I'm not going to pretend to be the world's biggest David Halberstam fan. Hell, I've only read two of his books - Summer of '49 and The Education of a Coach - both of which were about sports. His non-athletic endeavors, such as War in a Time of Peace, The Fifties, The Powers that Be, and The Best and the Brightest, were always pretty high on my to-do list, and will rise even higher now in the wake of his passing.
But that's what I always really liked about Halberstam: he was one of those guys, like the Rogers Kahn and Angell, who could write about anything, but would always come back to sports every now and then. Why? Because he enjoyed them. Because he was a fan. And that came through in his books, whether he was writing about a pennant race, a rambunctious NBA team, a hooded sweatshirt-loving coach, or a bunch of no-name rowers.
There are some people who write about sports (a Mr. Feinstein comes readily to mind) so constantly, so mechanically, that it seems more about the paycheck than the outcome. I don't think you could ever say that about Halberstam.
He probably would've preferred to go out while covering a war instead of as a passenger in a graduate student's car. But he'd likely be the first to tell you that those are just The Breaks of the Game.