Jay Greenberg was inducted into the writers’ wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame yesterday. He made his name covering the Flyers for two Philadelphia dailies from 1975 to 1989, before moving on to the Toronto Star and New York Post.
Jay was a writer’s writer and a reporter’s reporter. He was fastidious about facts and context, packaged in his signature voice, which combined irony, wit, compassion, and indignation.
I had the privilege and benefit of knowing Jay before Randy Rota and Bobby Clarke knew him. He was a year ahead of me at the University of Missouri, covering Mizzou football and writing a column for the Columbia Missourian. The Tigers went 1-10 in 1971, a miserable season for the faithful and especially new head coach Al Onofrio. It was redeemed only by Jay’s coverage, which initially reflected his sense of grievance, and then progressed to humor, because eventually what could he do but laugh. Characteristic of Jay, he was patient with Onofrio, a soft-spoken and decent man. Read more... (522 words, 3 images, estimated 2:05 mins reading time)
In case you missed the ‘60 Minutes’ interview of Nick Saban, it contains one of the most provocative statements uttered by…anybody…ever!
Near the start of the piece, Armen Keteyian asks Saban why he’s “so tough on people.”
Saban’s initial response was pro forma:
“I don’t know if that’s fair that I’m really tough on people. We create a standard for how we want to do things. Everybody’s got to buy into that standard or you really can’t have any team chemistry.”
Then he appended:
“Mediocre people don’t like high achievers, and high achievers don’t like mediocre people.”
Think about that.
As a generalization. As a theory of human behavior.
Let me start from a personal perspective. As a mediocre person I am offended. Read more... (787 words, 3 images, estimated 3:09 mins reading time)
Justin Rice penned a thoughtful piece for Poynter on teaching sports journalism to high schoolers in Boston.
A few years ago Rice started the BPS Sports Blog, which eventually became part of Boston Globe media. Now he curates the blog, and covers city sports, and relevant issues, such as GPA requirements for high school athletes.
I admire Rice. Among a sports media where redundancy, shtick, and hot air are standard issue, he delivers information and insight from a quiet outpost, professionally and responsibly. To the kids, coaches and families in Boston schools, his coverage is every bit as important as commodity media in and around high-profile sports.
In his Poynter piece, Rice summarized what he learned as a teacher: Read more... (334 words, 2 images, estimated 1:20 mins reading time)
- Collaboration is key. A lot of organizations do similar work and are eager to help identify students interested in sports journalism.
Position: Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com
Born: 1964, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Education: UC Berkeley (1982-84), graduated Washington State University (1986, Communications)
Career: Yuba-Sutter Appeal-Democrat (1986-88), Sacramento Union (1988-1989), Sacramento Bee (1989-1991), San Francisco Chronicle (1991-1999), ESPN The Magazine (1999-present)
Personal: Married, four sons
Favorite restaurant (home): 1. Norman Rose Tavern, Napa, Ca. – “great food, casual, the ballgame’s on behind the bar and you don’t have to mortgage the house to feed four large sons.” 1a. Nopa, San Francisco.
Favorite restaurant (away): The Purple Pig, Chicago, “one of the rare places worth the ridiculous wait. Order the skate wing.”
Favorite hotel: The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas. “ridiculous people-watching, crazy rooms – almost enough to make Vegas palatable.”
Q. Two major elements to “After the NFL”: Steve Hendrickson and your family. Why? Read more... (1647 words, 3 images, estimated 6:35 mins reading time)
Tim Keown has been writing so well for so long that we tend to take him for granted. I first noticed him in the mid-1990s when, as a baseball writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, he captured the toxic paradox of Barry Bonds. Since 1999 Keown has written for ESPN the Magazine with quiet elegance — quiet because he tends not to draw attention to himself. He’s not First Take material.
So I was intrigued to read Keown’s “After the NFL” piece, about a former NFL kamikaze, Steve Hendrickson, and about himself. Turns out Keown and Hendrickson share a hometown, Napa, Ca., a legacy of high school football, and concerns about the concussive toll of the game. Turns out they both are proud fathers of children who played, or play, football. This is a carefully rendered piece in which Keown does not personalize the story for the wrong reason — egotism — but for the right ones — depth, perspective and nuance. Read more... (336 words, 3 images, estimated 1:21 mins reading time)