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.
You’re in line at the bank. The person ahead of you is talking to the cashier. Minutes pass. “What’s taking so long?” you wonder. You’re in traffic. You switch to the left lane. The person in front of you is going under the speed limit. “Why so slow?” you grouse....
The first Olympic Games I covered were in an alpine village in a country that no longer exists. Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, was a cheery place in 1984, despite limited resources, a town where you drank with the locals late at night and where, during the opening...
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.
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.”
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!”
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...
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...