Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Republican & Herald: "Maroons deserve ’25 title"

An article about my book, but mostly my views on the Pottsville Maroons lost championship. The piece is in today's Republican & Herald (Pottsville, Pennsylvania). (I might set some sort of record for saying "guys" in one paragraph.)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Wheaton Sun: Gridiron Man

Nice article about my book in the Wheaton (Illinois) Sun. I will be speaking at Wheaton's Center for History next week. (Sept. 4; 7 p.m.; 315 W. Front St., Wheaton, Illinois).

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Age of Persuasion

Age of Persuasion is a CBC program, and it has a good episode about sports marketing. (C.C. Pyle is highlighted. He was Red Grange's agent, and featured heavily in my book.)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Book Tour: Appearances

September 10 is the official launch date of my book, The Galloping Ghost: Red Grange, an American Football Legend (Houghton Mifflin).

I will be on the road this fall discussing my narrative biography of the football legend. I am excited about the book tour--lots of great events, and some of my favorite independent bookstores. Please come out and see me.

Here is a list of appearances. More appearances will be added, and I will let you know the airing times of the many radio interviews in the works...

I will update the list on my Website, blog, and BookTour.com, Wired editor's Chris Anderson's site.


(All times local)


September 3 (Wednesday): The Book Stall at Chestnut Court (Winnetka, Illinois); 7:00 p.m. Reading/Signing.

September 4 (Thursday): WSOY--1340 AM (Decatur, Illinois); 5:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Interview.

September 4 (Thursday): Center for History (Wheaton, Illinois); 7:00-8:00 p.m. Reading/Signing.

September 5 (Friday): The Standard Club (Chicago, Illinois): 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Private Event. Reading/Signing.

September 6 (Saturday, 3 p.m.-5 p.m.): University of Illinois; The Alice Campbell Alumni Center; (Urbana-Champaign, Illinois). The event is organized through the Illini Union Bookstore and it is open to the public. Reading/Signing.


October 16 (Thursday, 7:30 p.m.): Village Books (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) Reading/Signing.


November 19 (Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.): The Tattered Cover (Denver, Colorado). Reading/Signing.


December 4 (Thursday, 8 p.m.): Varsity Letters @ the Happy Ending Lounge (New York, New York). Reading/Discussion.

Please check In The Fray and my Website for updates.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

New Yorker: "He looks like a white Kenyan"

Great New Yorker piece about U.S. Olympic marathon hopeful Ryan Hall, and distance running. The article, "Running to Beijing" is not online yet, but it is in the August 11 issue of the magazine.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Re.: Brett Favre

When it comes to picking a team, I always think talent, experience, production, and a history of clutch performances trump everything else. Yes, chemistry, hustle, and other intangibles are important but if you don't have raw talent, well, in professional athletics you're not going to go too far.

So I find it odd that Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy met with Brett Favre for six hours in what he called “brutally honest” conversations, and came to the conclusion that Favre wasn't in the right mind-set. Who cares really? Nostalgia aside, Favre took the team to last year's NFC championship game, which is no easy task in the NFL, he is a leader, and a three-time MVP.

Packers management has said if Favre returns it would be "in a different role than he was" because the team had committed to [Aaron] Rodgers," which basically means they are putting all their chips behind an inexperienced QB, almost out of spite.

Because Favre is such a celebrated figure, the story has gone beyond the sports pages, and become a sign of our changing athletic times. What interests me is the concept of legacy in sports. The Green Bay Packers management says it is worried about Favre's legacy.

"You don't worry about my legacy," Favre said. "And, you know, it's a bunch of bull. It's all it is."

Favre is right. Legacy has become a meaningless term. With publicity surrounding athletes personal failings, and the rise and fall of Barry Bonds, Marion Jones, and numerous other athletes, sports legacies are not what they used to be, and probably never will exist as we once knew them, and the displacement of Favre--one of the most popular athletes of the last two decades--proves that even legends are expendable, even when they make as innocent of a mistake as retiring too early.

If Favre plays for another team--as did Joe Montana (the Chiefs), and Johhny Unitas (the Chargers)--it will be odd, almost sad, to see him in another uniform. As for Mike McCarthy, who has done wonders with the Packers, he was put into a difficult position. He probably didn't want Favre controlling the team. But McCarthy is a brave soul to dismiss Favre, a legend, for Aaron Rodgers, a quarterback you have probably never heard of. He has just increased the scrutiny on Rodgers 100-fold, and put enormous pressure on himself.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Pro Football Hall of Fame: Induction

As I watched the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction today, the thing that makes it so moving--every year--for me is that these guys were the best at something, and they can't ever do it again. It brings a natural drama to the proceedings, and to hear the stories of perseverance and the support of family and friends always gives one pause. The sports version of the Academy Awards.