Over Time by Frank Deford
I’m thinking Frank Deford is partly to blame for my weird reading-sports-books behavior.
The guy is smart and charming and funny, and he’s on NPR (talking about sports) every Wednesday morning while I’m cruising to work, so he’s part of my little world and I’ve become wickedly fond of him.
Even when he’s talking about athletes I’ve never heard of, or sports I completely don’t care about (we’re talking: football, basketball, baseball, tennis, soccer, golf… let’s just say: most sports), I’m always all excited to hear what he has to say. He’s got that kind of talent.
And guys! He wrote the novel Bliss Remembered, which I adored a couple of years ago.
This guy’s got it going on.
So when his memoir appeared, I was all over that.
And, true to form, he’s once again... smart and charming and funny.
And for all you NPR listeners who know his voice by heart, there’s the added benefit of being able to hear his voice reading the book to you in your head.
There’re plenty-o-sports celebrities in the book, and the one who stands out to me most is Arthur Ashe. It’s refreshing to hear that some people really are good people, in a world where so many of the stories we hear are about the disappointments and lies. (Roger Clemens, we’re looking at you.)
Deford also gives a sense of the life of a sports journalist, and I love that stuff. It’s a very different work life from what most of us experience, and it’s fascinating.
So, yeah. Read this one, and then if you’re just aching for more, give Robert Lipsyte’s An Accidental Sportswriter a whirl.
These sportswriters? They can really write.