Friday, February 01, 2013

Solid sports writing - by Jones, Wickersham, Merrill & Price

There's been a few excellent pieces of writing I've seen recently from both ESPN and Sports Illustrated.

The Feb 4 issue of ESPN the Magazine featured "The Book of Coach" by Seth Wickersham. Written about Bill Walsh and his 550 page thesis on coaching, Finding the Winning Edge, it's compelling reading about both the book (with new copies going for $799+ on Amazon) and man himself (with his compulsion to be perfect). It was just fascinating reading within the piece about the sports writer that put together the book with Walsh and how he was treated by the 49er coaching legend.

From the same issue of ESPN was an excellent back-page column by Chris Jones. Titled "Keepers of the Cup", it's on the now concluded NHL lockout and has the subtitle "The bloated, broken NHL doesn't deserve the best trophy in sports." Solid piece from Jones that brings to mind for me the start of season NHL marketing slogan of "hockey's back"... and really, the NHL is back, but hockey never left.

Also by Jones for ESPN the Magazine was his Dec 2011 column "Watershed Moment" on surfer Garrett McNamara. It's excellent writing that's timely now with McNamara recently surfing what may well have been a 100-foot wave off the same Portugal coast that Jones wrote about just over a year ago.

The final ESPN piece to note here was by Elizabeth Merrill a few days ago for the website. "Are You a Ray Lewis Believer?" is about the Ravens linebacker as he prepares for his final NFL game in the upcoming Super Bowl. It was definitely an interesting approach that Merrill took in how she put the story together and the subject of Lewis brought to mind two really good S.L. Price pieces on Lewis for Sports Illustrated with "The Gospel According to Ray" from 2006 and "The Force of His Nature" after Lewis announced he would retire at season's end.