Friday, October 02, 2009

Mariano Rivera & Chris Andersen Sports Illustrated Profiles

Two really good profile pieces in the Oct 5 Sports Illustrated.

The first is by Tom Verducci and titled "Mariano Saves" about the exploits of the Yankee pitcher. Throughout the piece is detailed Rivera's unflappable cool and incredible success closing games. Perhaps even more amazing than what Rivera has accomplished is the manner in which he's done it... with 92% of his pitches thrown being the cut-fastball.

The second is about someone who certainly hasn't had the longevity or success of Rivera, but perhaps is just as popular in the town he plays. Denver Nuggets forward Chris Andersen is profiled in the L. Jon Wertheim story "Flight of the Birdman" and his is quite the ride. After serving a 2 year drug-related suspension from the NBA, Andersen is now a fan favorite due to both his approachable every-guy attitude and reckless abandon style of play.

Both stories portray interesting people and do so through really solid writing... an excellent combination.