Tuesday, April 12, 2005

A Program Worth Catching

I watched a special on ESPN last night about a man I knew little about until seeing it. His name was Shirley Povich. He is the father of Maury, and one of the more famous sportswriters of the 20th century. He wrote for the Washington Post. The program made it clear that he was an icon of the sports journalism fraternity. He obviously was highly regarded even before his passing in 1998. I'm happy that I stumbled upon this documentary which featured comments from his family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances and included excerpts of some of Povich's flowery columns through the years.

Had Povich written the above paragraph himself it likely would have appeared more like this:

Thrust into my consciousness by way of a certain mystical transmission from one of our time's all-sports channels is the memorable life of Washington Post sports columnist Shirley Povich. This giant among those who chronicle sports is also recognized as the father of Maury Povich, a television host, husband of Connie Chung, and certainly the more recognizable branch of the family tree. Let it be known however, that Shirley Povich will, without reasonable challenge, be eternally remembered for his many powerful and poetic contributions to a journalistic style fast fading from our impatient world. Povich's musings and profundities will, no doubt, ensure a legacy and provide a definitive benchmark for generations of sports scribes yet unborn. His toilings for The Post have forever ensconced Povich as a literary giant knowing few equals among brethren of print. A pedestal amidst the gods of his chosen profession was certainly secure prior to his passing at age 92 in the 20th century's second-to-the-last year. This reporter will be forever grateful for having accidentally encountered such a precious television gem. Count his fortunate family circle, colleagues and acquaintances as powerful contributors to this poignant and well-crafted tribute to a heretofore anonymous Michelangelo of the press box.

--Back to normal now...Check your local listings. Its one of ESPN's original programs...Shirley Povich. Its a great documentary even if you don't care much for sports.

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