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Best sports stories of the past 20 years

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Bristol Insider, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. I'm doing a project for a class I teach and am looking for more opinions ...

    What are the best sports pieces of the past 20 years? Magazines, newspapers, web, etc. Takeouts, columns, gamers, etc. Yes, of course, I can go through all of the BASWs, but I want top-of-the-head thoughts from members of the board.

    One example we have is Gary Smith's SI piece in the mid 90s on the Cleveland Indians pitchers ...
  2. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    J. R. Moehringer's "Resurrecting the Champ" - don't remember what it was in, but I believe the L.A. Times.
  3. txscoop

    txscoop Member

    Mike Coolbaugh story in SI (or was it ESPN mag) this year was excellent.
  4. Notepad

    Notepad Member

    From 1988.
    Ralph Wiley on Major Harris:

  5. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Might be stretching the 20 years, but Frank DeFord's piece on the Toughest Football Coach There Ever was - the guy was named something like Curly "Bull" Conner or something like that - has still stuck with me.
  6. Notepad

    Notepad Member

    Same with DeFord's piece on boxer Billy Conn. Absolute brilliance.
  7. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Here are the first two grafs from the DeFord piece that was published in '84:
    Robert Victor Sullivan, whom you've surely never heard of, was the toughest coach of them all. He was so tough he had to have two tough nicknames, Bull and Cyclone, and his name was usually recorded this way: coach Bob "Bull" "Cyclone" Sullivan or coach Bob (Bull) (Cyclone) Sullivan. Also, at times he was known as Big Bob or Shotgun. He was the most unique of men, and yet he remains utterly representative of a time that has vanished, from the gridiron and from these United States.

    Coach Bob "Bull" (Cyclone) Sullivan was a legend in his place. That place was Scooba, Miss. in Kemper County, hard by the Alabama line, hard to the rear of everywhere else. He was the football coach there, for East Mississippi Junior College, ruling this, his dominion, for most of the '50s and '60s with a passing attack that was a quarter century ahead of its time and a kind of discipline that was on its last legs. He was the very paradigm of that singular American figure, the coach--corch as they say in backwater Dixie--who loved his boys as he dominated them, drove off the weak and molded the survivors, making the game of football an equivalency test for life.

    (Me again) This still gives me chills. The word choice is brilliant, pacing perfect and nobody has done it better.
  8. Notepad

    Notepad Member

    Here is DeFord's piece on Billy Conn. Do yourself a favor and take 10 minutes:

  9. Jones

    Jones Active Member

    I second this. It was in the L.A. Times Magazine.

    Also, "Death of a Racehorse," by W.C. Heinz. Best deadline story ever.

    "The Man. Amen," by Charlie Pierce.

    And I can never explain this, but when I think of Pierce's writing, his story on Deion Sanders always comes to mind first. It's not one of his extra-famous ones, but it's stuck with me: "The Blessed Fisherman of Prosper, Texas."
  10. Jones

    Jones Active Member

    Whoops, missed "of the past 20 years" bit. Scratch Heinz. He can be his own course.
  11. jaredk

    jaredk Member

    Conn was 1985, Coach 1984, and it's Deford.
    All are beautiful.
  12. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Goddamn, that story was amazing. Thanks for the link.
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