for E:60. McGee lives in North Carolina with his family.

MICHAEL GASPENY’s novel A Postcard from the Delta was published last fall by Livingston Press. He’s the author of The Tyranny of Questions, a novella in verse (Unicorn Press) and the chapbooks Re-Write Men and Vocation. He has won the Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition and the O. Henry Festival Short Story Contest. For hospice service, Gaspeny received the North Carolina Governor’s Award for Volunteer Excellence. He taught journalism and English courses for almost forty years, primarily at Bennett College and High Point University.

About the Host
Ed Southern is the author of Fight Songs: A Story of Love and Sports in a Complicated South (2021, Blair), a finalist for the 2022 Southern Book Prize (no relation). His shorter work, in a variety of genres, has appeared in The Bitter Southerner, storySouth, the North Carolina Literary Review, the North Carolina 10×10 Festival, The Dirty Spoon, the Asheville Poetry Review, and Wake Forest Magazine, among others. Since 2008 he has been the executive director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, one of the largest writers’ organizations of its kind in the country. In 2015 he won the Fortner Award for service to the literary arts in North Carolina.