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Press Box Access: A Sports History Podcast

Sports & Recreation Podcasts

Sit down with host Todd Jones and other sportswriters who knew the greatest athletes and coaches, and experienced first-hand some of the biggest sports moments in the past 50 years. They’ll share stories behind the stories -- some they’ve only told to each other.

Location:

United States

Description:

Sit down with host Todd Jones and other sportswriters who knew the greatest athletes and coaches, and experienced first-hand some of the biggest sports moments in the past 50 years. They’ll share stories behind the stories -- some they’ve only told to each other.

Language:

English


Episodes

Helene Elliott: “Gretzky was like no one we had seen before.”

2/28/2024
We’re paying a special salute to Helene Elliott by once again publishing my conversation with her in an episode from February 2022. She recently accepted a buyout and ended her stellar 34-plus years at the Los Angeles Times, where she was a sports columnist for the last half of her tenure. Elliott became the first female journalist to be honored by the Hall of Fame of a major professional sport in North America when the Hockey Hall of Fame recognized her in 2005 as winner of the esteemed Elmer Ferguson award. Helene earned widespread respect from her peers and those she covered while also helping to pave the way for other women in sports media during her 47-year career. In this episode, Elliott recounts how Wayne Gretzky set 61 NHL records and triggered a hockey boom in Southern California as an ambassador for that sport. She also has a funny tale about the Great One’s fear of flying. Elliott tells us why the Stanley Cup is the most difficult trophy to win in sports, how great players rise to the occasion like Mark Messier did for the ’94 Rangers, and what it was like to cover the “Miracle on Ice” at the 1980 Olympics. And we hear how Helene overcame barriers faced by female sportswriters to become a Hall of Famer. Oh, and she has a story about Lenny and Squiggy from the old “Laverne & Shirley” TV show. Elliott began writing for Los Angeles Times in 1989. She was a beat reporter for the Lakers and Angels, then spent many years covering hockey and Olympic sports before becoming a columnist in 2006. Helene has covered 17 Olympics, the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, Wimbledon, men’s and women’s World Cup soccer tournaments, and nearly every Stanley Cup Finals since 1980. She won the Best Breaking News Story award from the Associated Press Sports Editors for her story on the labor agreement that ended the NHL lockout in 2005. Her career began at the Chicago Sun-Times in 1977. She moved to New York City in 1979 and wrote for Newsday for the next 10 years before going to the West Coast. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Elliott is a 1977 graduate of the Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, which inducted her into the Medill Hall of Achievement in 2020. Follow Elliott on Twitter: @helenenothelen Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:56:51

Dave Molinari: “Lemieux Taxed the Limits of my Ability to Describe What I Saw.”

2/14/2024
We head to the rink for hockey talk with Dave Molinari, a Hall of Fame writer who has covered the Pittsburgh Penguins and NHL since 1983. His legendary dry, sharp wit comes through in tales about superstars Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby, as well as other great players who have produced five Stanley Cup championships during his tenure on the beat. Molinari tells us about coaching legends Herb Brooks and “Badger” Bob Johnson, a playoff game lasting five overtimes, and old arenas that made the hair stand up on his neck. You’ll laugh about Gene Ubriaco’s escape tunnel, Lou Angotti’s epic rant, and witch doctors entering the press box. Molinari was enshrined in the media wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009 when he received the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for print journalism, which is given each year by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. After beginning his journalism career at the McKeesport Daily News, Molinari joined the Pittsburgh Press as a copy editor in 1980. That paper assigned him to cover the Penguins and NHL in the summer of 1983. When the Pittsburgh Press folded at the end of 1992, Molinari moved to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and continued covering the Penguins and NHL until 2017, when his primary responsibility became Penn State football. He returned to hockey writing and the Penguins beat in June 2019 when, after 39-plus years at newspapers, he joined DK Pittsburgh Sports, a subscription website. Molinari began writing for a different website, Pittsburgh Hockey Now, in May 2022. After growing up in the McKeesport suburbs of Glassport and Elizabeth Township near Pittsburgh, Molinari earned a journalism degree from Penn State. He is the author of two books: “Mario Lemieux: Best There Ever Was,” written along with Ron Cook and Chuck Finder. “Best in the Game: The Turbulent Story of the Pittsburgh Penguins' Rise to Stanley Cup Champions” You can follow Dave on X: @MolinariPGH Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:01:02:14

Mike Vaccaro: “Isiah Thomas is on the Back Page in a Full Clown Suit.”

1/31/2024
We travel to the Big Apple and beyond as New York Post sports columnist Mike Vaccaro shares tales from 35 years of living his childhood dream job. Isiah Thomas depicted in a tabloid clown suit. John Calipari’s colorful language in a full rant. A postseason run by the Yankees in the wake of 9/11. Badminton (yes, badminton) at the Olympics. Fifty-nine hockey columns in 61 days. Six newspapers on the daily beat of Arkansas sports. That time he was fired. Vac recounts all this and more. He also discusses returning to work since his left leg needed to be amputated below the knee in 2022 because of health issues. Welcome back Vac. Vaccaro has been the lead sports columnist for the New York Post since 2002, and he has been named New York Sportswriter of the Year four times by the National Sports Media Association. He has covered the Olympics, World Cup soccer, Super Bowl, NBA Finals, World Series, Stanley Cup playoffs, Final Four and college football championship games numerous times. Vac not only writes about local, national, and international sports, he also writes a Sunday column called “Open Mike.” The Associated Press Sports Editors, the New York State Publishers Association, the New York Press Club, and the Poynter Institute are among those that have awarded Vaccaro more than 100 journalism honors during his career, which began in 1989 at the Olean (N.Y) Times Herald. He became the sports editor of the Northwest Arkansas Times in 1991, then wrote sports columns for the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record, Kansas City Star, and Newark Star-Ledger before joining the New York Post in November 2002. Vaccaro is the author of three books: “Emperors and Idiots” (about the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry); “1941 – The Greatest Year in Sports”; and “The First Fall Classic” (about the 1912 World Series). A native of West Hempstead, N.Y., Vaccaro graduated in 1989 from St. Bonaventure University, where his name was added to the Jandoli School Wall of Distinguished Graduates in 2022. You can read Vaccaro’s columns for the New York Post at this link: https://nypost.com/author/mike-vaccaro/ Here is Vac’s column about how past personal struggles helped make 2023 a glorious year: https://nypost.com/2023/12/23/sports/past-personal-struggles-helped-make-2023-a-glorious-year/ @MikeVacc Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:59:58

"The Greatest: Media Share Memories of Muhammad Ali in and out of The Ring"

1/17/2024
We’re saluting Muhammad Ali on his 82nd birthday with a compilation of stories told on Press Box Access by sportswriters who crossed paths with The Greatest. Dave Kindred, Jerry Izenberg and other veteran scribes share their personal memories of Ali going as far back as 1960. They put us ringside at Ali’s greatest fights such as “The Rumble in the Jungle” and “The Thrilla in Manila.” They take us on trains, into hotel rooms, and onto the banks of Africa’s Congo River. We even go to the circus with the heavyweight champ and world-renowned activist and humanitarian. Enjoy our treasure trove of Ali tales. Dave Kindred, on my Mount Rushmore of sportswriters, covered 17 of Ali’s fights, dating back to when he wrote for The Courier-Journal in the champ’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Jerry Izenberg, who began his amazing journalism career in 1951, covered more of Ali’s fights than any sportswriter, including epic bouts with Joe Frazier and George Foreman that live on in boxing history. Tom Archdeacon has covered more than 200 fights as a columnist and honored boxing writer in Ohio and Florida, and he not only sat ringside at Ali’s final three bouts but also went to the circus with him. Tim Smith covered the fight game for many years at The New York Times, New York Daily News, and Cincinnati Enquirer, and he now works for Haymon Sports, a boxing management company. Thom Loverro, sports columnist at The Washington Times and an honored boxing writer, first met Ali as a young reporter visiting training camp in the late 1970s. Vito Stellino is best known as a longtime NFL writer, but he was ringside at Madison Square Garden in 1971 as a reporter covering the legendary Ali-Frazier I. Mary Schmitt Boyer puts us in Atlanta, Georgia on the night when Ali lit the Olympic torch, providing her a most treasured memory of the many Olympics that she covered. George Diaz had encounters with Ali as a longtime Florida boxing writer, and he’s also the ghostwriter of legendary fighter Roberto Duran’s autobiography, “I Am Duran.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:01:19:26

Jayson Stark: “The Baseball Breaks a Window Across the Street from Wrigley Field.”

1/3/2024
Our show’s 75th episode has a special guest in Jayson Stark, one of the most well-respected, well-liked baseball writers for more than 40 years. His passion for the game and craft shines through as he discusses growing up as Stan Hochman’s pen pal, studying Peter Gammons early in his career, and mentoring other young reporters. Jayson has some wild tales – including a near punch by Dickie Noles, and Dallas Green’s special gift – from being a beat writer covering the early ’80s Philadelphia Phillies. Hear how Jayson developed his weekly baseball column, renowned since 1983 for humor, oddball stats and offbeat facts. He tells us about a World Series game that he considers the best in history. And there’s even a story connecting a Sammy Sosa homer and a certain Frenchman. The Baseball Writers’ Association of America named Stark the 2019 winner of its Career Excellence Award, which he received at the Hall of Fame induction weekend in Cooperstown, New York. Jayson worked 21 years at his hometown Philadelphia Inquirer, first serving as the Phillies’ beat reporter (1979-82) and then becoming the paper’s national baseball writer and columnist in ’83. His Baseball Week in Review column proved so popular in syndication that it continued after he was hired by ESPN in 2000. For the next 17 years, Stark served as a senior baseball writer for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine while making regular appearances on the cable network’s TV shows “Baseball Tonight,” “SportsCenter” and “Outside the Lines,” as well as regular ESPN Radio guest spots on “Mike and Mike” and as co-host of a weekly radio show during the baseball season on ESPN Radio’s affiliate in Philadelphia. His TV work includes appearances on Major League Baseball Productions, NFL Films and Philadelphia’s Comcast SportsNet. He is also a former baseball analyst for the Sports Fan radio network and a commentator on the Phillies’ pregame radio show. Despite his popularity and proficiency, Stark was laid off by ESPN in April 2017. He has been covering baseball at The Athletic and MLB Network since 2018. Jayson also served as a columnist for Baseball America for 16 years and has written for Sports Illustrated, Sport, Inside Sports, Sporting News, Men’s Fitness and Athlon. His first job in journalism was at the Providence Journal (1975-78). Stark has won an Emmy for his work on "Baseball Tonight," has been inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame and is a two-time winner of the Pennsylvania Sportswriter of the Year award given by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. He was a finalist for that group’s National Sportswriter of the Year award in 2017. Stark was honored by Penn State’s Foster Conference for Distinguished Writers in 2010. He has won several awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors, and he was inducted into the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. That year, Topps issued a Jayson Stark baseball card. Jayson is the author of three books: “Wild Pitches: Rumblings, Grumblings, and Reflections on the Game I Love” (2014) “Worth The Wait: Tales of the 2008 Phillies” (2011) “The Stark Truth: The Most Overrated and Underrated Players in Baseball History” (2007) Stark earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University in 1973. He was born in Philadelphia and grew up in the city’s Northeast section. His mother, June Herder Stark, wrote for the Philadelphia Record and worked alongside legendary sportswriter Red Smith. She later edited the Philadelphia edition of Where Magazine. You can follow Stark on X: @jaysonst Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:01:01:53

Mike DeCourcy: “It Was Like Being Given a Ticket to Heaven.”

12/20/2023
Mike DeCourcy puts us courtside with tales from his distinguished career covering college basketball for nearly four decades. He tells us about the greatest game he ever covered and the first machine he ever filed a story on. Mike gives insight from time spent with coaches such as Mike Krzyzewski, Bob Huggins, Nolan Richardson and Skip Prosser. We discuss how national narratives follow certain people and programs. And we get a dose of college football as Mike recalls working the Penn State beat when Joe Paterno was at the height of his power. DeCourcy, a member of the United States Basketball Writers Hall of Fame, is in his 37th season of covering college basketball, including 29 seasons for The Sporting News. He’ll be working his 34th Final Four in 2024. Mike has been a studio analyst at the Big Ten Network since 2010 and an NCAA tournament bracket analyst for Fox Sports since 2020. His career began in 1983 at the Pittsburgh Press, where he spent the next 10 years. Mike then moved to Memphis at the Commercial Appeal (1993-97) before joining the Cincinnati Enquirer (1997-2000). While working in Cincinnati and Memphis, DeCourcy also served as college basketball columnist at The Sporting News, beginning in 1995. He joined The Sporting News fulltime in 2000. Besides college hoops, Mike also writes frequently about the NFL and soccer in his role as senior writer. He writes magazine-length features, enterprise, analysis, and covers breaking news. DeCourcy is the author of two books: “Legends of College Basketball: The 100 Greatest Players of All Time” and “Inside Basketball: From the Playgrounds to the NBA.” Mike was born in Pittsburgh and graduated from Point Park University there in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication. You can follow him on X: @tsnmike Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:59:40

Art Thiel: “It was a Grand Experiment in Mayhem.”

12/6/2023
You can almost hear a crackling campfire as Art Thiel shares stories from his nearly 50 years of writing about sports. Art takes us deep into his home base of Seattle, off to foreign lands for the Olympics, and into a trashed casino after Mike Tyson chomped Evander Holyfield’s ear. Hear about a young Bill Walton, the volatile SuperSonics of George Karl, and how the 1995 Mariners saved baseball in Seattle. Art recalls his years of covering Ken Griffey Jr. and Lou Piniella with humor and insight. We learn about his unique vantage point from an NBA media seat created by a team owner who wanted him arrested. Oh, and there’s a story about beer, bread, and kangaroos. Seriously. Thiel knows all the rings in the sports tree of the Pacific Northwest, where he has been a professional journalist since 1975, including 29 years as columnist at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He covered numerous Olympics, Super Bowls, and World Series after joining the P-I in 1980 and serving as the Post-Intelligencer’s sports columnist from ’87 until the print edition died in 2009. Art continued writing for the paper’s website until 2010, when he left to become co-founder, president and columnist at Sportspress Northwest. He spent 12 years writing for SportsPressNW.com – which focused on Seattle’s pro teams and University of Washington sports – until that website stopped publishing in 2022. Art now writes for PostAlley.org, a Seattle-centric website. Art’s career began at the Bellevue (Wash.) Journal-American after he graduated in 1975 with a communications degree at Pacific Lutheran University, where he played basketball. He then moved to The News Tribune in Tacoma, Washington, where he grew up, before becoming a mainstay at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 1980. Thiel was also a well-known radio sports commentator on the Seattle NPR affiliate KPLU-FM, on ESPN 710 Seattle, and on KNKX. He wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field,” which became a regional bestseller. Art is also co-author of “Russel Wilson: Standing Tall” and co-author of “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists.” You can follow him on X: @Art_Thiel Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:01:10:15

Diane Pucin: “It Was All Tonya, Tonya, Tonya, Nancy, Nancy, Nancy.”

11/22/2023
Diane Pucin recalls with pride and joy how the sports calendar served as the rhythm of her life for nearly 40 years. Bob Knight throwing a chair. Jimmy Connors sending the U.S. Open crowd into a frenzy. The distinct sound of Pete Sampras’ racquet when he hit a tennis ball. An emotional Dan Jansen finally winning a gold medal. Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding going full soap opera. Pucin tells us what it was like to be at these moments and chronicle them. She also discusses breaking barriers for female sports journalists. Shame on Jim Fregosi. And Diane shares her 9/11 experience, including what nearly happened to her on that horrific morning. Pucin covered multiple Olympics, Super Bowls, Final Fours, World Series, all four major tennis tournaments, college football bowl games, and the Tour de France. She was a sports columnist, sports media critic, and an Olympic and tennis writer for the Los Angeles Times from 1998 to 2014. She had previously worked 12 years at the Philadelphia Inquirer, where from 1986 to ’98, she covered Olympics, college basketball, tennis and became a columnist. That paper nominated her coverage of the Barcelona Olympics for the Pulitzer Prize. In Philly, she also won awards for column writing and a first-place award from the Associated Press Sports Editors for a game story. From 1978 to ’86, Diane worked at the Louisville Courier-Journal, where she was a beat reporter on Indiana University football and basketball. She also was a sports reporter at the Cincinnati Post, as well as the Columbus (Ga.) Enquirer. Pucin graduated from Marquette University in 1976. Follow her on X: @DianePucin Fun fact: Diane’s husband, Dan Weber, is a longtime sportswriter and was my first professional editor in 1987 at the Kentucky Post in Covington, Ky. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:54:58

Charles Pierce part 2: “Tiger Woods Tells These Jokes and then it Becomes a Thing.”

11/8/2023
Part 2 of my conversation with Charles Pierce continues with more discussion about basketball icon Larry Bird. Pierce, lead political writer for Esquire, also shares in this second of two episodes why covering the NBA in the 1980s was a highlight of his nearly 50 years of writing about sports. He provides anecdotes about Tom Brady and Bill Belichick that illuminate their grand NFL partnership. Pierce recalls the crazy and memorable days at The National Sports Daily. And he breaks down how he reported and wrote his famous GQ magazine profile of the young Tiger Woods. Make sure to check out part 1 with Pierce. In that first episode, we discussed bars, Bird, Bill Buckner’s error, Ben Johnson’s drug scandal, and 1980s Big East basketball: https://evergreenpodcasts.com/press-box-access/charles-pierce-part-1-they-rolled-the-champagne-out-of-the-red-soxs-locker-room#episodeContent Pierce has been the lead political writer for Esquire since September 2011. He worked nine years for the Boston Globe as a reporter, sports columnist and staff writer for that paper’s Sunday magazine starting in 2002. He had previously been a sports columnist for the Boston Herald. Pierce left the Globe in 2011 to join Esquire fulltime after having been a contributing writer for that magazine since 1997. He was a feature writer and columnist for The National Sports Daily in 1990 and ’91. His articles on sports and politics have also appeared in GQ, Sports Illustrated, the New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Nation, The Atlantic American Prospect, Slate, the Chicago Tribune, ESPN’s Grantland, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, and the Media Matters blog Altercation. Pierce has made appearances on ESPN’s “Around the Horn” and often co-hosted NESN’s “Globe 10.0” with Bob Ryan. Pierce was a longtime regular panelist on the NPR quiz show “Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!” and has made appearances on the NPR program “Only A Game.” The Massachusetts native began his journalism career in 1976 at his hometown Worcester Magazine before moving to Boston two years later to write for the alternative publication, The Phoenix. In 2018, the United States Basketball Writers Association inducted Pierce into its Hall of Fame. He won a National Headliners Aware in 2004 for his Boston Globe Magazine piece, “Deconstructing Ted.” He has been named a finalist for the Associated Press Sports Editors’ award for best column writing on several occasions. Many of his stories have been featured in the annual compilation, “Best American Sportswriting.” Pierce was a 1996 National Magazine Award finalist for his piece on Alzheimer’s disease, “In the Country of My Disease.” He was awarded third place in the Pro Basketball Writers Association’s Dan S. Blumenthal Memorial Writing Contest. Pierce is the author of four books: · “Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue In The Land Of The Free” · “Moving the Chains: Tom Brady and the Pursuit of Everything” · “Sports Guy: In Search of Corkball, Warroad Hockey, Hooters Golf, Tiger Woods, and the Big, Big Game” · “Hard to Forget: An Alzheimer’s Story” Pierce earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University in 1975. His alma mater honored him with a “2021 Alumni National Award – Byline Award,” to which Pierce responded: “I’d like to think that my getting this award might encourage students who don’t feel like they fit in and show them that this profession still values ferocious eccentricity.” Here’s a link to Pierce’s political blog for Esquire: https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/ You can follow him on X at: @CharlesPPierce Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:55:25

Charles Pierce part 1: “They Rolled the Champagne out of the Red Sox’s Locker Room.”

10/25/2023
Charles Pierce takes time away from his job as lead political writer for Esquire to reflect on his nearly 50 years of experiences as a sportswriter. In this part 1 of a 2-part episode, Pierce recalls covering Bill Buckner’s error, Ben Johnson’s drug scandal at the Seoul Olympics, and the rollicking days of Big East basketball in the 1980s. He also provides insight into Larry Bird as a person and basketball icon. Oh, and we discuss bars, too. Sportswriters understand. Part 2 of my conversation with Pierce will be published on Nov. 8 and include more stories about Bird and discussion about Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, the NBA of the 1980s and early ’90s, the National Sports Daily, and other tales. Pierce has been the lead political writer for Esquire since September 2011. He worked nine years for the Boston Globe as a reporter, sports columnist and staff writer for that paper’s Sunday magazine starting in 2002. He had previously been a sports columnist for the Boston Herald. Pierce left the Globe in 2011 to join Esquire fulltime after having been a contributing writer for that magazine since 1997. He was a feature writer and columnist for The National Sports Daily in 1990 and ’91. His articles on sports and politics have also appeared in GQ, Sports Illustrated, the New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Nation, The Atlantic American Prospect, Slate, the Chicago Tribune, ESPN’s Grantland, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, and the Media Matters blog Altercation. Pierce has made appearances on ESPN’s “Around the Horn” and often co-hosted NESN’s “Globe 10.0” with Bob Ryan. Pierce was a longtime regular panelist on the NPR quiz show “Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!” and has made appearances on the NPR program “Only A Game.” The Massachusetts native began his journalism career in 1976 at his hometown Worcester Magazine before moving to Boston two years later to write for the alternative publication, The Phoenix. In 2018, the United States Basketball Writers Association inducted Pierce into its Hall of Fame. He won a National Headliners Aware in 2004 for his Boston Globe Magazine piece, “Deconstructing Ted.” He has been named a finalist for the Associated Press Sports Editors’ award for best column writing on several occasions. Many of his stories have been featured in the annual compilation, “Best American Sportswriting.” Pierce was a 1996 National Magazine Award finalist for his piece on Alzheimer’s disease, “In the Country of My Disease.” He was awarded third place in the Pro Basketball Writers Association’s Dan S. Blumenthal Memorial Writing Contest. Pierce is the author of four books: · “Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue In The Land Of The Free” · “Moving the Chains: Tom Brady and the Pursuit of Everything” · “Sports Guy: In Search of Corkball, Warroad Hockey, Hooters Golf, Tiger Woods, and the Big, Big Game” · “Hard to Forget: An Alzheimer’s Story” Pierce earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University in 1975. His alma mater honored him with a “2021 Alumni National Award – Byline Award,” to which Pierce responded: “I’d like to think that my getting this award might encourage students who don’t feel like they fit in and show them that this profession still values ferocious eccentricity.” Here’s a link to Pierce’s political blog for Esquire: https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/ You can follow him on X at: @CharlesPPierce Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:55:32

Terence Moore: “I Literally Ran into Woody Hayes.”

10/11/2023
Terence Moore joins us again to share more stories from his 45 years as a ground-breaking and award-winning sports journalist. He takes us behind the scenes of his encounters with Paul Brown, Woody Hayes, Ara Parseghian, John McVay, Walter Alston and other legends who are featured in Moore’s new book, “Red Brick Magic: Sean McVay, John Harbaugh and Miami University's Cradle of Coaches." This is Moore’s second appearance on Press Box Access. Check out his first episode with us from Aug. 18, 2021 when Terence discussed challenges that he faced in breaking down racial barriers in sports media, being a pallbearer at Hank Aaron’s funeral, covering the epic Marvin Hagler-Thomas Hearns brawl, watching Billy Martin trash his office, and more. You can listen to that first episode here: https://evergreenpodcasts.com/press-box-access/terence-moore-you-could-almost-feel-the-punches#episodeContent Moore has covered 30 Super Bowls, numerous World Series and NBA Finals games, Final Fours, several Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500 and other auto races, major prize fights and golf tournaments, college football bowl games and more. In 1999, he was honored by the National Association of Black Journalists for ranking as the longest-running black sports columnist in the history of major newspapers. Terence currently works as a national columnist for Forbes.com, writes opinion pieces for CNN.com, and is a contributor to ESPN.com, MLB.com and MSNBC.com. He also does work for the NFL Network, has a YouTube channel called Atlanta Sports Unlimited, and makes TV appearances every week on Sports Zone Sunday for the local ABC affiliate in Atlanta, the most-watched ABC affiliate in the country. That’s the city’s top-rated sports show. His national TV appearances include a guest spot on The Oprah Winfrey Show, regular commentaries on CNN-SI, and five years as a panelist on ESPN’s Rome is Burning. Terence spent 25 years as a general sports columnist for the Atlanta-Journal Constitution before becoming a national sports columnist for AOL Sports in 2009. He later served as a national columnist for SportsonEarth.com. Before moving to Atlanta in January 1985, Terence spent five years as a reporter at the San Francisco Examiner, where he covered the San Francisco Giants, the Oakland Raiders, the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco 49ers. That followed three years as a sports reporter at the Cincinnati Enquirer, which hired him eight days after he graduated from Miami (Ohio) University in 1978. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:54:39

Sheldon Ocker: “Manny used to use other people's bats, pants, and shirts.”

9/27/2023
Sheldon Ocker reflects on more than four decades of being a sportswriter in northeast Ohio with his customary wit and dry sense of humor. He takes into the clubhouse and behind the scenes during his 33 seasons of covering Major League Baseball in Cleveland for the Akron Beacon Journal. The Hall of Fame writer shares anecdotes from when the then-Indians were miserable in the 1980s and from when they morphed into memorable mashers in the ’90s. Hear about the time Albert Belle raced Ocker in their rental cars, about Manny Ramirez asking him for a $60,000 loan, and about what pitch call Jose Mesa shook off in the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 1997 World Series. Sheldon also has some great tales from his 10 years of covering the NBA as a Cavaliers beat reporter in the 1970s. His story about a day spent with infamous Cavs owner Ted Stepien is one of the best we’ve heard in nearly 70 episodes. Ocker was honored with the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing. He was presented with that award in July 2018 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's induction in Cooperstown, N.Y. Besides his stellar reporting, Ocker was known for rarely taking a day off during a season when he covered baseball from 1981 until his retirement after the 2013 season. Sheldon was named the Ohio Sports Writer of the Year in 1997 and 2000 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. He served as the president of the Baseball Writers’ Assocation of America in 1985 and as chair of the Cleveland chapter 11 times. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:56:17

Filip Bondy: “It Became an Anterior-Posterior Investigation.”

9/13/2023
Filip Bondy describes his four decades as a sportswriter as being “crazy, stupid, frustrating, wonderful and a wild ride.” This episode explains why. Fights between writers. Lou Piniella flipping the bird. The Pine Tar Game’s connection to Rush Limbaugh. Billy Martin at his worst. John McEnroe relaying a message for Howard Cosell. Spying on Bernard King. Riding shotgun with Hubie Brown. Travel horror stories. The British press at Wimbledon. An infamous Olympic question. Nancy and Tonya. A mugging near Shea. Oh, and that rental car and . . . a portable toilet. The Associated Press Sports Editors named Bondy one of the top ten sports columnists in America during a career that took him to 48 states, 40 countries, six continents and regular assignments at the Olympics, World Cup and Wimbledon. He also covered the Super Bowl and World Series multiple times, as well as several NBA and Stanley Cup finals. Besides being a columnist, he was a beat writer on local Major League Baseball, NBA and NHL teams for four different newspapers in the New York City market. Bondy spent two stints at the New York Daily News, first from 1983 to ’91, and then as a regular columnist from 1993 until 2015. In-between, he worked two years at the New York Times, primarily as an Olympic and hockey writer. His career began in 1973 as a City Hall reporter, theatre critic and basketball writer for the Paterson (N.J.) News. After leaving to earn his M.A. in Communications at the University of Pennsylvania ’76, Bondy returned to the Paterson News in 1976 as a sportswriter. Four years later, he joined The Record of Hackensack, N.J., where he covered baseball and basketball until moving to the Daily News for the first time in 1983. Bondy is the author or co-author of eight books: “The Pine Tar Game: The Kansas City Royals, the New York Yankees, and Baseball's Most Absurd and Entertaining Controversy” “Tip-Off: How the 1984 NBA Draft Changed Basketball Forever” “The Selling of the Green: The Financial Rise and Moral Decline of the Boston Celtics” – co-author of Harvey Araton “Who's on Worst?: The Lousiest Players, Biggest Cheaters, Saddest Goats and Other Antiheroes in Baseball History” “Bleeding Pinstripes: A Season with the Bleacher Creatures at Yankee Stadium “Dreams of Gold” – co-author with Wayne Coffey “Chasing the Game: America and the Quest for the World Cup” “The World Cup: Players, Coaches, History and Excitement” You can follow Filip on X: @filipbondy. His son, Stefan Bondy, currently covers the New York Knicks for the New York Daily News. @SBondyNYDN Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:56:37

Geoff Calkins: “It Turned into a Prince Concert in the Press Conference.”

8/30/2023
Geoff Calkins takes us to Memphis, where he has been a high-profile fixture in the sports media scene for 27 years. He tells us about the indefatigable Hubie Brown, a voicemail from the volatile Jerry West, and what the view was like from atop John Calipari’s enemies list. Geoff explains the torture of writing on deadline at an overtime NCAA championship game. He recalls his struggles as a baseball beat reporter and what it was like to cover a Mike Tyson heavyweight championship fight. And he shares a tale involving exotic food at an Olympics. Oh my. Geoff also explains how his childhood leukemia led to writing, and why sports journalism lured him out of a career in law. Calkins has been named the best sports columnist in the country four times by the Associated Press Sports Editors and is a member of the Scripps Howard Hall of Fame. He recently moved to general news columnist at The Daily Memphian, where he had been writing a sports column since 2018 after spending the previous 22 years as the sports columnist for the Commercial Appeal in Memphis. He still hosts “The Geoff Calkins Show,” his sports radio program since 2010, five days a week. His 2016 book, “After the Jump,” chronicles how the Memphis sports scene grew over two decades. Before moving to Memphis, Calkins covered the Florida Marlins for the Sun-Sentinel of South Florida from 1994-96, and he was a high school sports reporter at the Anniston Star in Alabama for two years. Geoff had previously been a clerk in the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, and a labor and employment attorney in Washington D.C. Switching from a law career to sports writing at age 31 eventually took Calkins to eight Olympics, multiple Super Bowls, World Series, and Masters golf tournaments. He has won various journalism awards, including a first-place honor in the 2022 APSE contest for a feature story looking back 20 years at Tyson’s loss to Lennox Lewis in Memphis. Calkins graduated from Harvard in 1983 and from Harvard Law in ’87. He served as editor-in-chief for the school’s paper, The Harvard Independent, and worked summer internships for Time Life and the Miami Herald. He earned a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of Journalism. Calkins grew up outside Buffalo, New York as the eighth of nine children. You can follow him on X: @geoff_calkins Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:56:26

John McGrath: “It Was a Front-Row Seat to the Greatest Sports Events.”

8/16/2023
We trek into the Pacific Northwest and catch up with John McGrath about his 40 years of writing about sports. He puts us in Dodger Stadium for Kirk Gibson’s famous home run and recounts other deadline horrors. We’re on the field for The Drive, and with John as he stumbles unexpectedly into memorable Olympic moments. He recalls time with a young Michael Jordan, John Elway in his prime, and Bo Jackson playing baseball. Hear about John butting heads with Ken Griffey Jr., and how a magic run by the Mariners saved baseball in Seattle. Oh, and John shares his reaction behind the keyboard as the Seahawks lined up to pass from the one with a Super Bowl on the line. McGrath was the sports columnist at the Tacoma News Tribune from 1991 until his retirement in 2018. He was a fixture in Seattle, 45 minutes away, and at national and international sporting events. John covered six Olympics and a slew of World Series, Super Bowls, All-Star Games, Final Fours, and championship boxing matches. Prior to his 27 years in Tacoma, McGrath was a columnist, based in Chicago, for the National Sports Daily from 1989 until that paper folded in 1991. Before that, he was a sports columnist for the Denver Post from 1984-89. John was a general assignment sports reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from 1981-84 after working a year at the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi. His journalism career began at the Columbia Daily Tribune in Missouri in 1978-79. John is a native of Elmhurst, Illinois, outside Chicago. He graduated from the University of Missouri in 1976. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:54:45

Peter King: “It Was the Golden Age of Covering the NFL.”

8/2/2023
Peter King enters his 40th year of covering the NFL by sharing tales from his distinguished career. He recalls giving a car ride to rookie Boomer Esiason, being questioned by Bill Parcells as a young reporter, and watching an old movie at the home of Brett Favre. Peter tells us about being around Lawrence Taylor daily and what made L.T. special. Hear how Mike Holmgren granted King unlimited access to the Packers for a week. And Peter talks about owning up to mistakes like the one he made while reporting on Deflategate, how he has balanced working relationships with sources, and much more. King is a prolific NFL analyst for NBC Sports, which he joined in 2018 after 29 years of covering professional football for Sports Illustrated. He has been named national sportswriter of the year three times (2010, ’12, and ’13) in a vote of his peers by the National Sports Media Association. Peter has been a member of the Board of Selectors for the Pro Football Hall of Fame since 1992 and he became a Hall of Famer himself in 2009 when the Pro Football Writers of America named him recipient of the Dick McCann Memorial Award. Peter writes a Monday morning NFL column each week for NBCSports.com, makes weekly appearances on “Pro Football Talk Live” with Mike Florio, and, as he has since the station’s Sunday night studio show debuted in 2006, contributes to “Football Night in America.” He also appears on “The NFL on NBC” YouTube Channel and hosts “The Peter King Podcast.” In addition to his pro football responsibilities, King reports on NBC Sports’ high-profile events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The nearly three decades King spent at Sports Illustrated were highlighted by the widely popular “Monday Morning Quarterback” column that he wrote from 1997 through 2018. The column morphed into “The MMQ,” a pro football microsite for which he also served as editor-in-chief, overseeing a staff of reporters during his final five years at SI. Besides appearances as an NFL insider on NBC, King has worked on television for the HBO show “Inside the NFL” as a managing editor and reporter, was a halftime correspondent on ABC’s “Monday Night Football,” and served as an NFL reporter for CNN. After an internship at the Associated Press, King’s career began in 1980 with a five-year stint at the Cincinnati Enquirer, mostly as a general assignment reporter before taking on the Bengals’ beat in 1984. A year later, he moved to Newsday, where he covered the New York Giants until leaving to join Sports Illustrated in ’89. King earned a bachelor of science degree from Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of journalism in 1979. He was born in Springfield, Mass., and grew up in Enfield, Conn. Follow him on Twitter: @peter_king Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:58:19

Patrick Reusse part 2: “When the Beer Runs Out, the Bullshit Stops.”

7/19/2023
This is the second and final part of my conversation with the great storyteller Patrick Reusse, who looks back with humor and irreverence at his 60 years covering Minnesota sports. He takes us on journeys to small towns throughout his home state, recalls the world champion Twins managed by Tom Kelly, and puts us there when Roger Staubach’s Hail Mary Pass caused a whiskey bottle to fly. The longtime sports columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and a member of the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame also recounts the heat and humor in an epic rant by Vikings coach Jerry Burns. And Pat talks about contrition and lessons learned in his coming around to appreciate women’s athletics. Reusse, 77, is senior columnist for the Star Tribune and is also the host of two popular podcasts: "Reusse Unchained" and "Monday Night Sports Talk with Patrick Reusse and Joe Soucheray." Patrick’s newspaper career started in 1963 as a copy boy for the Minneapolis Morning Tribune. Two years later, he began writing for the Duluth News-Tribune and Herald, then quickly moved to the St. Cloud Times. In 1968, Reusse joined the St. Paul Pioneer Press, where he went on to cover the Twins from 1974-78 before serving as that paper’s sports columnist for nine years, beginning in 1979. He moved to the Star Tribune in 1988 as sports columnist. The native of Fulda, Minnesota also became a fixture in Twin Cities talk radio and television. He was inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2019. Patrick has done radio and podcast work with KSTP-1500 since 1980, when he partnered with Soucheray on “Sunday Night Sports Talk.” They shared the airwaves together or independently on “Sports Talk” in various forms nearly every year since. Patrick also hosted “Reusse & Company” for that station (2009-10) and co-hosted “Reusse & Mackey” with Phil Mackey from 2010-14. His show “The Ride with Reusse” appeared weekdays from 2014 until September 2018. Reusse began his radio career at KFAM-AM in St. Cloud in the mid-1960s, Reusse was also a 20-year panelist on “The Sports Show,” which aired on WUCW-TV, Fox Sports North, and Victory Sports One. Other panelists included Hartman, Mike Max, and George Chappel, better known by his nickname Dark Star. Books: · “Tales from the Minnesota Sports Beat: A Lifetime on Deadline.” - Co-authored with Chip Scoggins. Dan Barreiro (foreword). · “Tony Oliva: The Life and Times of a Minnesota Twins Legend” – by Thom Henninger. Reusse (foreword). · “Minnesota Vikings: The Complete Illustrated History” – by Reusse. Amy Klobuchar (afterword) · “Sid! The Sports Legends, the Inside Scoops, and the Close Personal Friends” – co-authored with Sid Hartman · “Minnesota Twins: The Complete Illustrated History” – co-authored with Dennis Brackin and Harmon Killebrew · “Minnesota Sports Almanac” – by Joel A. Rippel. Reusse (foreword). · “Michael Jordan Super Sports Stars Series (Stars of the Court series)” – by Reusse Follow him on Twitter: @Patrick_Reusse Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:40:28

Patrick Reusse part 1: “The Turkey is Unbeaten.”

7/5/2023
This is part 1 of a rollicking two-part conversation with Patrick Reusse, longtime sports columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and a member of the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Reusse looks back at his 60 years covering Minnesota sports in his engaging, irreverent, and self-deprecating style. In this first episode, he recalls Glen Sonmor’s hockey goons, offers his classic explanation to Vikings general manager Mike Lynn about his philosophy for covering the team, and tells us how the idea for his Turkey of the Year Awards column originated and grew into a much-anticipated Thanksgiving tradition. Patrick provides some humorous tales, as well as a poignant moment with Gene Mauch, from his years as a baseball beat writer covering the Twins. Reusse also goes deep into his complicated relationship with Sid Hartman, another Minnesota media legend who was still working at age 100 when he died in 2020. Reusse, 77, is senior columnist for the Star Tribune and is also the host of two popular podcasts: "Reusse Unchained" and "Monday Night Sports Talk with Patrick Reusse and Joe Soucheray." Patrick’s newspaper career started in 1963 as a copyboy for the Minneapolis Morning Tribune. Two years later, he began writing for the Duluth News-Tribune and Herald, then quickly moved to the St. Cloud Times. In 1968, Reusse joined the St. Paul Pioneer Press, where he went on to cover the Twins from 1974-78 before serving as that paper’s sports columnist for nine years, beginning in 1979. He moved to the Star Tribune in 1988 as sports columnist. The native of Fulda, Minnesota also became a fixture in Twin Cities talk radio and television. He was inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2019. Patrick has done radio and podcast work with KSTP-1500 since 1980, when he partnered with Soucheray on “Sunday Night Sports Talk.” They shared the airwaves together or independently on “Sports Talk” in various forms nearly every year since. Patrick also hosted “Reusse & Company” for that station (2009-10) and co-hosted “Reusse & Mackey” with Phil Mackey from 2010-14. His show “The Ride with Reusse” appeared weekdays from 2014 until September 2018. Reusse began his radio career at KFAM-AM in St. Cloud in the mid-1960s, Reusse was also a 20-year panelist on “The Sports Show,” which aired on WUCW-TV, Fox Sports North, and Victory Sports One. Other panelists included Hartman, Mike Max, and George Chappel, better known by his nickname Dark Star. Books: · “Tales from the Minnesota Sports Beat: A Lifetime on Deadline.” - Co-authored with Chip Scoggins. Dan Barreiro (foreword). · “Tony Oliva: The Life and Times of a Minnesota Twins Legend” – by Thom Henninger. Reusse (foreword). · “Minnesota Vikings: The Complete Illustrated History” – by Reusse. Amy Klobuchar (afterword) · “Sid! The Sports Legends, the Inside Scoops, and the Close Personal Friends” – co-authored with Sid Hartman · “Minnesota Twins: The Complete Illustrated History” – co-authored with Dennis Brackin and Harmon Killebrew · “Minnesota Sports Almanac” – by Joel A. Rippel. Reusse (foreword). · “Michael Jordan Super Sports Stars Series (Stars of the Court series)” – by Reusse Follow him on Twitter: @Patrick_Reusse Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:44:46

Liz Clarke: “His death was unfathomable because it was Earnhardt.”

6/21/2023
Liz Clarke looks back on her “accidental career” as a sportswriter with the same thoughtfulness she always put into her stellar work. Much of our conversation focuses on NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt. Hear how she gained his trust in part by not being in awe of him, how his tough-guy exterior hid a soft heart, and how covering his death in the 2001 Daytona 500 shook Liz. She takes us along for “pinch-me moments” – such as the crowd’s emotional response to seeing Nelson Mandela at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa – from years of traveling the globe for The Washington Post. And we talk about the stress, the challenges, and the special camaraderie shared in a job that captured her heart amid sport’s wide range of emotions. Clarke retired in April 2023 after 37 years as a reporter, the last 25 of them at The Washington Post, where she focused on enterprise stories, the Olympics, college sports, auto racing, and tennis. She also spent eight seasons covering Washington's NFL team and the scandals surrounding team owner Dan Snyder. Liz covered nine Summer and Winter Olympics, three World Cups, multiple Super Bowls, NCAA Tournament Final Fours, more than a dozen Daytona 500s, a half-dozen Indianapolis 500s, Wimbledon, the French Open, and thoroughbred racing’s Preakness and Belmont Stakes. Before joining The Washington Post in 1998, Liz worked as a sportswriter at USA Today, the Dallas Morning News and The Charlotte Observer. She covered NASCAR for those three newspapers, and she is the author of the 2008 book, "One Helluva Ride: How NASCAR Swept the Nation." Liz was twice named National Motorsports Writer of the Year, in 1996 an ’98. Her other honors and awards include best sports feature in 2017 from the Society of Features Journalism, and best game story from the Associated Press Sports Editors in 2009. Clarke began her career as a news reporter for the Raleigh (NC) News & Observer, covering higher education. She earned a BA in history at Barnard College, Columbia University; and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduate studies in journalism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:58:37

Thom Loverro: “You could just wander into camp and watch Ali train.”

6/7/2023
Thom Loverro says boxing has the best stories, and he shares some favorites from many years inside the fight game. He takes us to Muhammad Ali’s training camp, puts us ringside for Mike Tyson’s ear chomp, and takes us behind the scenes on the day Riddick Bowe defends his heavyweight title. Hear about Las Vegas, George Foreman’s power and preaching, and the wisdom of trainer Eddie Futch. Thom also shares moments from other sports he has covered, including memorable baseball highs and lows involving Cal Ripken Jr. and Roberto Alomar. In 2019, Loverro was honored with the Nat Fleischer Award for lifetime achievement in boxing journalism by the Boxing Writers Association of America. Three years earlier, he was inducted into the Washington, D.C. Boxing Hall of Fame. Thom has been featured on several HBO Legendary Nights programs and ESPN's Sports Classics about boxing. He has covered numerous world championship fights over the past three decades, as well as three Olympics, the World Series, the NFL, NBA, and NHL playoffs. In 2005, Thom was one of just three sportswriters to be invited to the Oval Office in The White House to interview President Bush about baseball. Loverro has won more than 40 national, regional, and local journalism awards, including an honor from the Associated Press Sports Editors association for his 2014 article in which he revealed, through the Freedom of Information Act, that the FBI believed the first Sonny Liston-Cassius Clay fight was fixed. Thom was voted Maryland Sportswriter of the Year in 2009 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. His other honors include first place in the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and being named best sports columnist in the Virginia Press Association competition three times. Loverro’s journalism career began in 1977. After working for a couple of small newspapers in Pennsylvania, he a joined the Baltimore Sun in 1984. There, he spent eight years as a news editor and reporter, covering crime, politics, and government. Thom moved to sports in 1992 when The Washington Times hired him to cover the then-Redskins. A year later, he switched to baseball and served three seasons as the paper’s beat writer on the Baltimore Orioles. The Washington Examiner hired Thom as a sports columnist in 2009. Four years later, he returned to The Washington Times, where he remains the lead sports columnist. He is co-host of The Kevin Sheehan Show podcast. Check out past episodes of Loverro’s “Cigars & Curveballs” podcast, which featured guests such as Ripken; Foreman, Larry Holmes, Sugar Ray Leonard, Joe Theismann, Dusty Baker, and the creator of “The Wire,” David Simon. Loverro is the author of 11 books: · Washington Redskins: The Authorized History (1996) · Home of the Game: The Story of Camden Yards (1999) · Cammi Granato: Hockey Pioneer (2000) · The Quotable Coach (2002) · The Encyclopedia of Negro League Baseball (2003) · The John Mackey Story, Blazing Trails: Coming of Age in Football's Golden Era (2003) · Oriole Magic: The O's of '83 (2004) · Hail Victory: An Oral History of the Washington Redskins (2006) · The Rise and Fall of Extreme Championship Wrestling (2006) · Eagles Essential (2006) · Orioles Essential (2007) Loverro received a Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Studies from the University of Scranton and a master's degree in Journalism and Public Affairs from American University in Washington. He has taught journalism courses at Georgetown University, Towson State University, and American University. Follow him on Twitter: @thomloverro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:54:59