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.

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4:23am

Wed January 22, 2014
Sweetness And Light

In Ice Skating's Biggest Story, The Media Were Poor Sports

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 8:51 am

Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan at the 1992 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Orlando, Fla.
Phil Sandlin AP

It's difficult to understand why certain athletes are harshly singled out by the media, but one of the most baffling examples has to be the criticism displayed toward figure skater Nancy Kerrigan after she was clubbed in the leg at a practice session just weeks before the 1994 Olympics.

The ex-husband of another member of the U.S. women's team, Tonya Harding, was convicted of arranging the attack. Harding herself was fined and banned from the sport.

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4:17am

Wed January 15, 2014
Sweetness And Light

Women's Team Sports: Where Is The Love?

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 10:51 am

Candace Parker (right) of the Los Angeles Sparks and Candice Dupree of the Phoenix Mercury during Game 2 of their WNBA semifinal series in September.
Matt York AP

Two recent sporting disappointments underscore the state of interest in women in sports. The first: Lindsey Vonn, sadly acknowledging that her injuries were too serious, announced that she would not be able to compete in the Olympics next month. The second: The owners of the Los Angeles Sparks, acknowledging that they were overwhelmed by debt, just gave up the franchise.

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2:22am

Wed December 25, 2013
Sweetness And Light

No Rest For Ye Merry NBA Players This Christmas

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 6:04 pm

Benny and the Elevators perform during the game between the NBA's Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets Dec. 25, 2012. The Bulls are one of 10 NBA teams playing on Christmas Day this year.
David Banks Getty Images

Holidays have long been made for sports. Football has all but replaced the turkey as the signature of Thanksgiving. For decades, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day meant stadiums filled for baseball double-headers. It's almost as if games are now an excuse for holidays, rather than the other way around.

So I now wish you a Merry NBA Day! There will be five nationally televised pro basketball games, lasting 13 straight hours, on Wednesday.

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2:01am

Wed December 18, 2013
Sweetness And Light

Why The American Dream Is Still Alive In Sports

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 9:02 am

Wesley Matthews of the Portland Trail Blazers goes up for the shot as Philadelphia 76ers defend the basket on Saturday in Philadelphia.
Chris Szagola AP

Political innocent I may be, but I find great irony in that, while everybody agrees there is massive inequality in the United States today, it's in sports where the American dream still lives — more than ever.

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4:07am

Wed December 11, 2013
Sweetness And Light

Should Character Count In Sports Awards?

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 9:10 am

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston reacts during the ACC Championship game on Saturday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

The Grammy nominations are in, and the talk now is of what actors will be chosen for the Academy Awards, but not once have I heard anyone suggest that any of the singers or actors may not be nominated because of some character deficiency.

Likewise, when it comes to awards in theater or television or dance or literature, I don't ever recall any candidate losing out because of a personal flaw.

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