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Seven Sportswriters Who

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by LanceyHoward, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. AD

    AD Active Member

    greats: linda robertson (miami herald), amy shipley (ret.) sally jenkins, diane k. shah (LA, ret.), aileen voisin (LA, sacto, ret.), susan slusser, lisa olsen, melissa isaacson (chi.) karen crouse (nyt), johnette howard, selena roberts (nyt), bonnie desimone (espn), jackie macmullen (globe, etc.), rosie dimanno (toronto star).

    some would argue the late jennifer frey.

    all in all, i'm not sure any of them influenced a generation, writing-wise, but unlike men they didn't have the luxury and the comfort and the security to just worry about breaking ground stylistically and reportorially. like all minorities entering that space, they had other battles to fight while the majority was shifting paragraphs, fiddling with syntax, point of view, stream of consciousness, etc.

    what is "influence"? it essentially means "they showed what was possible, expanded boundaries, and inspired others to try the same." women sportswriters often made their reputation with how tough, competitive or relevant they made themselves in a world that was doubly hostile. christine brennan was influential because she was early on prominent at a high-profile paper, and quick to TV. rachel alexander, the writer, was never as influential as rachel nichols the tv presence. same with jemele hill.

    it's a weird category. from the male perspective the two most influential sports writers of all time were probably dick young and jim bouton. for the women, pick 'em. and, yes, it'd be best to hear from women who were "influenced", and what exactly that influence was.
    Songbird likes this.
  2. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    Let me say this candidly. No.
  3. typefitter

    typefitter Well-Known Member

    I've said it before, but Karen Crouse is the best person to have at a press conference, period. She should give clinics on how to ask different questions that yield revealing answers from surprising sources.

    I don't think any of the women you've named—though hugely talented, and not through any fault of their own—eclipse the career accomplishments of any of the standard "greats" responses. Of them, I would say Sally or Jackie come the closest. Perhaps it is impolite to say so. I don't know.
  4. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Because it was mentioned as having a profound effect on the reader ...

    HE WENT FROM nobody to notorious with a cudgel of a fist, and there was no rung of hockey to which it couldn’t take him. Once he got to the NHL and stayed, the job became one of maintaining his niche — even after the bone showed through the sliced skin of his knuckles and he had to soak his punching hand in ice between periods, even after doctors nearly had to amputate his right arm.

    Joe Kocur, the Detroit Red Wings enforcer, is sometimes referred to by the rabid cult of fight-video collectors around the league as “the Mike Tyson of the NHL.” But earning that reputation was one thing; maintaining it led to a frightening night against Pittsburgh when Kocur’s whistling right hand dropped Jim Kyte, a six foot five Penguin defenseman, to the ice unconscious; it led to a night against Quebec when he shattered Terry Karkner’s jaw and the shaken Nordique team took a week to recover; it led to a game last February when Kocur flattened New York Islanders winger Brad Dalgarno with a single wallop, then watched Dalgarno teeter off the ice, only to learn later that he’d fractured Dalgarno’s left eye orbit, his cheekbone, and — people now whisper — his resolve to go on.

    Read the rest: Director’s Cut: ‘The Making of a Goon,’ by Johnette Howard
  5. typefitter

    typefitter Well-Known Member

    It's a great story. Lots of writers have written lots of great stories. The divide between them and the top four or seven or whatever number of the best in the history of their old profession can remain significant.
  6. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    I don't think it jsut sexism For example, Carol Loomis is considered the best writer in the history of Fortune, where she worked for 60 years. She was their go to person for stories on Wall Street and was superb at turning in an interesting story on a complicated subjects. She was the second person to win the lifetime achievement award. She is also Warren Buffet's editor for his annual shareholders report.

    I don't know why any of the talented women in sports journalism have had the same impact as Loomis. But the best are comparable to in impact as people such as S.L. Price. And that is elite company.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
  7. ChrisLong

    ChrisLong Well-Known Member

    Does anybody know anything about Jane Leahy? Friends tell me we were in high school together -- she was Jane Sherwin. I vaguely remember Jane Sherwin, but not in any journalism classes, not on the school paper, or afterward. Her Wiki page only says that she grew up in New York and went to college in the East, not the West Coast where I grew up and went to college.
  8. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    I'm partial to this guy...

    Doc Holliday and HanSenSE like this.
  9. AD

    AD Active Member

    lancey: i'd argue that those women have had much MORE impact than price. guys like tim layden or tim keown and chris jones can occasionally have great impact and make you feel like you'll never write anything so fine. but those women -- even if not so much through their prose advances -- have had much more "influence on the industry" -- how it looks, how it reads, how it will be regarded in the future. because younger women are watching and saying, 'hey, it's possible....'

    as far as men and their influence on the industry, it's undeniable that simmons truly changed the game, much like dick young and bouton. i think you can argue a bit there for posnanski and his work on-line, less so in the magazine. but those are big-picture, tectonic shifts. as far as influential style? jim murray, deford, gary smith, richard ben cramer. read the best of those guys and you just want to weep. try as you might to channel 'em, there wasn't a hope in hell.
  10. Regan MacNeil

    Regan MacNeil Well-Known Member

    Still can't believe someone actually said Whitlock. Jesus Christ.
    Doc Holliday and swingline like this.
  11. Patchen

    Patchen Member

    Bill James doesn't fit a lot of sportswriter definitions. However, his Baseball Abstract changed sportswriting significantly.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
  12. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Good choice. BTW, James cited Murray as one of HIS major influences.
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