Here’s a connection between two famous personages you might have not been aware of or had just forgotten.
Roger Kahn (“The Boys of Summer” et al.) had covered the Brooklyn Dodgers during their glory days of the early 1950s, then moved to a fledgling publication called Sports Illustrated.
Herman Hickman was a former Volunteer, an over-sized tackle in the early days, 1929-31, who earned a spot on Grantland Rice’s All-America team with a scintillating performance in the 1931 Charity Bowl.
That was the Depression-era game the Vols won 13-0 over New York University at Yankee Stadium, with the city of Knoxville receiving a check for $18,583 from game proceeds.
Herman Hickman became a member of the College Football Hall of Fame in 1958, the year of his death, April 25.
A prolific author, Kahn never really escaped the lure of writing about sports.
The duo’s paths had crossed at the new magazine, but Kahn felt some frustration in his role. “Sadly, it was no go at the magazine,” he wrote. “Sports Illustrated was improving and I was growing, but along divergent roads, and when I found myself assigned to ghost-write the football articles of Herman Hickman, my patience snapped and I resigned.”
He always said he thought about going back to cover baseball, but “I had seen carpeted offices and Marilyn Monroe.”
Lindsey Nelson once observed that students who missed journalism class were in training to become ghostwriters, facing a career of writing brilliantly conceived copy under other people’s names.
Sometimes it works.
Sometimes it doesn’t.
Friday, April 29, 2016