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.

Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen on Spotify

All Episodes

Paul Hoynes part 1: “I'm Sweating Bullets, Shaking, Trying to Calm Myself Down.”

Press Box Access
Join Todd Jones on PressBox Access as he sits down with Paul Hoynes, a respected baseball writer known as Hoynsie, who has been covering the Guard...
Listen to Paul Hoynes part 1: “I'm Sweating Bullets, Shaking, Trying to Calm Myself Down.”

Writers Bear Witness to Memorable Moments from March Madness

Press Box Access
Celebrate college basketball with this compilation of stories told on Press Box Access by 12 sportswriters who covered some of the greatest moment...
Listen to Writers Bear Witness to Memorable Moments from March Madness

Jerry Tipton: “You could just walk into the Kentucky coach’s office.”

Press Box Access
We welcome back Jerry Tipton to Press Box Access to share stories from his new book: “Déjà Blue—A Sportswriter Reflects on 41 Seasons of Kentucky ...
Listen to Jerry Tipton: “You could just walk into the Kentucky coach’s office.”

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

Press Box Access
We’re paying a special salute to Helene Elliott by once again publishing my conversation with her in an episode from February 2022....
Listen to Helene Elliott: “Gretzky was like no one we had seen before.”

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

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

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

Press Box Access
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....
Listen to Mike Vaccaro: “Isiah Thomas is on the Back Page in a Full Clown Suit.”

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

Press Box Access
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 Th...
Listen to "The Greatest: Media Share Memories of Muhammad Ali in and out of The Ring"

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

Press Box Access
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....
Listen to Jayson Stark: “The Baseball Breaks a Window Across the Street from Wrigley Field.”

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

Press Box Access
...
Listen to Mike DeCourcy: “It Was Like Being Given a Ticket to Heaven.”

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

Press Box Access
You can almost hear a crackling campfire as Art Thiel shares stories from his nearly 50 years of writing about sports....
Listen to Art Thiel: “It was a Grand Experiment in Mayhem.”

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

Press Box Access
Diane Pucin recalls with pride and joy how the sports calendar served as the rhythm of her life for nearly 40 years....
Listen to Diane Pucin: “It Was All Tonya, Tonya, Tonya, Nancy, Nancy, Nancy.”

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

Press Box Access
Part 2 of my conversation with Charles Pierce continues with more discussion about basketball icon Larry Bird....
Listen to Charles Pierce part 2: “Tiger Woods Tells These Jokes and then it Becomes a Thing.”

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

Press Box Access
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 sportswrite...
Listen to Charles Pierce part 1: “They Rolled the Champagne out of the Red Sox’s Locker Room.”

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

Press Box Access
Terence Moore joins us again to share more stories from his 45 years as a ground-breaking and award-winning sports journalist....
Listen to Terence Moore: “I Literally Ran into Woody Hayes.”

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

Press Box Access
Sheldon Ocker reflects on more than four decades of being a sportswriter in northeast Ohio with his customary wit and dry sense of humor....
Listen to Sheldon Ocker: “Manny used to use other people's bats, pants, and shirts.”

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

Press Box Access
Filip Bondy describes his four decades as a sportswriter as being “crazy, stupid, frustrating, wonderful and a wild ride.”...
Listen to Filip Bondy: “It Became an Anterior-Posterior Investigation.”

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

Press Box Access
Geoff Calkins takes us to Memphis, where he has been a high-profile fixture in the sports media scene for 27 years....
Listen to Geoff Calkins: “It Turned into a Prince Concert in the Press Conference.”

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

Press Box Access
We trek into the Pacific Northwest and catch up with John McGrath about his 40 years of writing about sports....
Listen to John McGrath: “It Was a Front-Row Seat to the Greatest Sports Events.”

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

Press Box Access
Peter King enters his 40th year of covering the NFL by sharing tales from his distinguished career....
Listen to Peter King: “It Was the Golden Age of Covering the NFL.”

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

Press Box Access
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 6...
Listen to Patrick Reusse part 2: “When the Beer Runs Out, the Bullshit Stops.”

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

Press Box Access
This is part 1 of a rollicking two-part conversation with Patrick Reusse, longtime sports columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and a member ...
Listen to Patrick Reusse part 1: “The Turkey is Unbeaten.”

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

Press Box Access
Liz Clarke looks back on her “accidental career” as a sportswriter with the same thoughtfulness she always put into her stellar work....
Listen to Liz Clarke: “His death was unfathomable because it was Earnhardt.”

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

Press Box Access
Thom Loverro says boxing has the best stories, and he shares some favorites from many years inside the fight game....
Listen to Thom Loverro: “You could just wander into camp and watch Ali train.”

Al Pearce: “Richard Petty looks at me from behind those sunglasses and . . . “

Press Box Access
Sit down, strap in and go for a thrill ride with Al Pearce as he recounts more than five decades of writing about motorsports, particularly NASCAR...
Listen to Al Pearce: “Richard Petty looks at me from behind those sunglasses and . . . “

Wendell Barnhouse: “It’s the Greatest, Craziest Game I’ve Ever Covered.”

Press Box Access
Wendell Barnhouse recalls the pressure of trying to find the right words in the immediate aftermath of the famous Duke-Kentucky basketball game....
Listen to Wendell Barnhouse: “It’s the Greatest, Craziest Game I’ve Ever Covered.”

Claire Smith part 2: “Reporters in the Basement of Yankee Stadium were Shaking.”

Press Box Access
Claire Smith was a pioneer for women and journalists of color....
Listen to Claire Smith part 2: “Reporters in the Basement of Yankee Stadium were Shaking.”

Claire Smith part 1: “How You Used Those Barrels of Ink Mattered.”

Press Box Access
This is the first of a two-part conversation with Claire Smith, a pioneer for women and journalists of color....
Listen to Claire Smith part 1: “How You Used Those Barrels of Ink Mattered.”

Tim Kurkjian: “This is Why Baseball is so Beautiful.”

Press Box Access
Tim Kurkjian’s love of baseball radiates as he recounts his four decades of covering our National Pastime....
Listen to Tim Kurkjian: “This is Why Baseball is so Beautiful.”

Jeff Jacobs: The Heart of the Matter

Press Box Access
Jeff Jacobs is a writer who bleeds on the keyboard, and his passion for the craft has never wavered during 46 years in the business....
Listen to Jeff Jacobs: The Heart of the Matter

Rick Cleveland: “They Didn’t Seem to Have as Much Fun as Sportswriters.”

Press Box Access
We head down South on this episode with Rick Cleveland, who has been named Mississippi Sportswriter of the Year a record 14 times....
Listen to Rick Cleveland: “They Didn’t Seem to Have as Much Fun as Sportswriters.”

Lenn Robbins: “You Knew You Were Seeing Something Truly Humbling.”

Press Box Access
Lenn Robbins is a go-go-go Big Apple guy, but the Brooklyn native pauses on this episode to appreciate the people and places that form a mosaic of...
Listen to Lenn Robbins: “You Knew You Were Seeing Something Truly Humbling.”

Bernie Miklasz: “Everyone Went Along for the Ride”

Press Box Access
Bernie Miklasz is synonymous with sports in St. Louis, where he has been writing stories and offering on-air opinions for nearly 40 years....
Listen to Bernie Miklasz: “Everyone Went Along for the Ride”

50th Episode: Bob Ford: “You Got One More Rebound than a Dead Man.”

Press Box Access
Bob Ford likes to say if he has 10 good stories to tell sitting around a bar, Charles Barkley is the subject of 7 or 8 of them....
Listen to 50th Episode: Bob Ford: “You Got One More Rebound than a Dead Man.”

50th Episode Teaser

Press Box Access
...
Listen to 50th Episode Teaser

Mary Schmitt Boyer: “Just Come in With Everybody Else.”

Press Box Access
Mary Schmitt Boyer helped pave the way for other women in sports journalism with her excellence and professionalism....
Listen to Mary Schmitt Boyer: “Just Come in With Everybody Else.”

Gary Shelton: “What an Absurd Way to Make a Living.”

Press Box Access
Gary Shelton is someone you want to sit by in the press box or on a media bus. Laughter is sure to follow....
Listen to Gary Shelton: “What an Absurd Way to Make a Living.”

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

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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.”

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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.”

Press Box Access
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.”

Press Box Access
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.”

Press Box Access
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.”

Press Box Access
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.”

Press Box Access
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.”

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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?”

Press Box Access
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.”

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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 . . . “

Press Box Access
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?”

Press Box Access
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?”

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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.”

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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 . . . ”

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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.”

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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.”

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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”

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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"

Press Box Access
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.”

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
...
Listen to Randy Harvey: The View from Mt. Olympus

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

Press Box Access
...
Listen to George Diaz: “Larry Holmes is Flying Through the Air”

Sam Farmer: Climb in, Hang on

Press Box Access
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.”

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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 . . . ”

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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!

Press Box Access
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

Press Box Access
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