Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter

Over Time My Life as a Sportswriter Over Time My Life as a Sportswriter is as unconventional and wide ranging as Frank Deford s remarkable career in which he has chronicled the heroes and the characters of just about every sport in nea

  • Title: Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter
  • Author: Frank Deford
  • ISBN: 9780802120151
  • Page: 381
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Over Time My Life as a Sportswriter is as unconventional and wide ranging as Frank Deford s remarkable career, in which he has chronicled the heroes and the characters of just about every sport in nearly every medium Deford joined Sports Illustrated in 1962, fresh, and fresh out of Princeton In 1990, he was Editor in Chief of The National Sports Daily, one of the mOver Time My Life as a Sportswriter is as unconventional and wide ranging as Frank Deford s remarkable career, in which he has chronicled the heroes and the characters of just about every sport in nearly every medium Deford joined Sports Illustrated in 1962, fresh, and fresh out of Princeton In 1990, he was Editor in Chief of The National Sports Daily, one of the most ambitiousand ill fatedprojects in the history of American print journalism But then, he s endured writing ten novels, winning an Emmy not to mention being a fabled Lite Beer All Star , and last week he read something like his fourteen hundredth commentary on NPR s Morning Edition From the Mad Men like days of SI in the 60s, and the bush years of the early NBA, to Deford s visit to apartheid South Africa with Arthur Ashe, and his friend s brave and tragic death, Over Time is packed with intriguing people and stories Interwoven through his personal history, Deford lovingly traces the entire arc of American sportswriting from the lurid early days of the Police Gazette, through Grantland Rice and Red Smith and on up to ESPN This is a wonderful, inspired bookequal parts funny and touchinga treasure for sports fans Just like Frank Deford.

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    About “Frank Deford”

    1. Frank Deford

      Frank Deford born December 16, 1938, in Balti, Maryland is a senior contributing writer for Sports Illustrated, author, and commentator.DeFord has been writing for Sports Illustrated since the early 1960s In addition to his Sports Illustrated duties, he is also a correspondent for HBO s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and a regular, Wednesday commentator for National Public Radio s Morning Edition.His 1981 novel, Everybody s All American, was named one of Sports Illustrated s Top 25 Sports Books of All Time and was later made into a movie directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Dennis Quaid.In the early 1990s Deford took a brief break from NPR and other professional activities to serve as editor in chief of The National newspaper , a short lived, daily U.S sports newspaper It debuted January 31, 1990 and folded after eighteen months The newspaper was published Sundays through Fridays and had a tabloid format.Deford is also the chairman emeritus of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation He became involved in cystic fibrosis education and advocacy after his daughter, Alexandra Alex was diagnosed with the illness in the early 1970s After Alex died on January 19, 1980, at the age of eight, Deford chronicled her life in the memoir Alex The Life of a Child The book was made into a movie starring Craig T Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia in 1986 In 1997, it was reissued in an expanded edition, with updated information on the Defords and Alex s friends.Deford grew up in Balti, Maryland, and attended the Gilman School in Balti He is a graduate of Princeton University and now resides in Westport, Connecticut, with his wife, Carol They have two surviving children Christian b 1969 and Scarlet b 1980 Their youngest daughter Scarlet was adopted a few months after the loss of Alex.

    620 thoughts on “Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter”

    1. Because I enjoy Deford's weekly commentaries on NPR's Morning Edition, I read his book to find out more about him, only to find that with Deford, what you hear is pretty much what you get. Having done hundreds of commentaries full of short-form anecdotes, Deford has written his memoirs the same way, in a few dozen short chapters each telling a little story or following a well-defined theme. You get a lot of stories about hanging out with this athlete or that, and a lot about what it was like bei [...]


    2. I never subscribed to Sports Illustrated. Having read SI from time to time, I may have read Frank Deford but, like nearly all sports writers, his articles did not capture my attention such that he gained an identity distinguished from sportswriters in general. Deford, informed by over fifty years in the business, has no illusions about sports writing and its generally lowly reputation. This reminds me of a Mad Men scene wherein Peggy Olsen is introduced to her future boyfriend (Abe) as a free-la [...]


    3. Frank Deford has long been one of my favorite writers, someone whose work I search out, be them in written or spoken form. His erudite and opinionated commentaries on the state of athletics in our society has sustained me, entertained me, as well as disturbed me.This collection of vignettes are intended to be an autobiography of sorts, they are written as if they were individual essays. Deford is opinionated, brutally honest, and comes off as a curmudgeon. I think he really enjoys the curmudgeon [...]


    4. The first thing you need to know about me, the reader, is that I am not a sport fan of any sport. I have been to possibly two dozen pro and semi-pro baseball games in my 65 years but I have played in thousands of pick-up games as a kid. I wanted to read Mr. DeFord's book for two reasons. The first is that my daughter got an autographed copy and entrusted it to me from her TBR pile. The second is that I have enjoyed Frank's occasional appearances on NPR over the years. The book is episodic, like [...]



    5. First, in deference to one of Frank Deford's pet peeves, I have spelled his name correctly. It is not DeFord as so many people write it. Drives him nuts. I can relate; no one could pronounce or spell my maiden name either and it gets really old after a while.The subtitle of this book is My Life as a Sportswriter and I encourage you to get a copy as soon as it comes out in May. He is in my opinion one of the best writers around. People place sportswriters on a lower level than "actual writers" fo [...]


    6. Someday, hopefully at least 20 years from now, a member of younger generation of my family will inherit or claim my Kindle. I hope he/she will read the books in it. If they read this one they will find a book well written but missing some notable information, unless they read my notes. Deford, on at least two occasions to this point, has failed to complete the story. He puts his 1962 conversation with Cassius Clay, aka Muhammed Ali, in the context of a hearing by the New York Boxing Commission c [...]


    7. I am listening to this book and with his voice, Frank Deford redeems the story. It's an autobiography and is, at times, interesting and funny, but a lot of it is sorta bland. Deford is such a good narrator, though, he makes the stories come to life. Situations with famous sports celebrities are hardly memorable, on their own, but his intonation brings life to them. As an audiobook this book is OK to good. As a written book, well, it's not bad, but no breakthroughs. Well . . . I wrote that first [...]


    8. I've read Frank Deford's writings since I was in high school (many years ago). He was a long-time senior writer for Sports Illustrated, and I was a long time subscriber--a match made in heaven. I noticed early on that Mr. Deford's articles tended to be about different and sometimes obscure topics, but that once I finished reading his take on these topics, I always wanted to know more about them. That somewhat describes the flow of this book. I was rather expecting an autobiography; I should have [...]


    9. As usual Frank Deford is easy to read and enjoyable to spend time with. His obvious feelings of frustration with people’s low opinion of sportswriters are well deserved, at least in his case. He is an engaging writer who chooses to focus his lens on the personalities and dynamics of sports. In the process he uses his craft as well as any writer in any genre. Good writing is good writing.I found parts of the book slow and less interesting but then there were excellent chapters on legendary spor [...]


    10. It reads a lot like what I imagine a Sid Hartman memoir would be--a lot of boxing, baseball, horse racing, and bemoaning about how times have changed.The best and worst of the book came at the end. The best was this passage about Arthur Ashe on page 305:Of course, in a less blithe moment, it was also Arthur who instructed me in a trough so obvious--and yet one that, as a white person, I'd never though through before. We were discussing how much better things were racially, how much more "equal" [...]


    11. For years I've been on the fence about Frank Deford's writing in Sports Illustrated and his book is no different. Can he paint a pretty picture? Yes, but sometimes it becomes the story instead of the game or the athlete. Can he do a hard hitting interview? Yes, but does he really ask the questions and reveal the answers we as fans want to know? I don't know. This book is 46 short essays on different topics. Most have been covered throughout his career. I wanted a autobiography of his life and ti [...]


    12. Always enjoyed reading Mr. Deford's articles in Sports Illustrated and pieces on on NPR. This book is pretty much just an expansion on topics he's touched on before either on the radio or in print.This collection contains 46 essays on topics ranging from the author's childhood in Baltimore to being one of the "stars" in the famous Miller Lite TV commercials. There are many excellent pieces in here particularly poignant ones about his friendship with tennis great Arthur Ashe and a memorable trip [...]


    13. I have a tough time giving 5-star reviews to books; to me the five-star implies that the book is 'perfect', and I'm not sure the perfect book exists. But "Over Time" is better than most of the books I've read -- and certainly one of the best memoir/biographies I've ever read. Deford was always one of my favourite sportswriters when he wrote for Sports Illustrated, and all of the things that made him so are alive and well in his books. His elegant way to turn a phrase, and his ability to get at t [...]


    14. Frank Deford is always great to hear on NPR, and impressive in his scope of knowledge and general presence. His writing is packed with incisive wit and keen analysis about the human-interest side of sports, which to me is far more interesting than the scores. This book is a collection of his personal stories from his epic life as the sportswriter (one word, he has clarified) of our times, and it does not disappoint. He is clever and funny with the turn of phrase that leaves me amazed by his broa [...]


    15. One of my favorite sports commentators, Frank Deford has been around for a good long time and brings a perspective to his work that just resonates with this reader. In this memoir, Mr Deford relates personal anecdotes and reminisces about the various publications and media outlets he has worked for. Liberally sprinkled with humor, these tales paint a picture of Frank as a journalist and as a man, and shed some light on the out-sized personalities that play the games that sports lovers enjoy. The [...]


    16. Mr. DeFord has written a nice memoir that excels in certain areas and rambles in others. He is at his best writing about the classic sportswriters on the 20th Century from Grantland Rice to Red Barber. His experiences at Sports Illustrated and The National are interesting but not very enlightening. After all, does anyone care how they played "matches" in bars as sportswriters? Mr. DeFord does. His meetings with great athletes and coaches runs from the great (Arthur Asche) to the rude (Vince McMa [...]


    17. Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter by Frank Deford (Atlantic Monthly Press 2012)(Biography) is a collection of highlight stories from his long years as a sportswriter. He grinds no axe in this book with the possible exception of Joe Dimaggio. Dimaggio , who was equally well-known for his baseball prowess and for being married to Marilyn Monroe, is described thusly by the author: "(Joe) Dimaggio was, in fact, mostly just a cold fish. Not even his brother Dom, who played outfield for the Red Sox [...]


    18. Like those he mentions in a later chapter of his memoir, I am one of those who know Frank Deford mostly from his essays on NPR on Wednesday mornings. I have indeed read some of articles, too, and I have always liked his perceptive and eloquent take on sports. Though he takes Over Time on some awkward tangents as he pieces together reflection on his life, his craft, and the subjects of his writing, this is still a enjoyable book for anyone interested in sports and sports writing in the 20th centu [...]


    19. I'd long been aware of Deford's standing among the sportswriter pantheon, but never truly possessed of any firsthand experience with his work. This book served as an appropriate introduction, giving me a sense of his narrative persona and allowing me to savor some beautifully-written passages while getting a tour through his take on the last half-century of sports and journalism. This memoir is more a collection of anecdotes than a true beginning-middle-end story, so it lent itself to short-burs [...]


    20. No doubt, this book covers Deford's time as one of the finest, and most iconoclastic, sportswriters in this country's history, but to call this a sports book fails to do it proper justice. "Over Time", filled with masterful and surprising prose, upends the memoir and illuminates through sheer scintillation. There were points reading this book that I wanted to recite Deford's words aloud, to share his close-told tales of Arthur Ashe, Bill Russell, Jimmy the Greek, Bobby Orr, Paul Newman, Mickey M [...]


    21. If you enjoy reading about all sports in a book of well crafted essays, this is it. I got occasionally bored with his long disquisitions on how his name should be spelled, but otherwise each chapter held my attention to the end. His recounting of stories told about sports figures showed sides of them that transcended their game, and those about Arthur Ashe were worth the price of the book, and I'll always remember his account of something Magic Johnson did, who in this particular story "was stan [...]


    22. Comments based on advanced reading copy. This is a book for sports fans with brains, or intellectuals who have a cursory interest in sports. Deford provides historical insights in the course of his career based on anecdotes drawn from his career and work. Very open,forthright, and honest, especially in his candor about his alma mater Princeton in the 50s and 60s and the challenging ethics of college sports. If The Education of Henry Adams was more honest and about sports, this would be the book. [...]


    23. I really like Deford, but haven't read any of his other books. He always writes longer pieces for the magazine, and this book had the feel at times of several of these scattered throughout the timeline of his life.There are some gems, and there are some misses. I called this an "upstairs" book, those being the ones I keep by the bedside table and only read parts of as I'm getting ready to fall asleep.I don't do these kind of compilations well if I try to sit down for a long time and read straigh [...]


    24. As a fan of Deford's NPR commentaries on Wednesday mornings, I loved this book! I do think, however, that even those who won't be reading it with Deford's voice in their head will love it too. Deford gives an insightful and funny inside look at the world of sports reporting with just enough history to make you feel smart while reading. His anecdotes are great. This guy has been everywhere and met everyone! I want to read more. I feel like he's just gotten started telling his story with "Over Tim [...]


    25. Veteran sportswriter Frank Deford (he's touchy about the spelling!) picks over his life's adventures willy-nilly, with most of the pages going to the charismatic, if complicated, characters he has covered (including a loving portrait of the late Arthur Ashe.) They're all good company, even if a lot of the anecdotes are of the "you had to be there" variety. And aspiring writers take note: Deford is a master of concision, with a noticeable talent for the "mot juste" (particularly verbs) and a see- [...]


    26. Some wonderful anecdotes and stories from an iconic 20th century sportswriter who covered some seminal events and those less remarkable like roller derby. Fascinating stuff from his travel to South Africa with Arthur Ashe, heartbreaking stuff about the loss of his daughter to Cystic Fibrosis, crossing swords with Kingsley Amis when the Englishman was a visiting professor at Princeton, and more. Makes me want to start listening to his segment on NPR again. I'd definitely read another of his books [...]


    27. I am generally not one for collections. Short stories, essays, they don't really float my boat. And for 50 or so pages I was not into this at all, but then Deford's strong talent took over. It turned out to be a very enjoyable book. Being an old guy, an old sports guy, I was familiar with almost everyone he was writing about. I don't think it is totally worhty of all the hype it is getting but if you are up for some good stories about sports and athletes he is one of the best writers around.


    28. Frank DeFord is a wonderful writer and the essay format of this book makes it super easy to bounce around and find topics that interest me most. My lack of love for sports was only a small hindrance in my enjoyment of the book. I told Joe it felt like a 1/4 of it was written in Spanish or something, but I muddled through because DeFord's voice and writing style almost make me care about sports. Almost.


    29. Frank DeFord, long one of my favorite writers, has exceeded all expecxtations with this memoir. He has always been a superb wordsmith and he applies this skill to a wide variety of people and situations. If yuu're any kind of sports fan, READ THIS BOOK. If you're not, read it anyway to see how a real professional wields the English language.There's humor here, and pathos, and a big dollop of tongue-in-cheek life observations.


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