Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Writing on Sports Phenoms - by Pablo Torre & Dave Sheinin

Great sports writing on phenoms can often be more compelling than pieces on established sports stars because the phenoms represent potential not yet fully realized. Granted, that hoped for greatness may not come to pass, but it just might.

Athletes in their teens or early 20's I've linked to pieces on include baseball players Mike Trout, Stephen Strasburg, Trevor Bauer and Bryce Harper and recently I've come across two excellent pieces of writing on young stars playing two other sports.

"The Making of Kyrie Irving" was written by Pablo Torre for the Jan 7 ESPN The Magazine and is a really solid look at the Cavaliers second year point guard. Irving has performed extremely well on the NBA level after his injury shortened single season at Duke and the Torre piece is a revealing look at what got him to this point. Irving's mother passed away when he was five and Torre tells well the story of his father helping develop both Irving's game and confidence while raising he and his sister. Just a very heartwarming tale of a great athlete with potential to become even better.

The second piece of excellent sports writing to mention here was by Dave Sheinin for the Washington Post. "Robert Griffin III emerges as the Washington Redskins’ leader despite rookie status" was done prior to the Redskins recently winning the NFC East and shows the steps taken by Griffin to earn his role as a team captain and someone team veterans want to follow. It's tremendously interesting reading from Sheinin and Griffin's both calculated and completely authentic approach towards assuming leadership could serve as an example for other young stars moving up to the next level of competition.

It was solid writing from both Torre and Sheinin on two athletes that come across in the respective pieces as stars easy to root for.