A Sportswriter's Life: From the Desk of a New York Times Reporterby Gerald Eskenazi
In 1959, Gerald Eskenazi dropped out of City College, not for the first time, and made his way to the New York Times. That day the paper had two openings—one in news and one in sports. Eskenazi was offered either for thirty-eight dollars a week. He chose sports based on his image of the sports department as a cozier place than the news department./i>
In 1959, Gerald Eskenazi dropped out of City College, not for the first time, and made his way to the New York Times. That day the paper had two openings—one in news and one in sports. Eskenazi was offered either for thirty-eight dollars a week. He chose sports based on his image of the sports department as a cozier place than the news department. Forty-one years and more than eighty-four hundred stories later, New Yorkers know he made the right decision.
When Eskenazi started reporting, sports journalism had a different look than it does today. There was a camaraderie between the reporters and the players due in part to the reporters’ deference to these famous figures. Unlike today, journalists stayed out of the locker rooms, and didn’t ask questions about the players’ home lives or their feelings about matters other than the sports that they played. In A Sportswriter’s Life, Eskenazi details how much sports and America have changed since then. His anecdotes regarding famous and infamous sports figures from baseball great Joe DiMaggio to boxer Mike Tyson illustrate the transformation that American culture and journalism have undergone in the past fifty years.
Eskenazi gives a behind-the-scenes look into the journalistic techniques that go into crafting a story, as well as the pitfalls reporters fall into. There are cautionary tales of journalistic excess, as well as moments of triumph such as the time Eskenazi got Joe Namath to open up to him by admitting he was a sportswriter who knew nothing about football. Along the way, Eskenazi discusses interviewing other reluctant subjects and writing under the intense pressure of a deadline.
A Sportswriter’s Life is a revealing look at the people and events that were part of the history of sports from a perspective usually unavailable to the public. Eskenazi’s inside stories of sports are not always flattering, but they are always amusing, touching, and revealing. This entertaining volume will be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in reporting, sports, or just a good story.
From the glory days of Joe Namath, to the Rangers' quest for a Stanley Cup, to the whacky world of boxing, Jerry Eskenazi has captured these wonderful moments. It's a great read by a premier reporter."--Marv Albert, voice of the New York Knicks and NBA on TNT
Jerry Eskenazi is a consummate professional--an honest and honorable man in a field where those elements are too often overlooked. He has never forgotten the importance of having a sense of fairness, a sense of humor, and a genuine passion for his profession. Jerry always understood that it is the games, and the athletes who compete, that make people want to read the sports page. He has earned an elite level of trust from his readers and the sports figures he covers, because he writes what he sees. He knows what he's doing, and he prepares for each assignment in a way that displays his appreciation and respect for athletic competition and the personalities involved."--Bill Parcells, Head Coach, Dallas Cowboys
"During the years when Jerry was covering boxing, I found him to be insightful, knowledgeable, and at all times--fair. His coverage of the events and the sports was a credit to the fans, the boxers and his newspaper, the New York Times. Only the news that was fit to print' was the slogan, and Jerry certainly had a lot printed. His main beats were boxing and football, but he could cover any beat with honesty and integrity. The boxers always knew if they gave Jerry an interview, the words didn't get twisted and neither did mine. Thanks Jerry for so many dedicated years to your profession. I can't wait to read these memoirs."--Don King, President & CEO, Don King Productions, Inc.
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Meet the Author
Gerald Eskenazi has written sports for the New York Times for almost half a century. He is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, including Gang Green: An Irreverent Look Behind the Scenes at Thirty-Eight (Well, Thirty-Seven) Seasons of New York Jets Football Futility and The Lip: A Biography of Leo Durocher.
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