Losing Our

Winners Here are two other sports tragedies worth reading.


Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig
by Jonathan Eig ($26, Simon & Schuster).
Lou Gehrig's tale is the blueprint from which all sports biopics are made. Diagnosed with a degenerative neuromuscular disease, which would soon take his life and later bear his name, the Yankees' "Iron Horse" gracefully bowed out of baseball at the height of his record-setting career.

At the Altar of Speed: The Fast Life and Tragic Death of Dale Earnhardt
by Leigh Montville ($15, Broadway).
Dale Earnhardt's fearless racing style earned him $41 million and seven NASCAR Winston Cup titles. But just seconds from the finish line of the 2001 Daytona 500, Earnhardt fatally careened into the track wall. The rise of, and legacy left by, the man known as the Intimidator makes for a riveting read.

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Two sports movies turn two decades old this year.

It's hard to believe, but Bull Durham and Eight Men Out, two movies that approached America's pastime from very different perspectives, are almost old enough to legally order a drink. The films, both of which are available this month on DVD in special anniversary editions, were released in 1988. It seems that the year and the baseball theme, though, are all they have in common. After all, Kevin Costner's Bull Durham had a love story and a feel-good ending, but John Cusack's Eight Men Out was a tragic tale of top athletes getting caught up in corruption. (Sounds familiar, no?) But with so much time having passed, we're finding it easy to get the two movies confused. Are we alone? Mark your answers below and see how well you do in figuring out which character nicknames and quotes belong to Bull Durham and which belong to Eight Men Out. -- John Ross

1. Quote: "The pitcher throws and you look for that pill. Suddenly there's nothing else in the ballpark but you and it. Sometimes, when you feel right, there's a groove there, and the bat just eases into it and meets that ball. When the bat meets that ball and you feel that ball just give, you know it's going to go a long way."

2. Quote: "Look for the fastball up. He's gotta come with the cheese. Relax. Relax. Quick bat. Pop the clubhead. Open the hips. Relax. You're thinking too much."

3. Nickname: Deke

4. Nickname: Bobby

5. Nickname: Buck

6. Nickname: Swede

7. Quote: "A good friend of mine used to say, 'This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.' "

8. Quote: "I always figured it was talent made a man big -- you know, if I was the best at something. I mean, we're the guys they come to see. Without us, there ain't a ball game."

9. Nickname: Chick

10. Nickname: Crash

11. Quote: “I did some fighting in my time. Once I was fighting a guy. … My eyes were all bloody, but I landed a lucky punch. The next thing I know, I’m steppin’ on something, and it’s the other guy’s teeth.”

12. Quote: “When you get in a fight with a drunk, you don’t hit him with your pitching hand.”

ANSWERS: Eight Men Out: 1, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11; Bull Durham: 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 12