Daily Archives: June 11, 2011

A beautiful tribute to the late, great “The National” newspaper. I get bummed at the eye doctor’s office. And a computer repairman with a dirty mind

If you’re too young to remember “The National Sports Daily,” let me try to explain it to you.
Twenty years ago, before the Internet and before there were sportswriters spouting nonsense on TV, there was this idea: A daily newspaper in America, devoted solely to sports. It would come out five days a week, be filled with the best writing on sports in the country, and would have all the info you could possibly want.
The National hired every great sportswriter working in 1990, it seemed: John Feinstein, Mitch Albom, Dave Kindred, Charlie Pierce, Scott Ostler … it was the most amazing collection of sportswriting talent ever seen before or since.

I was in high school during The National’s brief life, and I vividly remember reading it every chance I got. My parents had recently gotten divorced in 1990, and I can still recall going to my Dad’s apartment in Great Neck, N.Y., walking to the newsstand near his place, and buying The National and savoring it.

It was everything I loved and everything I wanted to do, and I dreamed of one day being able to write for such an amazing newspaper.

But, well, there were problems. Distribution was awful, the paper wasted an insane amount of money on travel and salaries, and after a year and a half it folded under a pile of bills.

Why am I telling you all of this now? Because ESPN’s new website, Grantland.com (which is fabulous so far, by the way), did a beautiful two-story piece on The National and its glorious successes and failures. The first part is a hilarious oral history from the men and women who worked there, and the second is a beautiful essay by Charlie Pierce, an ode to the best place he ever worked. I highly recommend checking them out, whether you, like me, miss The National all the time, or if you just want to know what it was like.

**Here’s a little life moment. I went to the eye doctor Friday, and in addition to finding out he grew up in the same town as my cousins in New City, N.Y., I learned something else:
My right eye vision is only 20/30. This bothered me a lot, because nine years ago I had LASIK surgery and they swore to me then that I’d have 20/20 sight.
And as far as I know, I’ve had 20/20 vision since the surgery.
And now I’m down to 20/30.
Maybe I just had a bad day guessing the letters. Maybe the assistant was wrong.
Or maybe, I’m just getting a little bit old.
20/20 was a beautiful thing while it lasted.

**Finally today, here’s a man we all can be proud of. 20-year-old computer repairman Trevor Harwell was arrested after he put spyware on the computers of women that allowed him to take candid photos of them, often in the nude, by having remote access to their machines.

Trevor, sweetheart, there are a lot easier ways to get nude photos of women, pal.

What a sleazebag.