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Ten best sports columns of all time

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Dave Kindred, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. Dave Kindred

    Dave Kindred Member

    I started this on Twitter and want to ask the folks here.

    Last week the National Society of Columnists chose the 10 best newspaper columns of all time. Pyle on war, Breslin on the gravedigger, Virginia being assured there's a Santa, Royko on Daley -- the classics. One was from sports, Red Smith on Bobby Thomson's home run. (And Red thought he overcooked the lede.)

    Let's pick the 10 best sports columns -- or the nine best after "Death of a Race Horse."
  2. Uncle.Ruckus

    Uncle.Ruckus Guest

    Death of a Race Horse didn't make last week's list, which shocked me.
  3. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    Reilly on cheerleaders?
  4. Screwball

    Screwball Member

    Jim Murray on the passing of his wife:

  5. Uncle.Ruckus

    Uncle.Ruckus Guest


    (Sorry. Couldn't resist.)
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    “A Very Solid Book”
    by Mike Royko, Chicago Tribune (1987); From The Best Sports Writing of the Century
    A New York publishing house has sent me a copy of a new paperback book it has just brought out.
    With it came a note that said: “We take pleasure in presenting you with this review copy and ask that you please send two copies of your notices to our offices.”
    I seldom review books in my column. The Chicago paper for which I write has a section that takes care of that. But in this case, I’m gong to make an exception.
    The book is called “If At First. . .” with a subtitle that says “With the exclusive inside story of the 1986 Championship Season.”
    The author is Keith Hernandez, who is the first baseman on the New York Mets baseball team. Actually, he didn’t write it – some professional ghostwriter did. But the words and story originated with Hernandez. I will begin my review by saying that this is a very solid book. The moment I opened the package and saw what it was about, I threw it against my office wall as hard as I could.
    Then I slammed it to the floor and jumped up and down on it. I beat on it with a chair for several minutes until I slumped onto my couch, emotionally and physically spent. Although slightly scuffed, the book was still intact.
    It is also a book that can cause excitement. I dropped it on the desk of a friend who has had weekend season tickets at Wrigley Field for the past 10 years. It immediately stirred him to emotional heights. He shouted:
    “Why are you showing me that piece of (deleted)? I say (deleted) Hernandez and (deleted) the Mets and (deleted) the whole (deleted) city of New York. And (deleted) you, too.”
    Then he flung it against a wall and gave it a kick. It still remained intact. I told you it was a solid book.
    It’s a book that can move a sensitive reader to tears, as I discovered when I showed it to a man who has been going to Cub games since 1946, a year what is known as The Beginning of Darkness.
    When he looked at the cover, he choked back a sob, a tear trickled down his cheek, and he said: “Why them? Why not us? What was our sin? How can we atone for it? You know, I asked my clergyman that, and he said he wishes he knew, because he lost $50 betting against them.”
    And it’s a powerful book. As reviewers like to say: It can hit you right in the guts. This was proven to me when I showed it to a confirmed bleacherite who said: “Excuse me. I’m going to throw up.”
    But enough of generalities. Let us consider the contents of this book.
    On the very first page, Hernandez and his ghostwriter say: “ad made the second out on a long the Mets were through for 1986: o out, nobody on, two runs down, ox already leading the World Series en our scoreboard operator at”
  7. dirtybird

    dirtybird Active Member

    Always a fan of “A Very Solid Book”
  8. Quakes

    Quakes Guest

  9. Screwball

    Screwball Member

    Thank you, Quakes.
  10. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Bianchi at Earnhardt's funeral.
  11. I said it before ... Lewis Grizzard's "I don't want to talk about it" column.
    It's the kind of gimmick that works once - and only once, but IMO it worked.
    Loved the novelty of it.

    I'm sure there is a (at least one) pre-ESPN Rick Reilly column that qualifies. I have to think about it.

    I also penned a little ditty about a two-sport prep star overcoming adversity I'd like you to consider. I can email it to you if you like? ;)
  12. I always thought that was a deadline story. I never knew until a few days ago it was a column.
    And yeah, how you leave that off the list is beyond me ...
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