Monday, February 16, 2015

Great sports writing - by Rosenberg, Drehs, Tomlinson & O'Neil

Four great recent pieces of sports writing included a feature for Sports Illustrated and three for ESPN.

The story for SI was "A woman fell from a stadium, a man saved her; here's what happened next" by Michael Rosenberg. It tells the story of Brittany Bryan, who fell 45 feet from the top of the Coliseum after a Raiders game and Donnie Navidad who attempting to catch her. It's a great piece by Rosenberg about a stranger saving someone's life and the situations an excess of alcohol can potentially lead to.

The first ESPN story to note here was for ESPN The Magazine with "From the Grounds Up" by Wayne Drehs. About the New Zealand city of Christchurch and rebuilding from a 2011 earthquake that killed 185 and caused widespread damage, it's a compelling story of how sports (in this case, hosting matches from the Cricket World Cup 2015) can help bring people together.

The other two great pieces of writing for ESPN had related Sportscenter video segments and the first story was "And He Shall Lead Them" by Tommy Tomlinson. So many of Tomlinson's features seem to have such heart to them and in this piece he tells the story of Lester Cotton, current Central High School football player and future lineman for his hometown University of Alabama. It was a really cool look at someone doing well out of a difficult environment and a 14-minute video segment provided a view into the poverty level that many Central students are raised in and efforts from head football coach Dennis Conner.

The other excellent piece of writing for ESPN was by Dana O'Neil with "Austin Hatch is an Uncommon Man" on the University of Michigan freshman basketball player who survived two small plane crashes, each of which killed members of his family. Hatch's is an amazing story that's well told in writing by O'Neil and for Sportscenter in a 16-minute video segment.

Also, there's not a written piece to note here, but the 12-minute ESPN video "Catching Kayla" on high school distance runner Kayla Montgomery competing while afflicted with multiple sclerosis is really really good.