Posts Tagged ‘Joe Posnanski’

Today is the 500th episode of The Tapes and there’s a special prize lurking in them for one lucky reader. Wait, no there’s not. But here are some good links.

* Bobby Valentine didn’t like how the Yankees responded to September 11. Because he’s Bobby Valentine.

* Jon Krakauer seems to have found the answer to how Chris McCandless, the subject of his book Into the Wild, died.

* The Tampa Bay Bucs are in disarray. There’s even talk of vote rigging.

* The daughter of Auschwitz Kommandant Rudolf Höss lives in Northern Virginia, as detailed in this remarkable story in the Washington Post. 

* Ridiculous story out of South Carolina. Because of Steve Spurrier, The State newspaper is not allowing its columnist to cover South Carolina’s football team. That’s a powerful coach. Wait…update, he’s back on the beat. 

* Phil Jackson is a god. And in 2005 a commercial he starred in accurately predicted how Heat fans would leave the arena before the end of Game 6 in 2013. Spoooooky. Also, fire D’Antoni.

* Joe Posnanski thinks Rafa Nadal will be the best player of this extraordinary time in men’s tennis. 

* People are mad at Jimmy Kimmel for being behind a viral video about twerking gone bad. 

* Jason Whitlock is already in trouble with ESPN. Insert reference to The Wire.

* Sports Illustrated made headlines with a series digging into alleged rule breaking inside the Oklahoma State football team. Read that. And the rebuttal. Yes, folks are taking issue with the pieces.

* The New York Times is dead to us after claiming that breakfast may not be the most important meal of the day. How dare they? We may double our cereal intake (to nearly lethal levels) in protest.

* Your weekly soccer link pertains to an American import from Iceland.

Welcome to this week’s links. Which are even more amazing than the last time we did this.

* Dave McKenna has a piece in Grantland about a 16-year-old who was caught cheating in chess. It’s really interesting. Also brought up a good discussion on a journalism board about using the kid’s name. If he committed a crime at 16 — and wasn’t charged as an adult — his name wouldn’t be published. Now he’ll always be the guy who cheated at chess.

* Well, New York City did it. They banned giant sodas. I wrote about this a few months ago. It was approved on Thursday and will go in to effect next year. How will I survive on 16-ounce servings? How? In 2004, the late, great Christopher Hitchens wrote a piece where he flaunted many of the silly laws that exist in New York City – taking your feet off pedals, feeding pigeons. Wish Hitchens was around to write about this.

* Who doesn’t like Christopher Walken talking about Christopher Walken things in a Christopher Walken manner?

* For Titanic fans who have long thought Jack and Rose could have shared a raft — meaning Leo wouldn’t die! — James Cameron says, no. Not possible. (younger readers, please note: Titanic the movie was not a documentary).

* In a retroactive addition to The Tapes, Jeff Pearlman wrote last week about the way he was treated after writing a biography about the late Walter Payton. Hint: It wasn’t good. This is relevant now, of course, because Joe Posnanski is taking all sorts of heat for his Joe Paterno book. Both situations are reminders of how, like it or not, journalists often become linked to their subjects.

* This week’s podcast of the week is more of a one-time thing than a true series, at least as far as we can tell. Regardless, it’s good as writer/TV personality/radio man Dan LeBatard welcomes in former NBA coaches and current siblings Jeff and Stan Van Gundy to discuss sports media and the Dwight Howard fiasco that cost Stan Van his job. It’s as close to no-holds barred as two guys who hope to have NBA future can be. LeBatard facilitates nicely. Entertaining and insightful. Here’s the link.

TV and Fury have noticed that there are a bunch of Web sites popping up dedicated to longform – and really good – sportswriting. (Nothing gets by us.)

Grantland, Sports on Earth, the forthcoming Glenn Stout project – we like them all. But what’s prompted the trend, are non-writers into it and can it be maintained given the cost and the constantly changing media industry? That’s the topic of this week’s TVFury podcast.

Here’s the link.

Welcome to this week’s links.

* Joe Posnanski’s biography of Joe Paterno comes out next week and it’s certainly one of the more anticipated books of the year, although for reasons far beyond anything Posnanski could have imagined. His original book about the beloved coach became impossible after the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Many people wonder how critical he will be about Paterno. In USA Today, Posnanski wrote about the challenge he faced.

* Crazy story about United “losing” a 10-year-old girl who flew to camp. Kinda makes you feel bad about complaining over lost luggage.

* Patrick Reusse wrote about the three Minnesota Lynx players who returned from the Olympics and are now prepared to chase a second straight title.

* Writers for The Simpsons picked their 10 favorite obscure characters on the classic show, and New York Magazine presents it in slide show fashion.

* What was TV reading this week? Hospital pamphlets. Over the course of three days, he suffered a weird allergic reaction, a skin infection on his face and lost consciousness at a football practice. Really. And now … he has to run a 5K in the mud in order to chronicle the experience for the Argus Leader. Here’s a background piece on the growing trend. This is shaping up to be plenty regrettable.

This is going to read like a commercial, and in a way that’s what it is. But I’m OK with that considering the real and perceived state of the journalism industry.

I spent Saturday-Tuesday in Salisbury, N.C., home to Cheerwine, Apple Ugly and the NSSA. What’s Cheerwine? A red soda that’s big in the South. It’s quite pleasant, although I was mocked summarily for ordering the diet kind. What’s an Apple Ugly? A prepackaged apple fritter, the caloric contents of which I won’t reveal. And what’s the NSSA? Good question. In fact, I was at best vaguely aware of it until a few months ago. In plain speak, it’s the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, an organization that looks to further and honor sports journalism.

The annual awards weekend is a major part of that. I was invited to attend by virtue of being named South Dakota sportswriter of the year. However, and this is where you come in, it turns out that the event is not exclusive to the state winners – it’s fairly accessible to working journalists and college kids, the cost reasonable. I had no idea. Neither did some of the fellow first-time visitors I met. (more…)

A rare sight: Joe Posnanski...not writing.

It’s time for another edition of The Fury Files, the semi-regular Q&A where I ask questions that end up being longer than the answers. Fortunately, those handling the A part of the Q&A are always entertaining and insightful so people don’t notice me droning on.

If you want to stick around and browse, please check out previous editions with Tom Linnemann, John Millea and David Brauer.

This week’s guest is Joe Posnanski, a Senior Writer for Sports Illustrated, a job title that retains a magical quality for anyone who’s ever written a sentence about a game or an athlete.

When people draw up lists of the best sportswriters working today, Posnanski’s name inevitably ends up on it, often near the top. And it’s been like that for a long time. Before taking a dream job with Sports Illustrated in 2009, Posnanski worked as a sports columnist for the Kansas City Star for 13 years. He also worked at the Cincinnati Post, the Augusta Chronicle and the Charlotte Observer. The Associated Press Sports Editors twice named him the top sports columnist in the country and he’s won numerous other awards for feature and project writing. He’s got the kind of resume that would need two pages.

Posnanski is also a prolific and popular blogger. All told, on any given week, he probably types up a word count that equals that week’s New York Times.

And while Posnanski – a Cleveland native – broke in with newspapers and made his name there and has now expanded his national reputation with his feature work for Sports Illustrated, he’s also a successful author. He wrote The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America and The Machine, the story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds. There’s also a collection of his columns called The Good Stuff, which you should buy if you love great writing and big cover pictures of sports writers. Plus, he runs occasional podcasts – Poscasts – with everyone from Al Michaels to Hollywood’s Michael Schur, though he is likely working on 500-word blog posts while talking to guests.

Joe Posnanski will always be linked to the late, legendary Buck O'Neil.

He’s now working on another major project. This fall, Posnanski is in Pennsylvania, researching and writing a book on Penn State legend Joe Paterno. Paterno’s been the subject of numerous books – that happens when a guy’s at an institution for 60 years – but those who read Posnanski know he’ll offer a unique take on a well-known subject. It’s what he does.

Countless people write about baseball but Posnanski is among the best. Countless people have written about LeBron James’ departure from Cleveland, but Posnanski’s takes were among the best. Countless people wrote sports columns but Posnanski was one of the best – and, according to the APSE, the best. Several authors have written about Joe Paterno. Posnanski’s book? It’ll probably be the best.

Here, Posnanski talks about the differences between writing a column and a book, some classic Sports Illustrated stories, Joe Paterno, the managerial struggles of Pop from The Natural, an alternative history of Cleveland sports, and more.

Thanks a lot for your time, Joe.