"When we met in prison I said, 'Michael, just to be clear, unlike what I do for sports, this will not be a sports piece. I would be asking you some very hard questions,' " Brown said. "His response was, 'I want to answer the hard questions.' "
History will ultimately judge Vick's level of contrition, but Brown proved an adept interviewer in a well-reported piece on
But Brown's best moment came when he forced Vick to explain what could not be explained. Said Brown, in a question-cum-statement: "And the operation, Michael, that you pleaded guilty to bankrolling, to being a part of, engaged in barbarous treatment of animals, beating them, shooting them, electrocuting them, drowning them, horrific things, Michael?")
Getting the Vick interview had consumed Brown for the past 16 months. The pursuit began in June 2008 when Brown's attorney,
"I know a number of people have said or
Brown interviewed Vick for 75 minutes on Aug. 10 at a hotel in Northern Virginia. He also conducted a 30-minute interview with Vick,
"My aim was not to re-try him again," said Brown, who also visited the quarterback at his Virginia home last month for a pre-interview session. "I wanted to get at the level and core of contrition as best I could and his mind-set before, during and after. I wanted to get what his resolve is, what the adverse effect on his family was, and his efforts to resurrect his career.
"I won't offer my personal opinion to hopefully and effectively wear the reporter's cap of impartiality. I want people to make their own judgment. But I'll be transparent: Part of that is because there was a fair amount of cynicism and skepticism going into this interview because I covered the NFL. Would I be able to be objective as one of the regular correspondents of
• "I don't know how
• "Sadly, in this country, in this world, there have been a lot of people who have committed adultery. I would think you would find a majority in most marriages. Employers have stood by those employees and I know in the case of people that I have worked with, they have stood by me in terms of accusations that have been made and that have been found untrue."
• "Couldn't this Pitino thing have happened before ESPN released its twitter policy??? I am so bitter."
• "T.O. Show" ratings good enough to tie for 469th place on cable, with viewer figures just behind Nick at Nite's 4 a.m. "Fresh Prince" episode.
• "Just figured out how to read replies to my tweets. And no, I'm not blonde."
• The latest episode of HBO's
• NBC Sports track and field analyst
The answer is no, which is why the first post-race question for the then-and-still world-record holder from the usually reliable
• There is an abundance of bad sportswriting on the Web (no doubt some would say from this column), but Deadspin's
Of Scocca's picking on sportswriters, a Deadspin commentator named Dr. Jimmy wrote, "Beating up on print media workers is like clubbing baby seals: too easy a target." True indeed, though it's surprising that Scocca, who wrote elegantly from Beijing
Wojciechowski has a respectable (and multiple award-winning) body of work over his two decades as a national columnist,
"My immediate reaction was: Wow, I'm getting ripped on Deadspin," Bishop said in an e-mail. "Now I can cross that off my bucket list. It amused me more than anything. Working for a paper like
• Anyone who has watched ESPN over the past two decades knows the fondness ESPN college basketball analyst
While I expect Vitale to support his friend -- the question of whether such intense fraternization with subjects aids or hurts viewers is a question for another time -- college basketball viewers need to hear from ESPN's highest-profile analysts on such a high-profile story. We await Vitale's words (along with Phelps' and Knight's) on Pitino. As for controversial subjects, the ESPN announcer