Thursday, July 12, 2012

Writing from latest Sports Illustrated issue - by Gary Smith, David Epstein and Lee Jenkins

There was some really solid writing on remarkable people in the latest "Where Are They Now?" issue of Sports Illustrated.

Longest piece was a feature by Gary Smith titled "Why Don't More Athletes Take A Stand?" on a University of Virginia walk-on football player taking part in a hunger strike to protest the low wages of many University service employees. It's the same type of eloquent writing Smith known for and tells the story of Wonman Joseph Williams while addressing some much larger questions about athletes and contribution to a cause.

From the "Where Are They Now?" section of the issue came two additional pieces of note... both well written and one on an interesting subject, the other on a truly remarkable one. In the interesting subject category was the Lee Jenkins piece "Life's Roses (and Sausages)" on former University of Texas and Houston Oilers running back Earl Campbell. The former Heisman Trophy winner has certainly been through a lot and it's pretty compelling reading on him.

The other piece from this edition of SI that stood out was "The Strength To Carry On" by David Epstein. Just an amazing piece on Nazi death camp survivor Ben Helfgott. After liberation from a concentration camp at 15, Helfgott became one of 732 Jewish orphans brought to group homes in England. They became known as The Boys and through their lives have accomplished quite a bit together in terms of philanthropy and sharing their stories of success... with the 1996 Martin Gilbert book The Boys as a record of it. Well written stuff from Epstein in this SI piece and again, an amazing story.