Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Excellent sports stories - by Jones, Assael, Wertheim, Wahl & Mooney

There's been a few different pieces of sports writing I've seen lately that stood out as excellent with those to note here being from ESPN, Sports Illustrated and BuzzFeed (first time I've linked to and written on anything from BuzzFeed).

From ESPN The Magazine recently was an excellent column out of the April 15 issue and then feature story from the April 29 edition. The column was "Photo resolution" by Chris Jones and it looks at retired NFL player Ricky Williams working for ESPN as as a sideline photographer at the Super Bowl in New Orleans. I've previously posted on stories about Williams by Jones and he's definitely one of my favorite athletes.

The April 29 ESPN piece was by Shaun Assael with "Coming Down" about the impact of synthetic (and not necessarily illegal) marijuana on the Auburn football team and it's players. It was a fascinating read that reminded me of a 2011 Businessweek cover story "The Big Business of Synthetic Highs" by Ben Paynter.

From Sports Illustrated recently were two tremendously interesting pieces, one in the magazine and one posted to the SI website today. The Mar 25 issue of Sports Illustrated had "Seen Benny? Have Him Give Me A Call" with the writer, Jon Wertheim, chronicling his search for Benny Anders who 30 years ago played along with Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon on the University of Houston basketball team. Fascinating piece by Wertheim on the search for search for someone who appears to have willfully disappeared.

The piece from the the SI website was "One man's journey from Los Angeles to Real Madrid good-luck charm" by Grant Wahl. It's just a very nice story about L.A. city employee Abel Rodríguez and his whirlwind travel with and working for the Real Madrid football team in Europe.

The final piece of stellar sports writing to note here was "Lying Around With Brandon McCarthy" by Michael Mooney for BuzzFeed. I two weeks ago posted on writing by Mooney for D Magazine and this story is one of those cases of an excellent writer on a subject who's easy to like.