Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Quaker Pride

I was quite glad to see that Lebron chose Buzz Bissinger to be his autobiographer. Quite frankly, I was wondering what took so long. He's Lebron, after all — people will read about his life. There is no better sports writer out there than Bissinger. I'll go beyond that and say I think he writes narrative non-fiction better than anyone else I have encountered. Back when I thought I was going to go into that business, he was the man I looked up to most. And did I mention that he is a Daily Pennsylvanian and hence, Penn alumnus? Woop woop, indeed.

I was first introduced to Bissinger when my father gave me his copy of Friday Night Lights. (I should note that I didn't read everything my dad gave me. For example, when he realized I hadn't yet read the copy of the Chosen he gave me, he tried again. I have 4 copies. I have since read it. But points for effort). I have since read that copy of Friday Night Lights several times and admire it for the narrative journalistic writing style, the impeccable reporting and also, let's face it, the story itself has a narrative that would be hard to make up it is so good. In Bissinger's own words: "This book had one of the great built-in narratives of all time because it wasn't made up." His other books, A Prayer for the City and Three Nights in August echoe the same compliments. I'm excited to read the new one about King James.

In college I wrote a feature on Bissinger, in connection with the opening of the movie of Friday Night Lights. I think it was one of my best products from the DP days(that's Daily Pennsylvanian, for the non-Quakers). Figured I'd introduce my DP writing to a new crowd with this blog. As I used to say, I drank a lot of DDP at the DP.

I'll also note that Bissinger was astounded that I had a first-edition of the book. Props for that, Abba.

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