cover image Over Time: 
My Life as a Sportswriter

Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter

Frank Deford. Atlantic Monthly, $25 (336p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2015-1

Sportswriter (Sports Illustrated) and author (Everybody’s All-American) Deford tells the story of his rise from the comfortable and modest streets of Baltimore to the top of the sports journalism world. He discovered that he “had some facility for writing” when he was nine, even though he had not “suffered a miserable upbringing,” which helps “if you are to become a writer.” He was hired by Sports Illustrated in 1962, despite the personnel department classifying him as “not very bright.” “Sportswriting was still in something of a netherworld” when he began his career, “presented with [his] own desk and... Royal typewriter.” Unfortunately, as a self-proclaimed “old and cranky” man, he opines, “Journalism, as we know it... [ended] with the internet.” The mixture of homage to sportswriters who came before him, such as Grantland Rice; sometimes wistful vignettes of sports figures like Arthur Ashe; and his own personal reflections on the evolution of sports journalism combine to offer a cultural perspective that transcends a mere job. (May)