Rick Reilly is one of the best sports commentators around. He makes me laugh, while making me think. I first remember admiring him as I read his column on the last page of Sports Illustrated. This was his hallowed ground. I looked forward to every issue just to read the last page. (I know I am dating myself here.) He moved to ESPN in 2008, where he was a featured columnist for ESPN.com and wrote the back page column for ESPN the Magazine. I tried to read everything I stumbled across there. His use of simile is masterful, something I have tried very unsuccessfully to learn from. Here are a couple of examples from a 2014 article on Tiger Woods: “But now he's stuck -- no major wins since 2008 and a body that's coming apart like a 1986 Renault.” “When Woods delivered his mea culpa after his sex scandal, he said he was hoping for more "balance" in life. But if he got it, it doesn't show. He still cusses, throws clubs and is about as open as Fort Knox.” “He still blows by fans like a nor'easter.” I smile every time I read those quotes. Listen to his respect for athletes: “I would rather cover athletes than any other anything. They show up early. They are accountable. They suffer fools endlessly and punch a very small percentage of them. They're forced to explain themselves daily and yet do it without bile. They push themselves places you don't know exist. Exhausted, they perform feats, under pressure, that never fail to give me chicken skin.” High comments. Serious thoughts from a funny guy. What do you admire about athletes and coaches?

Posted by Bob Schindler at 2023-07-12 16:23:25 UTC