Over Time: My Life As a Sportswriter

Over Time: My Life As a Sportswriter

4.7 10
by Frank Deford
     
 

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Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter is as unconventional and wide-ranging as Frank Deford’s remarkable career, in which he has chronicled the heroes and the characters of just about every sport in nearly every medium. Deford joined Sports Illustrated in 1962, fresh, and fresh out of Princeton. In 1990, he was Editor-in-Chief of TheSee more details below

Overview


Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter is as unconventional and wide-ranging as Frank Deford’s remarkable career, in which he has chronicled the heroes and the characters of just about every sport in nearly every medium. Deford joined Sports Illustrated in 1962, fresh, and fresh out of Princeton. In 1990, he was Editor-in-Chief of The National Sports Daily, one of the most ambitious—and ill-fated—projects in the history of American print journalism. But then, he’s endured: writing ten novels, winning an Emmy (not to mention being a fabled Lite Beer All-Star), and last week he read something like his fourteen-hundredth commentary on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

From the Mad Men-like days of SI in the ‘60s, and the “bush” years of the early NBA, to Deford’s visit to apartheid South Africa with Arthur Ashe, and his friend’s brave and tragic death, Over Time is packed with intriguing people and stories. Interwoven through his personal history, Deford lovingly traces the entire arc of American sportswriting from the lurid early days of the Police Gazette, through Grantland Rice and Red Smith and on up to ESPN. This is a wonderful, inspired book—equal parts funny and touching—a treasure for sports fans. Just like Frank Deford.

Praise for Over Time

“Equal doses of self-deprecating humor and anecdotal history of American sports journalism are the essence of Frank Deford's entertaining new memoir.”—Chicago Tribune

“Deford is the Holy Grail. He's simply one of the greatest sportswriters of all time. ... [Over Time] has a little bit of everything -- great stories about interviewing everyone from Richard Nixon … to Jerry Jones. … Deford played with the Harlem Globetrotters, introduced the world to Bill Bradley, really disliked Rodney Dangerfield, edited the only national sports daily in our history (The National), and has great takes on the history and characters of Sports Illustrated in its formative years. . . . Deford's the best.”—Peter King, SI.com

“He sketches insightful remembrances of stars like Wilt Chamberlain and Billie Jean King and lavishes affection and admiration on Sports Illustrated colleagues Andre Laguerre, Dan Jenkins, and the ‘tortured’ writer Mark Kram … [Deford is] sports writing's Sinatra.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Endearing... Over Time imparts a sense of a life well lived and fully enjoyed.”—New York Times

"The mixture of homage to sportswriters who came before him, such as Grantland Rice; sometimes wistful vignettes of sports figures like Arthur Ashe; and his own personal reflections on the evolution of sports journalism combine to offer a cultural perspective that transcends a mere job." —Publishers Weekly (Top 10 in Sports)

"Deford's cred is incredible, his accolades deserved... He does not pull a punch when it comes to boxing or even to the tastes-great, less-filling Miller Lite commercials he once made... [Deford] has long been the genuine article." —Los Angeles Times

“A cool ride through Deford’s career.”— Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Frank Deford is the best there is. His memoir Over Time is beautiful, funny, poignant and poetic.” —Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights and Father's Day

“A wonderful book. Over Time is both a treasure and a treasury.”—Sally Jenkins, Washington Post columnist and New York Times bestselling author of It’s Not About the Bike

“Frank Deford is the best sportswriter I’ve ever read. If there’s a Mount Rushmore of sportswriting, Deford is up there, purple ties and all.”—Tony Kornheiser

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Editorial Reviews

Dwight Garner
…cursory yet endearing…Over Time imparts a sense of a life well lived and fully enjoyed.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Sportswriter (Sports Illustrated) and author (Everybody’s All-American) Deford tells the story of his rise from the comfortable and modest streets of Baltimore to the top of the sports journalism world. He discovered that he “had some facility for writing” when he was nine, even though he had not “suffered a miserable upbringing,” which helps “if you are to become a writer.” He was hired by Sports Illustrated in 1962, despite the personnel department classifying him as “not very bright.” “Sportswriting was still in something of a netherworld” when he began his career, “presented with own desk and... Royal typewriter.” Unfortunately, as a self-proclaimed “old and cranky” man, he opines, “Journalism, as we know it... with the internet.” The mixture of homage to sportswriters who came before him, such as Grantland Rice; sometimes wistful vignettes of sports figures like Arthur Ashe; and his own personal reflections on the evolution of sports journalism combine to offer a cultural perspective that transcends a mere job. (May)
From the Publisher

“Equal doses of self-deprecating humor and anecdotal history of American sports journalism are the essence of Frank Deford's entertaining new memoir.”—Chicago Tribune

“Deford is the Holy Grail. He's simply one of the greatest sportswriters of all time. ... [Over Time] has a little bit of everything -- great stories about interviewing everyone from Richard Nixon … to Jerry Jones. … Deford played with the Harlem Globetrotters, introduced the world to Bill Bradley, really disliked Rodney Dangerfield, edited the only national sports daily in our history (The National), and has great takes on the history and characters of Sports Illustrated in its formative years. . . . Deford's the best.”—Peter King, SI.com

"Deford's cred is incredible, his accolades deserved... He does not pull a punch when it comes to boxing or even to the tastes-great, less-filling Miller Lite commercials he once made... [Deford] has long been the genuine article." —Los Angeles Times

“He sketches insightful remembrances of stars like Wilt Chamberlain and Billie Jean King and lavishes affection and admiration on Sports Illustrated colleagues Andre Laguerre, Dan Jenkins, and the ‘tortured’ writer Mark Kram … [Deford is] sports writing's Sinatra.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Endearing... Over Time imparts a sense of a life well lived and fully enjoyed.”—The New York Times

"The mixture of homage to sportswriters who came before him, such as Grantland Rice; sometimes wistful vignettes of sports figures like Arthur Ashe; and his own personal reflections on the evolution of sports journalism combine to offer a cultural perspective that transcends a mere job." —Publishers Weekly (Top 10 in Sports)

“Frank Deford is the best there is. His memoir Over Time is beautiful, funny, poignant and poetic.” —Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights and Father's Day

“A wonderful book. Over Time is both a treasure and a treasury.”—Sally Jenkins, Washington Post columnist and New York Times bestselling author of It’s Not About the Bike

“Frank Deford is the best sportswriter I’ve ever read. If there’s a Mount Rushmore of sportswriting, Deford is up there, purple ties and all.”—Tony Kornheiser

“Wonderful. … [Deford is] the gold standard for modern sportswriting.”—Frank Murtaugh, Memphis Flyer

Library Journal
In the past 50 years, sports have become big business, and athletes have become celebrities. Sportswriter Deford witnessed and contributed to the movement with his reporting for Sports Illustrated, in books, and on television and radio. His entertaining memoir is a testament of the times.

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Reviews
The prolific sports commentator returns with an episodic, anecdotal memoir. Deford (Bliss, Remembered, 2010, etc.) is an amiable travel companion--sometimes sharp, witty, even irreverent (twice he slams big-time college sports for corruption and even for trivializing American education)--but for the most part here he's on cruise control. Although he takes us back to his school days (he knew in third grade he could write) and high-school sports career (he had one good season in basketball), and writes breezily about acquiring, fairly easily, his editing gig at Sports Illustrated, he offers no real detailed, sequential account of learning his craft. Deford is principally interested in telling stories, a few jokes and a few poignant recollections. He recalls, for example, his very close relationship with Arthur Ashe and how he, John Feinstein and some others covered up Ashe's AIDS battle until the story finally broke elsewhere. He also remembers a touching moment when Magic Johnson refused to let a press conference end until veteran journalist Jim Murray could ask his question. He relates some stories about sportswriters from earlier generations (Grantland Rice, Ring Lardner) and describes the shift in sportswriting from cheerleading to criticism. He also writes about the diminished state of print journalism (and his own failed paper, The National) and the adjustments he's had to make--from print to radio to TV to the Internet. Celebrities of all sorts populate the pages--Howard Cosell, Mickey Mantle, Dean Smith, Ted Williams, Bobby Orr, Carl Lewis, Jimmy Connors, Bobby Knight--but only rarely does Deford strip the bark to see what lies beneath. A throwback jersey of a book.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802194565
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
05/01/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
231,202
File size:
5 MB

Meet the Author


The author of eighteen books, Frank Deford has worked in virtually every medium. He is senior contributing writer at Sports Illustrated, where his byline first appeared in 1962. A weekly commentator for NPR's "Morning Edition," he is also a regular correspondent on the HBO show "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel." As a journalist, Deford has won the National Magazine Award for profiles, and has been elected to the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters. Voted by his peers as U.S. Sportswriter of the Year six times, he was also cited by The American Journalism Review as the nation's finest sportswriter and was twice voted Magazine Writer of the Year by the Washington Journalism Review. He has been presented with a Christopher Award and awards for distinguished service to journalism from the University of Missouri and Northeastern University. Deford and Red Smith are the only authors with more than one piece in The Best American Sportswriting of the Century, edited by David Halberstam. For his radio and TV work, Deford has won both an Emmy and a George Foster Peabody Award.

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