If you are a fan of sports, or a fan of writing, and especially if you are a fan of sportswriting, you need to read Sometimes the Bear Eats You by Sports Illustrated writer and NPR Morning Edition contributor Frank Deford.
The piece is a joy to read, and is full of great stories about sports and about writing. Deford clearly loves both.
He touches on the role of serendipity in writing in his story of how he and Sports Illustrated introduced Bill Bradley to the world, and how he came to write about The Toughest Coach There Ever Was.
He talks about how an earlier version of the Sports Dead Zone led to the notorious tradition of the SI Swimsuit issue. He talks about gender, the impact of new media, and explains how a whole profession could miss steroids.
Seriously, this is a great article. With all the March Madness hoopla, I had gotten behind in my Sports Illustrated reading. I’m glad I saved this issue, because this is one of the best sports articles I have read in a long time. I’m hoping it is an excerpt from a forthcoming book, but there is no indication that it is.