Chatting with a 92-Year-Old Sportswriting Legend

MurrayOldermanPicIt was my great pleasure, for the Mediabistro Q&A series “So What Do You Do?”, to recently speak via telephone with a true titan of the sportswriting field.

In addition to memorable cartoons, various books and countless newspaper articles, Murray Olderman is also largely responsible for the creation of MVP trophies in two separate U.S. professional sports team leagues. From the conversation:

” In my day, we were more or less on the same economic level as the athletes we were dealing with. And so they welcomed our attention and felt that we could help them.”

” Nowadays, they make so much more money than the people covering them, and they regard most of the media as a nuisance, except in the case of television, where they’re on camera and that serves their purpose.”

The Mb feature is timed to coincide with Olderman’s induction into the Medill School Hall of Achievement. Also celebrated last week alongside the 92-year-old semi-retired writer were late Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Eaton, fellow Pulitzer winner Mary Pat Flaherty, PR whiz Howard Geltzer, author John Gerzema and Food Network/Cooking Channel president Brooke Bailey Johnson.