Friday, September 02, 2011

Sports Illustrated Writing: Lee Jenkins & Joe Posnanski

Couple of entertaining works lately from Sports Illustrated writers... one written for the magazine and one the website.

Cover story for the August 29 issue was by "Strange Brew (but It's Working)" on the first place team.

Written by Lee Jenkins, the writing is solid, but more than that... it's just fun. The team comes across as a personification of the little engine that could just trucking towards a playoff showdown (or for Milwaukee fans, hopefully three showdowns) against better know and bigger market teams. Heavily featured in the piece was sparkplug outfielder Nyjer Morgan and while reading about him didn't necessarily make me love the guy, it did make me want to watch... and after all, the point of being a sports fan is to be entertained.


From the Sports Illustrated website yesterday was "My Favorite Year" by the excellent and prolific writer Joe Posnanski. It's a long piece (did I mention he's prolific?) on the sports stories that struck him from 1986. Included in the story (which had more beyond this) was the Chicago Bears Super Bowl team, Bo Jackson taking baseball by storm, Jack Nicklaus winning the Masters at 46, the death of Len Bias and the MLB playoffs featuring Bill Buckner and the much sadder tale of Donnie Moore.

It's really entertaining reading made all the much more so by the links and videos that Posnanski embeds (highly recommend the Bo video of an outfield wall catch and then strike to first base).

Finally, he does that thing that much of his best blog writing features where he includes personal anecdotes along with stories of the athletes and their accomplishments. A big part of this was commentary about 1986 being a pivotal one in the beginning of his writing career... and linked to was a profile of Jim Murray by Rick Reilly, and noted by Posnanski as being "probably the best story ever written about a sportswriter."