So I wanna admit at the top of this post that Jon Wertheim, SI‘s excellent senior writer, happens to be a close friend. I met my wife at his wedding (his wife and mine are best buds), we’ve known one another for years, talk semi-regularly, blah, blah, blah. Great scribe, great guy.
That being said, if Jon wrote a book that sucked, I would never recommend it here. Would I tell you it’s garbage? Of course not—I’d just avoid bringing it up at all (that being said, Jon’s probably not capable of garbage. The guy can flat-out write).
Ugh … babbling. I wanted to break from my normal political/athletic ranting to say that Jon’s newest book, Scorecasting, hits stores this week, and it’s fantastic. A smart, insightful, detailed look at sports and the conventional thinking that, upon further review, shouldn’t be so conventional, Scorecasting is the Freakonomics of courts, fields and nets. Terrific is an understatement. It’s marvelous.
So, for that matter, is Jon. This will probably sound silly to many, but perhaps it’ll resonate with some. Throughout my 16 years as a journalist, I’ve grown increasingly tired of wanna-be-celebrity writers. They’re out there, visible to all, preening, boasting, yelling, bragging. Obviously Skip Bayless and Jay Mariotti come to mind, but those are only two of the worst offenders. There are, literally, dozens upon dozens of so-called professionals more interested in being recognized in an airport than doing quality work.
Jon, however, isn’t one of them. He’s a guy who prides himself in knocking out a story; in finding the overlooked details and bringing them to the forefront.
Trust me on this one.