Writing in a golden age of sports, Bob Markus, like a Zelig or a Forrest Gump, was present at many of the most famous-or infamous--sports events of that time. He was there for the Franco Harris Immaculate Reception", for the tragic 1972 Munich Olympics and the stunning upset of the United States basketball team by the Russians, with an assist by the game officials, for the over-hyped Bobby Riggs-Billie Jean King tennis match, for the first Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier heavyweight Championship Fight and several college football so-called games of the century. The athletes he interviewed and wrote about included Ali, Joe Frazier, Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Roberto Clemente, Mario Andretti and Joe DiMaggio. Here are many of his best columns and stories, interspersed with the story of his own sports writing life. You'll read of the day Ali admitted to him he was afraid each time he stepped in a ring and of the tragic 1973 Indianapolis 500 in which driver Swede Savage, a good friend was killed. And, you'll read about office politics and behind the scenes maneuvering that resulted in one man's journey from ecstasy to angst.
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Markus says that even simple technologies like the tape recorder changed his writing approach, often for the worse, and his post-retirement column-blogs (included here), complete with the obligatory cute similes, read more like the commentaries of a blow-dried ESPN personality than those of a har...Oct 28 2011 | Read Full Review of I'll Play These: From Ecstacy...