Frank Deford died this week, and I’m not sure sportswriters will see his like again. The beautiful rhythm of his language was some kind of wonderful. I love this bit from The New York Times obit of him: Ross Greenburg, then the president of HBO Sports, told The Los Angeles Times in 2004, “Frank Deford with a pen in his hand is like Michael Jordan with a basketball and Tiger Woods with a driver.” In one of his most famous stories, “The Boxer and The Blonde,” Deford manages to tell at least five love stories: a man for his mother, for his wife, for his city, for his sport, and for his country. This is one of the best last sentences I’ve ever read, both epic and intimate, an elegy not only for a life but a way of life.

Most popular articles from Nieman Storyboard

Show comments / Leave a comment