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The Importance of Being Francesa

The popular radio host on the infamous "Francesa Snoozefest" clip, and why he's so good at his job:

"The turning point in the conversation is the transition to the subject of technology. Francesa suddenly perks up. He’s got opinions about everything, but his opinions on this subject are infused with an unmistakable passion. He can’t wait to tell you about the inherent dangers that exist in this new media age.

"He has already experienced them first-hand – the backlash to the sleeping incident being the most noteworthy recent example. But some of Francesa’s resentment towards technology may also stem from the role that he believes it played in getting his friend, and former colleague, Don Imus fired from the station in April of 2007.

"'In the old days, I’m not sure the Imus thing would’ve happened,' he says – a trace of regret in his voice. 'I think it would’ve been passed over.'"
PUBLISHED: Jan. 8, 2013
LENGTH: 29 minutes (7320 words)

Coach: A Local Legend and a Young Man's Search to Find Himself

A young man's memories of quitting the football team:

"The boy remembers walking the hallway toward his office, telling himself not to give in. He sat face-to-face with Coach, Bear Bryant's picture hanging nearby on the office wall. Are you sure you want to spend your senior year in the bleachers? Coach said. Full of teenage arrogance, the boy said he wouldn't be attending any games. He said he had watched from the sideline for two seasons and had his fill.

"Coach, always slow to speak, leaned back in his chair and warned him. He warned him that not that season, but in a decade or so, he would come to regret his decision and that once made, it could not be undone.

"The boy laughed. A grown man, said the boy, has no business thinking of games he did or did not play in high school. Coach said all right and the boy left. He never called him 'Coach' again. Not because he walked away from football, but because that summer the coach married his mother.

"And the boy hated him for that."
PUBLISHED: Oct. 9, 2012
LENGTH: 12 minutes (3001 words)

Like Any Normal Day

An excerpt from Mark Kram Jr.'s book about the life of Buddy Miley, a high school football star who became a quadriplegic after a game injury. Buddy's brother Jimmy would later help him end his life:

"Calling out the signals as the P-W defense edged in closer to the line, Buddy leaned over center at the Tennent 40-yard line. The play he called in the huddle was a handoff to running back Mark Dougherty. But Buddy also had the option to run with the ball, and that is precisely what he did as he spotted a hole open up off left tackle. From his safety position, Dippolito chose not to drop back into coverage but to stop any possible run. Buddy dodged him, but Dippolito remembers he clutched a handful of his jersey as Buddy sped by. Six or seven yards up field, P- W defensive tackle Grant Hudson caught him by the foot. But it was Frangiosa who had an angle on him. With an 8- to-10-yard running start, he plowed into him at chest level with the rage that had been building in him since Charters had handed him the game plan. Buddy flipped over and landed on his neck. Under a pile of squirming bodies, Buddy emitted an anguished squeal.

"'EEEOOOWWW!

"Then… 'I’m gonna die. I’m gonna die.'
PUBLISHED: Oct. 2, 2012
LENGTH: 22 minutes (5717 words)