A Front-Row Seat with the Sportswriters Who Sat There

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.

All Episodes

Damon Hack: “Don’t Put Your Foot on the Furniture.”

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Damon Hack reflects on his 16 years as a sportswriter and how those experiences informed his work in the past decade as a TV journalist at the Gol...
Listen to Damon Hack: “Don’t Put Your Foot on the Furniture.”

Elliott Almond: Catching a Wave of Sports Memories

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We surf waves, climb mountains, and dive into odorous media mixed zones with Elliott Almond....
Listen to Elliott Almond: Catching a Wave of Sports Memories

Art Spander: “We’re all Running out There in our Pajamas.”

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There’s much to unpack from Art Spander’s joyful journey of six decades as a sportswriter.......
Listen to Art Spander: “We’re all Running out There in our Pajamas.”

Alexander Wolff: A Global Search for Basketball Tales

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Take a trip around the world with Alexander Wolff, one of the most lyrical writers of his era....
Listen to Alexander Wolff: A Global Search for Basketball Tales

David Steele: “He said Len Bias is dead. It just sounded so insane.”

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David Steele recounts the many twists and turns in his nearly four decades as a sportswriter......
Listen to David Steele: “He said Len Bias is dead. It just sounded so insane.”

Bill Koch: “Well, There’s My Second Source.”

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Bill Koch knows Cincinnati sports as well as any journalist after covering his hometown for more than 40 years......
Listen to Bill Koch: “Well, There’s My Second Source.”

Mark Whicker: “We Turn to Athletes to Reaffirm Who We Are.”

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Our 40th guest on Press Box Access is the esteemed Mark Whicker, one of my all-time favorite writers and people in the sports media business....
Listen to Mark Whicker: “We Turn to Athletes to Reaffirm Who We Are.”

Jerry Tipton – “Every Once in a While, You Feel Like You’re Witnessing History.”

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Jerry Tipton knows where all the bones are buried when it comes to University of Kentucky basketball after covering the Wildcats for 41 years....
Listen to Jerry Tipton – “Every Once in a While, You Feel Like You’re Witnessing History.”

Melissa Isaacson – “Michael Never Saw Us as the Enemy.”

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Melissa Isaacson takes us into old Chicago Stadium, where smoke rose to the ceiling while Michael Jordan soared into history....
Listen to Melissa Isaacson – “Michael Never Saw Us as the Enemy.”

Bud Shaw: “He’s Three Inches from my Face, and his Eyes are Bulging.”

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Take a spin around the Cleveland sports scene with Bud Shaw, who spent nearly 27 years there as a columnist with a keen and irreverent eye....
Listen to Bud Shaw: “He’s Three Inches from my Face, and his Eyes are Bulging.”

Tony Barnhart: Going Deep with Mr. College Football

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Tony Barnhart takes us on a trip through some of his favorite memories covering college football for more than four decades....
Listen to Tony Barnhart: Going Deep with Mr. College Football

Dan Wetzel: Looking Past the Black Hats and White Hats

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Dan Wetzel takes us into the gray netherworld of sports, where some writers aren’t willing to tread....
Listen to Dan Wetzel: Looking Past the Black Hats and White Hats

Dave Kindred: Taking us along with Ali, Tiger and Secretariat

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Few sportswriters can match the lyrical and insightful work of Dave Kindred....
Listen to Dave Kindred: Taking us along with Ali, Tiger and Secretariat

Johnette Howard: “Why Do You Think You Can Say That to Me?”

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Johnette Howard has never been afraid to stand her ground while reporting and writing about sports for four decades....
Listen to Johnette Howard: “Why Do You Think You Can Say That to Me?”

Vito Stellino: “I was Lucky to be in the Right Place at the Right Time.”

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Vito Stellino has been writing about the NFL since the players needed off-season jobs to make a living....
Listen to Vito Stellino: “I was Lucky to be in the Right Place at the Right Time.”

Jarrett Bell: Getting personal with the NFL

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Jarrett Bell has been writing about the NFL since 1981, including the past 29 years as a national columnist for USA Today....
Listen to Jarrett Bell: Getting personal with the NFL

Malcolm Moran: “So Reggie is holding court before the game . . . “

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Malcolm Moran spent more than 30 years writing sports for Newsday, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and USA Today....
Listen to Malcolm Moran: “So Reggie is holding court before the game . . . “

Vahe Gregorian: “What do I do With This?”

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My motto: Any time spent with Vahe Gregorian is time well spent. You’ll enjoy this hour with the sports columnist for The Kansas City Star as he s...
Listen to Vahe Gregorian: “What do I do With This?”

Ron Higgins: “Are you that new sportswritin’ fella?”

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Ron Higgins sure can spin a yarn, and he shares some side-splitting ones from his more than four decades of covering sports in the Deep South....
Listen to Ron Higgins: “Are you that new sportswritin’ fella?”

Austin Murphy: Finding Stories Around the Edges

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Austin Murphy takes us on a whirlwind ride through his 33 years of writing for Sports Illustrated in the magazine’s halcyon days....
Listen to Austin Murphy: Finding Stories Around the Edges

Hal McCoy: The Big Red Machine and a Baseball Life

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Hal McCoy is synonymous with the Cincinnati Reds. The Hall of Fame writer for the Dayton Daily News has been covering baseball’s oldest profession...
Listen to Hal McCoy: The Big Red Machine and a Baseball Life

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

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We’re talking hockey and much more with Helene Elliott, columnist for the Los Angeles Times and one of the most respected writers in the business....
Listen to Helene Elliott: “Gretzky was like no one we had seen before.”

Rick Telander: Going Beyond the Surface

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Rick Telander is curious by nature, and his drive to learn more through reporting and relationships has served readers well for five decades....
Listen to Rick Telander: Going Beyond the Surface

Jerry Izenberg part 2: “The Most Dramatic Thing I’ve Ever Seen . . . ”

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Jerry Izenberg earned his first newspaper paycheck in 1951, and he’s still writing as columnist emeritus at The Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey....
Listen to Jerry Izenberg part 2: “The Most Dramatic Thing I’ve Ever Seen . . . ”

Jerry Izenberg part 1: Traveling the World with Muhammad Ali

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If you want stories about Muhammad Ali, you go to Jerry Izenberg....
Listen to Jerry Izenberg part 1: Traveling the World with Muhammad Ali

Bonnie Ford: Viewing humans through a sports prism

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For Bonnie Ford, being a sportswriter is about more than covering games and knowing statistics....
Listen to Bonnie Ford: Viewing humans through a sports prism

Tim Smith: “That’s a two-mile cookie.”

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Details always caught the eye of Timothy Smith during his three decades as a sportswriter....
Listen to Tim Smith: “That’s a two-mile cookie.”

Dick Weiss: He’s called “Hoops” for a reason

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Dick Weiss is synonymous with college basketball. This season, he’ll work his 49th Final Four....
Listen to Dick Weiss: He’s called “Hoops” for a reason

Bill Livingston: “We were fortunate. They sent us everywhere.”

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Bill Livingston’s goal as a writer was to put readers at the scene....
Listen to Bill Livingston: “We were fortunate. They sent us everywhere.”

Bob Kravitz: Not Afraid to Go There

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Bob Kravitz has been fearless in his 36 years of writing about sports....
Listen to Bob Kravitz: Not Afraid to Go There

Bud Withers: One Moment in Time

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History seems fragile when Bud Withers ponders his five decades of writing about sports....
Listen to Bud Withers: One Moment in Time

Joan Ryan: “They Are Not Going to Chase Me Away”

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Joan Ryan recalls in this episode the harassment that she suffered from pro football players early in her career as one of the first female sports...
Listen to Joan Ryan: “They Are Not Going to Chase Me Away”

Mike Lopresti: Road Warrior

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Pack your bags and travel back with Mike Lopresti, who globe-trotted for more than 3 decades as a sports columnist for USA Today and Gannett News ...
Listen to Mike Lopresti: Road Warrior

Terence Moore: "I'm Six Feet Away From the Ring"

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Terence tells us about the challenge of breaking down racial barriers in sports media, and about serving as a pallbearer at Henry Aaron’s funeral....
Listen to Terence Moore: "I'm Six Feet Away From the Ring"

Jerry Crasnick: “I’m actually getting paid to do this.”

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Jerry Crasnick started out covering an American Legion baseball game in Maine but ended up covering some of the greatest moments in baseball histo...
Listen to Jerry Crasnick: “I’m actually getting paid to do this.”

Randy Harvey: The View from Mt. Olympus

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Listen to Randy Harvey: The View from Mt. Olympus

George Diaz: “Larry Holmes is Flying Through the Air”

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Listen to George Diaz: “Larry Holmes is Flying Through the Air”

Sam Farmer: Climb in, Hang on

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Sam takes us along on his journeys, and puts us in some unique places that have dotted the path of his career from covering America’s favorite spo...
Listen to Sam Farmer: Climb in, Hang on

Mark Purdy: “The Building is Going Nuts.”

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Mark recalls rocking moments from his four decades as a sportswriter, including 33 years as a columnist for the San Jose Mercury News....
Listen to Mark Purdy: “The Building is Going Nuts.”

Marla Ridenour: Savoring the Sights and Sounds

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Marla Ridenour has taken us to the front lines of sports since the 1970s and her enthusiasm has never wavered!...
Listen to Marla Ridenour: Savoring the Sights and Sounds

Dennis Dodd: In the Eye of the Storm

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Dennis Dodd has been chasing college football's outbursts since its growth from a regional sport into a national obsession....
Listen to Dennis Dodd: In the Eye of the Storm

Bob Ryan: “Larry goes up to Magic and says . . . ”

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What was it like inside the old Boston Garden? To smell Red Auerbach’s victory cigar? To see firsthand Bird’s Celtics and Magic’s Lakers battle fo...
Listen to Bob Ryan: “Larry goes up to Magic and says . . . ”

Christine Brennan: Beyond the Barriers

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Being among the trailblazers for women sportswriters came with certain stakes, but Christine Brennan was there on the front lines and in the locke...
Listen to Christine Brennan: Beyond the Barriers

Dick Jerardi: Searching in the Shadows

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Dick Jerardi scoured gymnasiums, arenas, and horse tracks where he discovered great characters and great stories. Join him as he recounts to Todd ...
Listen to Dick Jerardi: Searching in the Shadows

Kevin Blackistone: Depends on Your Perspective

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Kevin Blackistone was ringside when Mike Tyson chomped off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear, he recounts that infamous boxing moment and discus...
Listen to Kevin Blackistone: Depends on Your Perspective

Tom Archdeacon: When the Going Gets Weird

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Take a joy ride with Tom Archdeacon, a storyteller who somehow always finds his way to the heart of a matter!...
Listen to Tom Archdeacon: When the Going Gets Weird

Bob Hunter: They’re Only Human

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Bob Hunter and Todd discuss anecdotes about the greatest coaches and athletes producing historic, goose-bump sports moments while still being flaw...
Listen to Bob Hunter: They’re Only Human

Coming Soon!

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Coming February 17th, hear some of the greatest sports stories ever told from the writers who had front row access!...
Listen to Coming Soon!

Introducing: Press Box Access

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Sit down with host Todd Jones and other sportswriters who knew the greatest athletes and coaches, and experienced first-hand some of the biggest s...
Listen to Introducing: Press Box Access