All posts by andrewdonlan2019

Mary Schmich is world famous – but you may not know her

By Andrew Donlan
Medill Reports

Mary Schmich was walking to work at the Chicago Tribune, as she did everyday, when she passed a young woman naively soaking herself in some of the first strong rays of sun on Lake Michigan after a long Chicago winter.

“I remember thinking ‘God, I hope she’s wearing sunscreen.’” Schmich said. “And I kept walking and I thought, you know, I’ve just got so much advice I’d like to give to young people.”

She laughed at herself, realizing she’d reached the age where such thoughts even crossed her mind. Later, she fired up her computer, grabbed a coffee and some M&Ms from the vending machine at the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue and began writing.

“Wear sunscreen.”

Closer to the end of the summer of ’97, a few months after she passed the sunbathing girl, Schmich got a call from a friend. His sister, who lived in Denver, had sent him an e-mail of a commencement speech by Kurt Vonnegut at MIT. It looked an awful lot like something he had read from her in the Chicago Tribune months earlier, he said.

“You better get on this,” he told her. Continue reading

Riding with SLAM Magazine at NBA All-Star weekend

By Andrew Donlan and John Alfes
Medill Reports

South Tryon Street buzzed on a summery, mid-February afternoon in Charlotte, as basketball fans from around the country swarmed a Sprinter van enveloped in vibrant magazine covers at the epicenter of the basketball universe — NBA All-Star weekend.

The van was placed strategically near Charlotte’s Mint Museum, which was paying homage to Nike’s Jordan brand in an atrium  exhibit of larger-than-life graphics. The basketball staple has prevailed sans uncertainty for more than three decades. Outside, another basketball brand — the iconic SLAM Magazine — put new methods of doing business to the test, led by ambitious workers determined to propel the publication forward in its third decade, too. Continue reading

Anthony Davis lists his preferred destinations. All 29 of them.

By Andrew Donlan
Medill Reports

CHARLOTTE, N.C.– Anthony Davis, a current member of the New Orleans Pelicans, mostly fielded questions regarding what team he’d play for in the future at All-Star media day on Saturday.

Celtics fans rejoiced when Davis said that Boston was on his list.

“They were never not on my list,” Davis said.

Davis later said that all 29 other cities were on his list, but most NBA teams know better than to think they have a chance in the sweepstakes. Either they can’t keep him long term, or they know that they don’t have the trade pieces to acquire him before he becomes a free agent.
Continue reading

Keeping history – Jack’s Silverstein’s present to Chicago sports fans

By Andrew Donlan
Medill Reports

When Chicago Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky threw six touchdowns in late September, Chicago’s sports historian thought of Sid Luckman, who once threw seven. As the Bears 2018-2019 defense celebrated takeaway after takeaway, he was reminded of the ’63 team—that was his father’s squad, and one of the best NFL defenses ever. His research aids his memory— and vise versa—and his writing lets contemporary sports fans in on unexplored pasts.

Jack Silverstein is that sports historian. The 37-year-old journalist keeps the legends of Luckman, George Halas, and Walter Payton alive. The average fan perceives a sports achievement as unprecedented but Silverstein’s work reminds them that it’s probably not. As Brian Urlacher became eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Chicago sports guru made sure that his Twitter followers remembered every accomplishment of his 13-year career with the Bears. Continue reading