Frank Deford

It seems awfully clichéd to call a veteran writer an old lion, but Frank Deford actually looks like one. Now in his mid-seventies, Deford's still got the mutton-chops, thin mustache and towering physical—and intellectual—stature to embody the king of the sports-journalism jungle. And now he's written a whimsically titillating and ruthlessly self-deprecating memoir, Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter (Atlantic Monthly Press, $25), which he begins with the suggestion that memoirs are an exercise in self-aggrandizement. People don't bat an eyelid when the Sports Illustrated legend wears sweaters, suits, ties, and button-down shirts in Easter-egg colors, whereas they mock TV basketball sideline reporter Craig Sager as a wannabe pimp for sporting such loud and proud finery. The regal Deford can (probably) drink you under the table, write you under the table, and think you under the table, but Over Time makes clear that he knows luck has plenty to do with where he is today—licking his wrinkly paws while a harem of subservient cats hunts down his supper. MIKE SEELY

Thu., June 14, 7 p.m., 2012

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