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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Best one-liner in a speech I heard yesterday

Had a chance to meet and listen to author/sportswriter Frank Deford last night. He is senior contributor to Sports Illustrated, where he spent most of his career, and an NPR regular. He also contributes to HBO's RealSports with Bryant Gumbel. I have followed his writings for years... he is glib, perceptive and handles the personal side of the story better than most. His talk, 'The hype and Hoopla: The Good and Bad of Sports,' was 90 minutes worth of humor and pleasure to hear, filled with personal anticdotes and opinions about everything sport. Best part, you didn't have to be a sports buff to enjoy it.

One respose in particular surprised me. When asked who was the nicest sports personality he ever met, he said (paraphrasing), "It wasn't the nicest person but the nicest group." (You'll never guess who.) "I traveled with them for a week doing a story... the Roller Derby folks. They were kind, humble, hungry and loved what they did. They didn't make much money and they rushed for the chance to help set up the track and take it down because it meant extra dollars in their pockets. Really nice people. Now can you imagine," he concluded, "any of our pro atheletes wanting to help put things away or pack up for the next trip?"

My favorite line: When talking about tv viewship, men vs. women, he said men don't really care what is on tv. They care about what else is on tv.

Deford has a regular NPR feature that airs every Wednesday moning about 6:50 am

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