My pal Joe Posnanski is one of America's leading sportswriters and has the awards to prove it. He also writes a fun blog called simply, "Joe Blogs."
He's asking a bunch of people to write 100 words or less on "My Favorite Athlete." Yesterday, renowned actor Joe Mantegna, true to his Chicago roots, chose Ernie Banks, the greatest Cub of them all.
About 10 years ago, I had the pleasure of working with Mantegna on the short-lived "First Monday," a show I co-created with Don Bellisario. To this day, I insist the show would have lasted past the first season, had CBS broadcast it on Mondays, instead of Fridays. (The show was inspired by my Supreme Court novel, "Impact." Long out of print, the book is nonetheless available as an ebook on Kindle. The show, alas, is not available on DVD or on Amazon Instant Video.
As a teenager, Mike Reid turned down a car for a piano.
As a 27-year-old, he gave up football for his music.
He’s likely the only person who’s in both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, who played in the Pro Bowl and won a Grammy Award.
A defensive tackle, he graduated with a music degree from Penn State, where we were classmates in the late 1960's. (He also wrestled heavyweight with distinction). He retired from the Cincinnati Bengals after the 1974 season to write and record music. Again...with distinction.
I knew Mike pretty well at Penn State where I was sports editor of The Daily Collegian, but we have long since lost touch. More about him on Wikipedia.
I'm off later today for three weeks in Colorado, so there may be silence from this end. If anyone wants to recommend any books to read on vacation, I'm open to suggestions.