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Looking back at Hunter S. Thompson's classic Kentucky Derby story
May 6, 2013 6:26 AM   Subscribe

Director's cut: "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved": An annotated look back at one of Hunter S. Thompson's greatest hits.

Part of the Grantland "Director's Cut" series, in which they "look back at classic works of sports journalism and give the writers, athletes, and other figures involved in making the articles an opportunity to reflect on their work and recall some deleted scenes." Previous entries:
Down Great Purple Valleys
John Lardner's 1954 True profile of legendary middleweight Stanley Ketchel.

Bringing It All Back Home
Tony Kornheiser's 1980 Inside Sports profile of Nolan Ryan.

Silent Season of a Hero
Gay Talese's 1966 Esquire profile of Joe DiMaggio.

The Making of a Goon
Johnette Howard's 1990 piece from The National.

Back in Play
David Remnick's New Yorker piece on the return of Michael Jordan.

How Jacksonville Earned Its Credit Card
Paul Hemphill's 1970 piece on the greatest, strangest NCAA title run in history.

The Man. Amen.
An annotated look at Charlie Pierce's illuminating GQ piece on a 21-year-old Tiger Woods.

Oh, No! Not Another Boring Interview With Steve Carlton
How columnist Diane K. Shah turned the tables.

The Disciples of St. Darrell on a Wild Weekend
Sports Illustrated writer Dan Jenkins's famous portrait of Texas football fandom.
posted by AceRock (11 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite

 
Also, an installment on David Foster Wallace's Federer piece that Grantland could only have up for a week is on the Internet Archive: Director's Cut: Federer As Religious Experience. (John Jeremiah Sullivan on the same piece)
posted by AceRock at 6:33 AM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Outstanding post. Some great stuff here, thanks.
posted by kinnakeet at 6:48 AM on May 6, 2013


My favorite bit of trivia about Thompson's Kentucky Derby piece is that Hunter originally wanted Pat Oliphant to illustrate it for him, but he was unavailable and so recommended this guy he knew in London whom very few people in America had ever heard of before: Ralph Steadman. And the rest, as they say, is history.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 7:29 AM on May 6, 2013


Thanks for posting. I'll enjoy reading this piece (and the others of course).
posted by tg72657 at 7:56 AM on May 6, 2013


I look forward to reading all of these. I read Thompson's for the first time last year* and was pretty impressed/horrified the way I am when I read much of Thompson's stuff for the first time.


(* How was that not posted here? How did I find it otherwise? Am I going crazy?)

posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:32 AM on May 6, 2013


Reading good old H.T. makes me want to take a can of mace and unload it on what passes for the Press at my local newspaper.
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 8:59 AM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Reading good old H.T. makes me want to take a can of mace and unload it on what passes for the Press at my local newspaper.

Or a bathroom rug soaked in ether.
posted by hal9k at 9:57 AM on May 6, 2013


"There is nothing more helpless and irresponsible and depraved, than a man in the depths of an ether binge."
posted by e1c at 12:20 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


(* How was that not posted here? How did I find it otherwise? Am I going crazy?)

It was!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 1:28 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]






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