Frank Deford is one of the most beloved sports commentators in America. A contributing writer to Sports Illustrated for more than fifty years, he is also a longtime correspondent on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. These days, Deford is perhaps best known for his weekly commentaries on... NPR’s Morning Edition. Beginning in 1980, Deford has recorded over 1,600 of them, and in I’d Know That Voice Anywhere he brings together the very best, creating a charming, insightful, and wide-ranging look at athletes and the world of sports.
In I’d Know That Voice Anywhere, Deford discusses everything from sex scandals and steroids to Americans’ perennial nostalgia for Joe DiMaggio and why, in a culture dominated by celebrity, sport is the only field on earth where popularity and excellence thrive in tandem. He considers the similarities between Babe Ruth and Winnie the Pooh, why football reminds him of Venice, and how the Olympics are like Groundhog Dayor like an independent movie filled with foreign actors you’ve never heard of. He considers the prevalence of cheating in the classroom among student-athletes and why academic whistle-blowers are castigated as tattletales, pens a one-size-fits-all sports movie script, and even delivers Super Bowl coverage in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet. This page-turning compendium of Deford’s witty and frank pieces covers more than thirty years of sports history while showcasing the vast range of Deford’s interests and opinions, including his thoughts on the NCAA (a shameless autocracy, where college players are essentially indentured servants), why gay athletes play straight” (more for fear of their audience than their colleagues), and why he’s worried about living in an economy that is so dominated by golfers.
A rollicking sampler of one of NPR’s most popular segments, I’d Know That Voice Anywhere is perfect for sports enthusiastsas well as sports skepticsand a must-read for any Frank Deford fan.
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