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Best American Sports Writers?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Who are they? Not just ski writers. Thoughts? Thanks!
post #2 of 12
I like

Mike Lupica
Jason Stark
Og Mandino (The 12th Angel was an awesome baseball book)
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks! One more thing. Why are they the best? Thanks!
post #4 of 12
Well, since you didn't specify that they had to be alive, the list begins and ends with Shirley Povich, who worked for the Washington Post for upwards of 70 years. Why? Just read some of his articles, and you'll quickly understand that no other sportswriter is worthy of carrying Povich's typewriter.

Among the living? Paul Zimmermann (of SI) is usually capable of stringing together a few coherent paragraphs, occasionally even consecutively. Frank Deford (also of SI) has enjoyable columns as well. Tony Kornheiser (yes, the guy who is a disaster on TV) had a very enjoyable style that blended humor and sports-writing. I haven't read the Washington Post in a long time though, so I don't know if Tony is still writing or if he is just interested in sinking his career on MNF instead.

Other then that, I honestly can't think of anybody capable of constructing a coherent sentence. Read the garbage that qualifies as sports writing in the Boston Globe sometime. How those people passed high-school English is beyond me.
post #5 of 12
Samuel Apt. Covers the Tour de France for Boston Globe and the Int. Hearald Tribune

Keeps you informed of the food and wine as the riders toil around France.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Alive or dead is okay!
post #7 of 12
You'll get more thorough and thoughtful answers if you ask the questions at sportsjournalists.com, a thriving site devoted to the same topic.

Mitch Albom once probably once the hands-down favorite for best living American sportswriter, but his stock has fallen tremendously since he was caught making up details of a column a few years ago.

The best sportswriter working today is Gary Smith, of Sports Illustrated. He's a long-form profiler, great with both the words and reporting.

Top mid-career talents would include, among others, Wright Thompson of ESPN.com, Joe Posnanski of the Kansas City Star, Mike Vacarro of the New York Post, Adrian Wojnarowski and Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports, TJ Simers and Bill Plaschke of the LA Times and Selena Roberts of the NY Times (Juliett Macur of the Times would also be on the list, but she's left sports).
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ondealin: I owe you big time!!!! Thanks!
post #9 of 12
I'm a big fan of Hunter S Thompson as a Sportswriter -- sure he's not exactly "grounded in solid fact" but he had passion in writing for ESPN's page 2.

Also -- Michael Lewis -- Money Ball redefined the way thousands have looked at Baseball and I was blown away by Blind Side -- sure it's 50% human interest story but it's a good one with plenty of good sportswriting on the role of the left tackle.

--K
post #10 of 12
Lito Tejada-Flores is one of my favorite ski writers.
Tony Kornhiser’s almost out at Post, just too busy with his TV/Radio stuff. A good sense of humor often goes well with sportswriting, helps keep sports in its proper perspective and not take it too seriously. One time covering a superbowl game in Jacksonville, FL Tony wrote a derogatory description of that town …backwash redneck nouveau
wannabe city, etc….that was so funny!
His cohort at Wash Post, Mike Wilbon, is very good although not as funny as Kornhiser. Wilbon is also into TV pretty big, but still writes regularly for the Post. He gives an intelligent “person of color” perspective, but pulls no punches when black (or white) athletes are out of line. The line between print and visual media is blurring as some many of these guys crossover. It’s good though as they are usually very articulate on TV.
Povich was great, read him as a boy growing up in DC area. He must be rolling in his grave at the stuff his son Maury does on TV now.
Christine Brennan (a Wash Post alum) is one of the foremost female sportswriters today and definitely colors her reports with a serious female perspective.
Is Rick Reilly still doing his funny sports commentaries in Sports Illustrated?
Sports Illustrated Mag is really one of the foremost venues for US sport writing over the last 50 years. You can see a list of their most famous writers here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sports_Illustrated#Writers
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ondeadlin View Post
The best sportswriter working today is Gary Smith, of Sports Illustrated. He's a long-form profiler, great with both the words and reporting.
http://slate.msn.com/id/2085059/
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisamarie View Post
Ondealin: I owe you big time!!!! Thanks!
You're welcome, Lisamarie!

Are you working on a project or something?
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