Frank Deford | KUOW News and Information

Frank Deford

Writer and commentator Frank Deford is the author of sixteen books. His latest novel, Bliss, Remembered, is a love story set at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and in World War II. Publishers Weekly calls it a "thought-provoking...and poignant story, utterly charming and enjoyable." Booklist says Bliss, Remembered is "beautifully written...elegantly constructed...writing that is genuinely inspiring."

On radio, Deford may be heard as a commentator every Wednesday on NPR's Morning Edition and, on television, he is the senior correspondent on the HBO show RealSports With Bryant Gumbel. In magazines, he is Senior Contributing Writer at Sports Illustrated.

Moreover, two of Deford's books — the novel Everybody's All-American and Alex: The Life Of A Child, his memoir about his daughter who died of cystic fibrosis — have been made into movies. Two of his original screenplays, Trading Hearts and Four Minutes, have also been filmed.

As a journalist, Deford has been elected to the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters. Six times Deford was voted by his peers as U.S. Sportswriter of The Year. The American Journalism Review has likewise cited him as the nation's finest sportswriter, and twice he was voted Magazine Writer of The Year by the Washington Journalism Review.

Deford has also been presented with the National Magazine Award for profiles, a Christopher Award, and journalism Honor Awards from the University of Missouri and Northeastern University, and he has received many honorary degrees. The Sporting News has described Deford as "the most influential sports voice among members of the print media," and the magazine GQ has called him, simply, "the world's greatest sportswriter."

In broadcast, Deford has won both an Emmy and a George Foster Peabody Award. ESPN presented a television biography of Deford's life and work, "You Write Better Than You Play." A popular lecturer, Deford has spoken at more than a hundred colleges, as well as at forums, conventions and on cruise ships around the world.

For sixteen years, Deford served as national chairman of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and he remains chairman emeritus. Deford is a graduate of Princeton University, where he has taught in American Studies.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. DAVID GREENE, HOST: OK, let's stay in Texas now, where after two decades of futility, the Dallas Cowboys are back on top of the NFL. And commentator Frank Deford says, love them or hate them, this is a good thing. FRANK DEFORD, BYLINE: Admit it. Even though you may despise the Dallas Cowboys with every fiber of your being, you're glad to see them back as a powerhouse, aren't you now? No, the Cowboys were never America's team any more...

Much as we talk about certain financial institutions that may be too big to fail, you can be absolutely certain that the one organization in the whole wide world that truly fits that definition is FIFA, the grubby behemoth that runs soccer. Too many international sports associations are rife with corruption, but the graft exposed at FIFA beggars the imagination. Americans, of course, have virtually no interest in FIFA, for most of us are athletic aliens, caring not a whit for Earth's game....

We start 2016 with a command: that the subject of Pete Rose and the Hall of Fame is over, finis, kaput forever and ever. As sure as we will no longer discuss whether Lindsey Graham or George Pataki can be president. The new commissioner has been even more adamant in dismissing Rose's pleadings, so it doesn't matter how passionately you feel — it is a dead issue. There. But OK, now that we have that settled, there's bound to be more attention devoted to the candidacies of the accused steroid...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPcZo-f6Fhc It's an incident largely forgotten, but in 1964, the NBA — then a struggling fourth-string major league — finally got its All-Star Game on prime-time TV. The players refused to leave the locker room until the owners agreed to negotiate with their union. The All-Stars were prepared to strike on what was essentially the most important night in the league's history — and the essence of their own personal future. But they weren't bluffing. At almost the...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: Yogi Berra died last night at the age of 90. In remembrance of his passing, let's go back 10 years and listen to a commentary Frank Deford delivered in honor of a man who was both a baseball legend and one of the game's truly great characters. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST) FRANK DEFORD, BYLINE: I suppose folks would say Muhammad Ali is the most famous living athlete in this country, or possibly...

On Wednesday, in honor of footballs that are inflated, we must discuss extra points. The NFL is monkeying around with the extra point again. You think it should? Do you have a better idea? Do we even need an extra point? Why do we have an extra point? Well, the extra point is vestigial, a leftover from the good old 19th century days when football had identity problems and couldn't decide whether or not it was rugby. Or something. At that point, in fact, what was sort of the extra point...

Some people wanna ban boxing. I just wanna ban boxing movies. You get the feeling sometimes that Hollywood still thinks Joe Louis is heavyweight champion and boxing is still top-tier popular? Yes, there's yet another boxing movie out, this one entitled Southpaw . Oh, please, please. Making boxing movies when boxing is so passé would be like if Hollywood kept making showbiz movies about vaudeville. Click the audio above t o hear Frank Deford's take on movies about boxing. Copyright 2015 NPR....

In the famous Disney movie, a carpenter named Geppetto longed to have a son. He carved a puppet of a boy, and, wouldn't you know it, the wooden Pinocchio magically became a real child. Fantasy games are the Pinocchio of sport, for all who play them become Geppettos. Isn't it the dream of every fan to construct his or her own team, as Geppetto wanted to carve out a son? Fantasy sports allows you to do that. You draft your own players for your make-believe team, and then you bet based on how...

Sport may be dismissed as inconsequential child's play, but there is, in counterpoint, the ideal that sport is our best model for human fairness and equality — a Garden of Eden with competition. But, of course, there are snakes in this athletic garden. Rules will be broken. To my mind there are, in ascending order, three kinds of transgressions. The first is the most simple: transgressions committed in the heat of the action, instinctively, because of frustration, failure or anger. There are...

It was long an article of faith among sport cognoscenti that nothing in athletics approached the sheer electric drama and glamour of a heavyweight championship fight. Well, if you missed it, they had one of those in no less a shrine than Madison Square Garden on Saturday. You could have watched it on plain old TV if you were not already analyzing the NFL draft, following the NBA or NHL playoffs or watching the baseball season unfold. Poor, ignored heavyweights. It may seem extraordinary to...

In an interview airing Friday on ABC, Bruce Jenner is expected to announce that he is transgender, though he has made no such acknowledgment. As the public awaits his presumed revelations, Jenner is still invariably and glibly identified by his paternal connection to the Kardashian clan. It's presented almost anecdotally that he won the gold medal for the Olympic decathlon — the 10-event classic of track and field athleticism — in 1976. But back then, he was a glorified champion and called ...

Wherever you stand on the matter of American exceptionalism, there is one indisputable fact: We are the exception when it comes to soccer. For just about every other nation, soccer is the sport — a far, far better thing than the American dollar, beer, Google or sex. Alas, in the United States, soccer has been more commonly identified with soccer moms than soccer players. But today, soccer is indisputably more visible. Given American football's problems with brain injuries, more of our boys...

Once again, the question of the NFL's pre-eminence — even existence — has been raised with the retirement of Chris Borland , a very good player, who has walked away from the game and millions of dollars at the age of 24 in order to preserve his health, or more specifically, his brain. As always in these well-publicized anti-football cases, observers pop up to note that the other mainstream sport identified with brain damage — boxing — has dramatically declined in popularity, and therefore is...

It's the venerable custom in tennis and golf for the crowd to be still and quiet when players hit their shots. Now, since even ordinary baseball batters have some success hitting against 98 mph fastballs with 40,000 fans standing and screaming, do you really believe that great athletes like Novak Djokovic or Rory McIlroy couldn't serve or putt with a few thousand fans hollering? If they'd grown up playing tennis or golf that way, that is. When disorder is a sustaining part of the game,...

OK, after an eight-year investigation, the NCAA hit Syracuse University and its basketball coach, Jim Boeheim, with all sorts of penalties for academic and recruiting violations. Normally in sports media, nobody is particularly surprised whenever any coach is caught, so a great deal of speculation was then diverted to how this might affect Boeheim's "legacy." We are legacy crazy in college sports, anxious to honor coaches with umblemished legacies — the ones who didn't get caught by the crack...

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