New York, NY : Atlantic Monthly Press, c2012
354 p.,  p. of plates : ill., ports. ; 24 cm ISBN/ISSN:
9780802120151 (hardcover) :, 0802120156 (hardcover), Language:
This book is as unconventional and wide-ranging as the author's remarkable career, in which he has chronicled the heroes and the characters of just about every sport in nearly every medium. He joined Sports Illustrated in 1962, fresh out of Princeton. They called him "the Kid," and he made his reputation with dumb luck discovering fellow Princetonian Bill Bradley and a Canadian teenager named Bobby Orr. These were the Mad Men-like 1960s, and he recounts not just the expense-account shenanigans and the antiquated racial and sexual mores, but the professional camaraderie and the friendships with athletes and coaches during the "bush" years of the early NBA and the twilight of "shamateur tennis." In 1990, he was editor in chief of The National Sports Daily, one of the most ambitious projects in the history of American print journalism. Backed by eccentric Mexican billionaire Emilio "El Tigre" Azcarraga, The National made history and lost $150 million in less than two years. Yet the author endured: writing ten novels, winning a Peabody, an Emmy (not to mention his stint as a fabled Lite Beer All-Star), and recently he read his fifteenth-hundred commentary on NPR's Morning Edition, which reaches millions of listeners. This book is packed with people and stories, including the chapters on his visit to apartheid South Africa with Arthur Ashe, and his friend's brave and tragic death. Interwoven through his personal history, he traces the entire arc of American sportswriting, from the lurid early days of the Police Gazette, through sportswriters Grantland Rice and Red Smith, and on up to ESPN
A not very bright boy -- Something of a vote of confidence -- In which I first encounter faster guns -- Roamer -- Granny -- Walking in place -- Old-timers -- The Vietnam War is finally over -- Push on -- The best advice I ever got in my whole life -- Scribes for the cranks and the fancy -- El Tigre -- In which I finally discover the difference between winning and losing -- Bawlmer, Merlin, my hametown -- Gee whiz -- Beauty and the beasts -- This just in : writing can be fun -- In which I happen upon an eye-opener -- Kingsley -- My damn name -- It happens to the best of us -- The way it was. Really -- The Kid -- Andre -- Mr. King will see you now -- Hobey and Danny and Bill -- The most amazing feat in sport in the twentieth century -- Hub tales -- My man -- Anglophile -- Remember "consciousness-raising"? -- Fun in the sun -- Summer songs -- Roadie -- With ease or angst -- Lost in translation -- The anchor leg -- The sweetest thing I ever saw an athlete do for a member of the Fourth Estate -- You won't believe this -- The most amazing thing I ever say an athlete do -- Red -- The amateur voice -- The best I was ever fired -- Naked slept the Commissioner -- Taboo -- Last call
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