A National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Famer, Red Smith Award Winner Mitch Albom has written a syndicated column for the Detroit Free Press since 1985, archived here exclusively, free of charge. He also periodically writes for national magazines. He hosts the bi-weekly The Sports Reporters podcast (based on the long-running ESPN show), from which his “parting shot” commentaries are collected here.

An open letter to Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker

Dear Coach Mel Tucker:  Consider this a welcome letter. Or a “welcome back” letter, because you were at Michigan State once before, in the late '90s. Your duties back then, as a graduate assistant on the football team, you told me, included shoveling...

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Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio retired with a heavy Green heart

At one point late in what was suddenly his final hour as Michigan State’s football coach, Mark Dantonio winced at a question about a lawsuit. “We’re not talking about that here,’’ he snapped. “This is a celebration.” It didn’t feel like one. And he didn’t...

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Mitch's first column

Give me a Sporting Chance, and I’ll Give it Right Back

AUG 8, 1985

Let’s start with an old joke.

On a plane trip home after a football game, Buck Buchanan, a massive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs, was sitting next to a sports writer. Buck had the aisle seat. The sports writer was by the window.

Dinner came, and they ate. Soon Buck fell asleep…

Mitch Albom is nationally known sportswriter; columnist for the Detroit Free Press; author of Tuesdays With Morrie, The Five People you Meet in Heaven and other best-selling books; TV and radio personality; and philanthropist. For the past five years, he has been working to help children orphaned after a devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010. He writes about that effort here.

Working with Haiti’s orphans: Smiles make it worthwhile

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – The woman in the chair had a small child sleeping in her lap. She had come to give him away.
“Who is the father?” I asked, through a translator.
“There is no father,” she said.
“Aren’t you the mother?”
“Whose child is this?”
“I found him abandoned under a tree behind a hospital. He was maybe 2 months old, and his belly was big. He was crying. So I took him to the police.”
“What did they tell you?”
“They said, ‘Why did you pick him up? You should have left him there.’ So I took him home. And now I am here.”

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The Courage of Detroit

This was Christmas night. In the basement of a church off an icy street in downtown Detroit, four dozen homeless men and women sat at tables. The smell of cooked ham wafted from the kitchen. The pastor, Henry Covington, a man the size of two middle linebackers, exhorted the people with a familiar chant.

“I am somebody,” he yelled.

“I am somebody!” they repeated.

“Because God loves me!”

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The Joys of Summer

Go ahead, kids. Lie in the grass. Study the clouds. Daydream. Be lazy. You have our permission. I feel sorry for today’s kids. Summer comes, they’re finally free from school—and bang!Band camp. Science seminars. Internships. Instead of downtime, it’s get-up-and-go...

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Making the Skies a Bit Friendlier

Hello, this is your captain speaking.Okay, I lied. I don’t sit in the cockpit. I sit where you sit. And I fly a lot (over 100,000 miles a year). So I would like to suggest ways the airlines could treat us better this year.But why bother?Any business that will soon be...

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