About Me

Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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  • Cam Newton and the Lost Virtue: Humility

    By kyle | February 8, 2016

    Shortly before the Super Bowl, I wrote this column on Cam Newton’s arrogance. It turned out to be prescient given Newton’s babyish behavior after the loss.

    Topics: Sports | 15 Comments »

    Was Ty Cobb a Racist?

    By kyle | June 1, 2015

    The truth is more complicated than we’ve been led to believe, as Charles Leerhsen discovered when researching his new bio. More in my Sunday column.

    Topics: Sports | 3 Comments »

    Add This to Your Classics Portfolio

    By kyle | September 26, 2012

    Today on the front of America’s liveliest paper:

    Topics: Sports | 1 Comment »

    The Sad Afterlife of Olympics Venues

    By kyle | August 15, 2012

    A look at decaying buildings put up for a single purpose and unsuitable for much else.

    The Olympics, like much else pushed by big government, are simply an excuse for reaching into the pocket of the average taxpayer to please and benefit elites. As a Keynesian economic stimulus, they are a proven failure. So are ordinary taxpayer-funded sports stadiums.

    Topics: Sports | 2 Comments »

    Get Ready for the Guiltolympics

    By kyle | July 18, 2012

    Danny Boyle’s opening ceremonies for London 2012 promise to be an exercise in cultural self-loathing. He has said he has been inspired by “Frankenstein” and promises to emphasize angry-proletarian themes. More in my op-ed column in today’s Post.

    Topics: Sports | No Comments »

    Ban the Football Helmet

    By kyle | May 29, 2012

    John Tamny on why football would be safer without helmets (hence nobody banging skulls together):

    Indeed, returning to Tullock’s logic, it’s the pads and helmets that make football the often gruesomely violent and debilitating sport that it is today. Rugby players are doubtless tough, but the lack of pads and helmets ensures for those who play much greater odds of walking away from the game in sound physical shape.

    It’ll never happen, of course. Why? The Press. Say no one played with a helmet for a year, but then the next year someone suffered a serious head injury. The Press wouldn’t wonder whether the rate of serious head injuries had risen or fallen; they’d simply report, hysterically, the anecdote about someone getting injured and say this “raises serious questions about whether the helmet should be reinstated.” The trial lawyers would take essentially the same stance.

    Topics: Sports | 2 Comments »

    The Shame of Tiger Woods

    By kyle | March 27, 2012

    Today I have an op-ed in The Post reflecting on the instructive role shame appears to have played in the case of the chastened Tiger Woods.

    Topics: Sports | 1 Comment »

    #18: I Say Miami

    By kyle | March 8, 2012

    I can’t picture Peyton on the Jets because a) there’s too much drama on the club and (b) he doesn’t want to be constantly compared to his brother in the excitable New York press. I don’t picture him in Denver. I think when Peyton thinks of snowy days, he doesn’t have fond memories. His people have confirmed my earlier supposition that he doesn’t want to play in the NFC.

    Miami. I say Miami. He’s got a house in Miami. Who doesn’t want to live in Miami? The team had a solid defense last year and managed to beat the Jets. They have a strong offensive line. They could be Super Bowl contenders with Manning and a couple of other pickups. I don’t mind rooting for Miami and would love to see Peyton playing Brady a couple of times a year.

    If not, maybe KC.

    Topics: Sports | 5 Comments »

    So Long, Peyton

    By kyle | March 7, 2012

    Now that the Peyton Manning era has come to a frustrating end, paradoxically I’m not really a Colts fan anymore. Such is my respect for the man that I’m now a fan of whatever team he plays for next year, and this after 35 years of (admittedly irrational) cheering for the Colts, a vaguely cursed franchise that showed, I fear, its true colors this year in his absence. I couldn’t bring myself to root for the Patriots, but Manning won’t be playing there. I have nothing against the Chiefs, Titans or Dolphins and will be happy to root for them for the next couple of years as the Colts obviously won’t be Super Bowl contenders anyway for quite some time. I crave for Peyton his proper recognition as the greatest quarterback, and consequently the greatest player, in the history of the NFL and it appears that acknowledgment will not come unless he wins a second Super Bowl. I think he’ll pick the team that is most likely to do that, and that would be the Dolphins, the Jets or the Titans. I doubt he wants to work for a head case like Dan Snyder; indeed, I doubt he wants to play in the NFC.
    Colts owner Jim Irsay gave an emotional but illogical and self-contradictory press conference in which he alternately said money had nothing to do with the decision to cut Manning and the salary cap was a problem. Irsay released Manning because he didn’t want to risk $28 million on damaged goods, but he couldn’t bring himself to say that. Bill Polian just went on ESPN to point out that that payment only would have been damaging to the Colts this year–and an Andrew Luck-led Colts won’t be in the Super Bowl next year, whereas a Peyton-led Colts would have had a chance at it. The Colts aren’t really in a rebuilding situation; they were 14-2 two years ago and barely lost their only playoff game in 2010. They have improved their offensive line, their principal problem, since then, though you couldn’t tell in 2011 because Curtis Painter couldn’t take advantage of it.
    So Irsay should have simply paid the man what was owing and let Luck learn from the great man for the moment. This is a horrible day in Colts history, right up there with the most painful defeats, the day the franchise was forced to trade John Elway, the day Art Schlichter was drafted, etc.

    Topics: Sports | 8 Comments »

    The Luck of the Super Bowl

    By kyle | February 7, 2012

    Thanks to Gregg Easterbrook for writing bracingly about fortune’s role in the Super Bowl. The Giants and Patriots are evenly matched. It basically comes down to a coin flip as to which team wins. Tyree doesn’t make that catch in the first one? Giants lose. Welker comes down with that big play in the second one? Giants lose. A couple of fumbles, had they occurred a split-second earlier, also could have cost the Giants big-time. In fact, if you take out the win over the Eagles in a game that wasn’t really that close, the other four Super Bowls the Patriots were in amount to a coin flip. A coin can easily hit heads four times in a row, in which case the Patriots are 5-0 in Super Bowls and universally held to be the greatest team, coach and quarterback ever. Instead, the coin comes out heads twice and tails twice, and we have a meme about how Eli is the one guy who can beat Brady and a lot of nonsense about whether Eli Manning is better than Peyton Manning because the former is 8-3 in the postseason while the latter is 9-10.

    Even assuming the teams around them are equal (not the case, I think), and the quality of their opponents in the postseason has been equal (when it’s been fairly clear that the AFC has been superior to the NFC for most of the last decade), that’s pretty silly. The playoff record yields sample size error. It’s like guessing who will win the next presidential election by polling the next 20 people you see. Over the aggregate of many thousands of plays in their careers, Peyton has clearly been the superior player.

    Topics: Sports | No Comments »

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