When “Those Guys Have All the Fun,” James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales’ wildly entertaining and revealing oral history of ESPN was published in 2011, it seemed that the so-called “Worldwide Leader” in televised sports, which included a distinctive brand of sports journalism, had grown too big to fail.
In addition to its heavy variety of live programming, ESPN had become a behemoth across the North American sports media landscape to include radio, documentary film production and high-end television and web journalism that was the envy of the profession. It was the only place where many talented, ambitious sports journalists wanted to be.
After all, ESPN.com had grown into a sportswriters’ paradise because of the emphasis on dogged reporting and stylish writing, just as the Internet was maturing, and as print media outlets were discarding some of their best, and most expensive, bylines. Continue reading
Acclaimed for his books about Vietnam, America in the 1950s and 1960s, the automobile and media industries and the civil rights movement, David Halberstam was killed 10 years ago today while working on a sports book.
He was 73 at the time of his death in a car accident in Menlo Park, Calif., on his way to interview retired quarterback Y.A. Tittle about the 1958 NFL championship game.
That classic at Yankee Stadium between Tittle’s New York Giants and the Baltimore Colts was a hot topic for authors at the time. A year after Halberstam died, Mark Bowden published “The Best Game Ever: Giants vs. Colts, 1958, and the Birth of the Modern NFL” and dedicated the book to Halberstam. Continue reading
Long before they were a respectable, much less dynastic, NFL franchise, the Pittsburgh Steelers were a treasured civic institution in western Pennsylvania, largely because of founder Art Rooney and his son, Dan Rooney.
Dan Rooney died this week at the age of 84, and his contributions to his community are just as important as how he helped shape the NFL in the years after the Steel Curtain dominance of the 1970s.
Later in life he served as U.S. Ambassador to Ireland under former President Barack Obama before returning to his position as chairman of the Steelers.
After 65 years, St. Anthony High School, located near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel in a gritty urban New Jersey setting, is closing its doors.
Basketball journalist Adrian Wojnarowski’s 2005 book “The Miracle of St. Anthony” went beyond the hoops success forged by Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley Sr. to detail the academic and life-saving exploits of a scrappy institution run by Felician nuns in Jersey City.
While the most famous graduates of St. Anthony are Hurley’s sons—Bobby, the NCAA championship-winning point guard at Duke in the early 1990s and current head coach at Arizona State and Danny, the head coach at Rhode Island—the school turned out many young graduates who never starred in any sports. Continue reading