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I agree DH!!! Deford is a legend!!!
 

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he sucks just as much as werthless. I think it`s just sport illustrated that sucks!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wrong irma, Frank Deford is a legend, not in the tennis world but across the whole spectrum of sport. And his primary commentary on tennis tends to involve Monica.
 

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Deford is renowned for his sportswriting.
He helped Billie Jean King write her autobiography, which is on any short list of "must reads" in women's tennis. Frank is a big contributor to Andrea Jaeger's(former world #2) charity for terminally ill children. It's a cause dear to his heart, as his own daughter died of cystic fibrosis. I'm sure he is sensitive to Monica but he's been around years before she even came on the scene.
Do you have his articles on Seles disposable? Are they all from Sports Illustrated?
 

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he hates Steffi and according to my american steffi fan friends he did already in 87,88. shouldn`t a journalist be unbiased?
 

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You're right Irma. Deford hated Steffi from the beginning of her career. I have no idea why but if anybody wants to check this out all they need to do is pick up a few Sports Illustrateds from back them. It only became worse after the "incident" in 1993.

Also, I've never thought he was a particularly good writer. His writing is too "personal" and "effusive" in my opinion. He's never objective, which is something a good writer should be.

Finally, he lost the respect of many of his peers when he wrote that article about Anna K. He sounded like a pedophile. He was the butt of a lot of jokes for a long time. One columnist said he felt "dirty" after reading it and another said the magazine felt "sticky." It was really pathetic.:p
 

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Discussion Starter #8
irma and essielweiss, I've never seen Frank write anything about Steffi, period, good or bad. If Wertheim the Steffi-slave would do the same for Monica, I would be thrilled.

Also, Frank is not a "data and analysis columnist", like Wertheim claims to be. He is paid to express his personal biased opinion, much in the Rick Reilly vein.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Anyhow, lets compare credentials for these two fine gentlemen. Thanks to CNNSI for providing these bios on their people. First, the esteemed Mr Wertheim:
<i>
Jon Wertheim

Jon Wertheim is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. He joined the magazine in 1997 and covers tennis, sports business issues and the NBA. Wertheim regularly contributes to CNNSI.com on the tennis beat.

Wertheim received a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and joined Sports Illustrated immediately after passing both the New Jersey and New York bar exams. Before law school, he was the assistant editor at Rip City, a Portland Trail Blazers fan magazine. He received his bachelor’s degree from Yale in 1993.

Wertheim’s most memorable piece at SI was “Where’s Daddy?,” a May 1998 cover story about athletes and their out-of-wedlock children, which he co-authored with SI’s Grant Wahl.

Wertheim also covered David Wells' perfect game at Yankee Stadium in 1998.
Wertheim lives in New York City with his wife, and enjoys collecting old postcards, doing crossword puzzles, and watching The Simpsons. He also plays squash and tennis.</i>

Wow, Rip City! I guess the genuine proof of Dubya's stupidity is that he didn't snatch this guy for a cabinet post. Now for that other guy, Deford or whatever his name is:


<i>Frank Deford
Frank Deford is among the most honored and versatile writers in the country, his work appearing in virtually every medium. In the spring of 1998 he returned to the staff of Sports Illustrated, where he had worked from 1962 through 1989. Deford is a correspondent on HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" and he appears on National Public Radio each week on Morning Edition. His NPR column is posted on CNNSI.com, and he contributes other commentary to the site as well.
Deford is the author of 12 books, including his most recent novel, The Other Adonis: A Novel of Reincarnation (Sept. 2001). Two of his books, the novel Everybody’s All-American, and Alex: The Life of a Child, the story of his daughter who died of cystic fibrosis, were made into movies. Deford also wrote the original screenplay for the film comedy Trading Hearts.

Among his many honors, Deford is a member of the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters. Six times he was voted Sportswriter of the Year by his peers in that organization. The American Journalism Review has cited him as the nation’s best sportswriter, and twice he was honored as Magazine Writer of the Year by the Washington Journalism Review.

Deford has been presented with a Christopher Award and with distinguished service to journalism awards from both the University of Missouri and Northeastern University. He has won both an Emmy and a Cable Ace arard for his television work.

A graduate of Princeton University, Deford served as the Editor-in-Chief of The National Sports Daily in its brief but celebrated existence. The Sporting News has described Deford as "the most influential sports voice among members of the American print media," and the magazine GQ has called Deford "the world’s greatest sportswriter." For the past dozen years Deford has served as the national chairman of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. A native of Baltimore, Deford currently resides in Connecticut with his wife and two children.</i>
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Anyhow, for those who requested, here is some of Frank's other tennis commentary.

<font color="ffffaa">Capriati hits an ace

Former phenom turns her life around
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Posted: Wednesday June 27, 2001 12:38 PM



Nothing in sports touches our hearts more than the star who returns to glory after a serious injury or illness. But, not to take anything away from brave stalwarts like Lance Armstrong or Mario Lemieux, what Jennifer Capriati has accomplished seems even more stirring.

Everybody, after all, cheers on the player who has to overcome some physical disability. They get the hero's rush. For goodness sake, nobody anywhere, ever, roots against cancer survivors or any of the poor devils whose careers are cut short by ruptured Achilles tendons or torn rotator cuffs.

But while such athletes are the victims of sad fate, Capriati and her ilk are looked upon differently. They were blessed with great physical talent and then botched it themselves in some fashion. They are not figures we must regard sympathetically, because they were responsible for their own troubles.

No question Capriati made her own bed. A pro at 13, overnight sensation, championships and endorsements -- suddenly it all turned sour. Who, really, but she quite knows why? Too much too soon. Family problems. Weight problems. Emotional problems. Ugly new friends. Drugs. Even shoplifting. What wasn't sad was sordid, and we wrote her off as another teen disaster.

It took a long time for her to fight her way back. As recently as 1998, she ended the year out of the Top 100. But here's the tough part: When Capriati finally did start to put herself back together and win some matches, she was invariably grilled about her past. Every press conference was more like an intervention than an interview. It did not help that, by tradition, tennis is a very personal sport. After a golf round, the pro is asked about club selection. After a tennis match, the player is asked about life choice. The questions for Capriati were often hard, sometimes cynical. More than once she broke down and cried. Each new victory only came with more reminders of the past. How many times does a kid have to explain herself?

But she persevered. I remember seeing her practice with another player one day last spring. She'd climbed back into the Top 20 by then and was no longer a curiosity. In fact, I couldn't avoid thinking of the irony -- even as the crowd grew and buzzed, nobody even noticed Capriati. That's because the player she was hitting with was Anna Kournikova. In a way, I thought, at last Capriati was free -- neither phenom, nor personality. Somebody else was now the center of attention.

But who would know that Capriati wasn't finished restoring herself? Who would know that, within the year, she would come all the way back, win not one, but two Grand Slam championships? To be sure, her chances at Wimbledon are difficult. Even if grass is a good surface for Capriati, going to grass following two weeks on the clay at Roland Garros is a difficult assignment. But who'd bet against destiny now?

After she won the French, Capriati and some friends went out to dinner. It was a large party that included Sean Connery and Maurice Greene, the 100-meter sprint champion who had presented her with the championship trophy. What happened after dinner?, someone asked Greene. "Well, I went back to the hotel and went to sleep, and Jennifer went to party," he replied. "She deserved it, didn't she?" Yes, she did. And, finally, there were no more questions.</font>

<font color="ffcccc"> A very big deal to Seles

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Posted: Wednesday April 12, 2000 03:41 PM



Two weeks ago, in Miami, Monica Seles, playing on a sprained ankle, was shut out by Martina Hingis. The crowd booed as Seles limped off the court. It was her worst defeat ever, and afterwards, gamely, she said: "It's no big deal."

No, it wasn't. Not for Monica. Exactly seven years ago -- a Biblical seven -- in Hamburg, Germany, she was on her way to becoming the greatest women's player ever. And then, at an ordinary crossover in her match that day, she felt the awful pain in her back and turned around and, for just an instant, saw the face of a madman as he prepared to plunge the knife into her again. Someone rushed over and stopped him. Monica slumped to the ground, alive -- just -- the blade having cut within an inch of her life. But she was never the same again, not as an athlete, not as a person.

No one had been more of a free spirit, either. A decade ago, Teddy Tinling, the late dress designer, the keeper of the flame of women's tennis, liked to say that the sport was doomed to perish from avarice, that it was in the last opera of Wagner's Ring -- the twilight of the goddesses -- but that the wonderful little girl from Yugoslavia, who grunted when she hit the bejesus out of the ball, would breathe fresh life into the sport and save it.

And for the three years from the time she won her first major title until the German's knife drove into her, Seles won eight of the 12 Grand Slams -- completely dominating Steffi Graf. The assassin changed history. Absent him, when Graf retired last year, nobody would have called Steffi the best ever. Because Monica was the best ever. Until . . .

The horror is all the worse that it was a jealous fan of Graf who almost killed Seles. The second cut came from her fellow players. They wouldn't let her keep her No. 1 ranking. Only Gabriela Sabatini spoke up for Seles. Graf was silent on the subject. I remember listening to Monica while she was still recovering, emotionally. "I was stabbed. On the court," she said. "And they treated it like a sprained ankle or something."

I thought of that again the other day when she really did have a sprained ankle. If you are Monica Seles, a sprained ankle is no big deal.

Monica finally returned to professional tennis after two and a half years. She even won one more Grand Slam -- the Australian Open, in '96. And then her father, Karoly, whom she adored, fell ill with cancer and died in 1998. Even as a little girl, Monica had always been the strength of the family. After all, it was not easy for her parents to move to America, to a new life, in middle age. It was a little girl who led them. She was steel.

Yet as strong a person as she is, Seles will probably never win another major championship. Who even knows how much longer she will play? She's still only 26, but so wise and grown-up -- and so admired. Everybody in tennis adores Monica. The younger players look up to her. Monica Seles is a heroine.

At this time of that awful anniversary, it's simply worth stating that.

The worst thing that ever happened on a field of play happened to her that day seven Aprils ago. Somehow, as much attention as the tragedy received, it has never been appreciated to the depth that it deserves. It was a very big deal, and it changed the course of a sport, as it destroyed a champion. Monica Seles has overcome, though, and she has thrived, and if there is any justice at all, the next seven years will be glorious for her.</font>

<font color="bbffff">
McEnroe is finally running the show

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Posted: Wednesday February 02, 2000 12:28 PM


By chance I was there in Santiago, Chile, 22 years ago when John McEnroe made his Davis Cup team debut, as a Stanford sophomore, last man on the squad. He was barely 20, with the freckles and curly Prince Valiant cut which served to conceal the wet behind his ears. I remember distinctly when the expense checks were handed out in the locker room and Harold Solomon, a cagey, old veteran of 26, dutifully showed the kid how to add "for deposit only" to his signature, to protect himself in the event that the check was stolen. I can see McEnroe now, intently taking in this advice, listening as if it was the received wisdom of the ages.

But by that fall, McEnroe had led the United States to its first Davis Cup victory in six years. By then, too, he was already making a name for himself as a boor and a brat -- "McNasty," the British dubbed him -- and was on his way to becoming the most brilliant player ever to hold a racket. Would that he had only treated himself, mind and body, as sweetly as he stroked a fuzzy ball.

But for all McEnroe's tiresome misbehavior, there was always another side of him -- the witty, intelligent grown-up that we hear doing tennis commentary so incisively. McEnroe is really a shy person, and -- never lacking for opinions -- he can be the most engaging company. Perhaps because he is so intense on the court, so inner-directed, he has always enjoyed the team aspect of sport most. It's a curious quality for such a great player in an individual sport, but McEnroe could only really relax on a team. Announcer Mary Carillo, who grew up with him, remembers that, even when little Johnny Mac was tiny, whatever the sport, everybody chose him first for their team.

There is not much team in tennis, of course. Well, McEnroe was the finest doubles player who ever lived. He loved playing college for Stanford for two years. And from that time in Chile, he has always been absolutely devoted to Davis Cup -- which many other top American players have treated as an imposition. In fact, from the moment he stopped playing regularly almost a decade ago, McEnroe has been lobbying to be named our Davis Cup captain -- a position which translates more as coach or manager. The boss.

Finally, the new head of the U.S. Tennis Association, Judy Levering, the first female president, has given the position to McEnroe. This has infuriated a great many people who find him unworthy of such an honor. Indeed, when McEnroe was on the team captained by Arthur Ashe, Ashe, of all people, used to get hate mail simply for playing the world's best player. "Shame on you, Arthur." "It is an insult to the American people for you to play that awful person." And now here McNasty is, designated to lead the 2000 U.S. Davis Cup team.

As a player, too, McEnroe has hardly had any spiritual conversion. Playing the seniors tour, he can still be every bit as much a pain. The only difference is that now he's a 40-year-old brat. But he is a master strategist, and incredibly respected in the game. Both Pete Sampras -- who has since pulled out with an injury -- and Andre Agassi agreed to play for the U.S. team, as it begins the Davis Cup season this week in Zimbabwe.

McEnroe's mother, Kay, told me once that, in grammar school, her son was only sent home once. It wasn't for being bad in any traditional, 10-year-old way. No, it was for arguing with the basketball coach about how he was coaching the team. Well, finally, this week Johnny Mac has, at last, the chance to be a coach himself ... and to act like a new man on the court.</font>
 

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Hey, I'm not a Wertheim fan either. He's also a lousy writer. And, I agree he could be a bit nicer to Monica. So don't lecture me.

I don't care how many "awards" Mr. Deford has received, in my opinion he's a biased, bad writer. That's my opinion and isn't that what this forum is for? Stating my opinion?:rolleyes:

If you don't happen to like my opinion then you can disagree but you don't have to lecture me nor do you have to post entire articles. I've read them all. I wouldn't criticize anyone without reading what they write first.:p

Mr. Deford loves Monica and that's fine but he doesn't have to hate Steffi. If you dislike someone you can be a bit less obvious about it. That's what a good writer would do. That goes for both Deford and Wertheim.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Could you give an example of this hate for Steffi, or did you learn this telepathically?

And BTW, some people ASKED for the articles. Unless I'm mistaken, they have rights too.
 

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Any man who reminds us of the class of Gabriela Sabatini over Monica's ranking after the assault gets a :) from me.
 

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"And for the three years from the time she won her first major title until the German's knife drove into her, Seles won eight of the 12 Grand Slams -- completely dominating Steffi Graf. The assassin changed history. Absent him, when Graf retired last year, nobody would have called Steffi the best ever. Because Monica was the best ever. Until . ."<P>This sounds like he cares more that people call Steffi the greatest then that he cares that Monica`s life was ruined.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That's odd, irma. He says Monica's name twice, and Steffi's twice. He also says Monica was the best ever. And that is your deliberately selected paragraph. How about the hundred or so other references he makes to Monica, and only 1 or 2 about Steffi, always as they relate to Monica?

Methinks you have acknowleding Monica's greatness confused with hating Steffi. Most Graf fans do.
 

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I wonder who gave Steffi fans that idea:rolleyes:
 

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I don't think Sports Illustrated as a whole is a bad publication; but I have to agree that often the tennis writing has not always been that wonderful.

Curry Kirkpatrick was another writer who I could not stand to read in that magazine when it came to tennis.

A good sportswriter I think should know all sports, but when it comes to tennis, the SI writers seem to just go through the motions and I don't think that is always fare to the game.
 

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Fantastic article on Monica... Deford knows is stuff, and voices my own opinion perfectly...



Didnt Deford call Steffi the most overrated player in history??? Or was it a whole panel of journalists?? cant remember... That call alone is enough to give the man my respect...so true.
 

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Steffi reached as many grand slam finals as Billie Jean King before the stabbing that`s enough to show that she belonged to the greatest long before any stabbing happened.
 

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It was Deford and Deford alone who called Steffi Graf "overrated" not a "panel" of writers. :(

I agree that Sports Illustrated doesn't seem to take tennis writing very seriously. Not man writers do. Most of the writers just reprint locker room gossip. Also, as several people have posted on several message boards over the years, most stories about tennis contain numerous factual errors. Spotting these errors becomes a nice game to play.

Anyway, I like Monica and I like Steffi and I don't think Deford needs to denigrate one in order to boost the other. They both are/were great players.
 
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