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...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: TV ratings for the NFL are down - way down. Commentator Frank Deford has some thoughts on why, and none related to America's fascination with this election. FRANK DEFORD, BYLINE: So I start off by saying how much the National Football League is interested in the election next Tuesday. And you scream back at me, the election, the election, I'm trying to get away from the election. You're supposed to divert me...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: Ever noticed how lopsided college football scores can get? Commentator Frank Deford traces them all back to the worst defeat ever. FRANK DEFORD, BYLINE: Two-hundred-twenty-two to 0, the most famous or infamous score in college football, if not in all football, or for that matter in all sport. Listen to it again - 222-0. Friday will be the centennial of this epic slaughter played on October 7, 1916, between...

Since too few Americans go to the polls, I say what this country needs is a bobblehead election, where voters will get free bobblehead dolls of their choice when they show up and vote for president. Hey, it works in sports. And what sports needs is some kind of uniform, sensible policy relating to suspensions. There're just more and more suspensions for more and more reasons, but the length of suspensions seem so random. To begin with, although the NFL season starts Thursday, the Patriots'...

In the television era, the second week of the Olympics is reserved for what is considered the marquee event: track and field. So, the shared premier showcases of the first week are swimming and women's gymnastics. While swimming was always a spotlight sport, I was, if you will, sort of present at the creation when gymnastics became the new star lead-off hitter. Click the audio to hear Frank Deford's full commentary on this issue. All of his sports commentary is available here: Sweetness and...

Pete Rose may not make the Hall of Fame, but a statue of him is going to be erected outside the Cincinnati Reds' ballpark. Statues of sports stars are all the rage — especially in baseball. There are already seven other players frozen in statuary in Cincinnati, nine in St. Louis, six in both Baltimore and Detroit. It makes the legendary Monument Park in Yankee Stadium look like some drab wall in a hospital with the names of donors on plaques. Sports plaques seem so Rotary Club now. There are...

A few years ago during an interview, Dave Pear, a former defensive lineman with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, suddenly, without warning, grabbed me — his huge thumb and forefinger pinching my poor neck. It was only for a few seconds, but my knees started to buckle and the pain shot through me. Calmly then, Dave said, "That's how I used to feel all day long." The point of that little episode is not just to show how painful football can be and how it can leave players like Dave Pear wounded for...

On Thursday, it'll be three months till the Olympics begin. Usually, there'd be a panic by now that construction was way behind schedule, but, incredibly, only a couple of major projects remain incomplete in Rio. No, rather the question remains how much can go haywire during the games to distract us from our enchanting presidential campaign. Click the audio to hear Frank Deford's take on this issue. Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It was not that long ago when the accepted wisdom in football was that the running game had to be established — that was always the obligatory verb: established — before passes could become effective. My, we know how that has changed. Now the pass is established from the get-go, and running is an afterthought. Well, I think it is certified now that basketball has experienced the same sort of offensive sea change. At all levels — with men and women — the 3-point shot has utterly transformed...

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