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Reilly -- "John Wooden's Love Letters"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Sneed, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. Sneed

    Sneed Guest

    Much as we love to rip Reilly around here, thought it'd be nice to start this thread about this feature he did on John Wooden and his relationship with his long-passed wife. Sorry if it's a db.

    What does db even mean?

  2. Harry Doyle

    Harry Doyle Member

    You're right that we do enjoy ripping the guy. That said, we'd all be fools to question his storytelling skills. Has he gotten complacent over the years? You betcha. But he can still reach out, grab your heart and shake it until you take notice better than anybody else in the business. And that transcends media.

    I very much enjoyed the piece. But I also think a TON of the credit goes to ESPN's production team, not to mention Coach Wooden. A friend of mine observed this weekend that if you need a good cry, watch an ESPN feature. That existed long before Rick Reilly sold out and joined them.
  3. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    deep background
  4. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Shit, usually stories like this stay in a can until something is about to happen.

    It will happen someday, but I am dreading the day.
  5. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    He did a similar column for SI a few years ago.
  6. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Well, fuck.

  7. Harry Doyle

    Harry Doyle Member

    I think you can say that for most anything he produces these days. But now that you mention it, the story does seem pretty familiar. So when he calls it "the greatest love story never told" he means never told by anyone but him?
  8. Sneed

    Sneed Guest

    OK, this will come off as Reilly fanboi defense, so I'll apologize in advance for that, but I just had what feels like an epiphany that may just be the effects of drinking too much coffee too close to midnight.

    But I just think that ol' Rick wanted to get into television. That's a "no duh" statement, I know, but I feel like he's done his part, and then some, with all his phenomenal writing with Sports Illustrated. Busted his ass for years to do that part. Now he's got the chance to get paid millions to write good-but-not-great stuff and have some fun telling great stories with the talent of ESPN's production teams behind him.

    And the stuff he's said about Tiger lately has been pretty on point, too.

    Also, I can't find the column, but I remember him once writing about his first on-air experience, about how he was hyperventilating and doing some controlled breathing methods to calm himself down and was on live with his cheeks puffed out like a blowfish. Maybe this is also a face-the-fear type of venture, and now he's faced it and conquered it and is now enjoying it.

    Who knows what's going on with him, but that's my schpeel.

    Also, I'm pretty sure that he really doesn't care what anyone thinks of the quality of his work these days. ESPN must like him well enough to pay him $2 mil a year, or whatever it is, to keep him on board, and long as his bosses are happy with him, he'll probably be just fine.

    OK, done.
  9. smsu_scribe

    smsu_scribe Guest

    This would be a tremendous way for Reilly to blend the ESPN platform and his talent - by doing TV packages like this. Sort of like a Jeremy Schaap-type.
  10. EagleMorph

    EagleMorph Member

    I think I recall Reilly and ESPN saying he'd be heavily involved in those long form pieces popularized by Schaap, Chris Connelly, and Tom Rinaldi when they hired him. I could have sworn that was included in the explanation as to why he jumped ship from SI to the WWL. Maybe it was in a Richard Deitsch analysis of the move or something like that instead.
  11. Sneed

    Sneed Guest


    I remember from his farewell column with SI, him saying something about leaving to scratch an itch he'd long wanted to scratch. I'm thinking that itch is television. I'm also thinking it's taking some time for him to get used to it. Which is fairly understandable. I don't care how good a writer you are, it ain't easy stepping in front of the camera.
  12. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    No one here rips Reilly for his talent, they rip him for not using it.
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