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Frank Deford Lurves A-Rod But Probably Not As Much As He Loves Grunting Tennis Players

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Frank Deford, writer for Sports Illustrated, commentator on NPR and frequent contributor to Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, picked up his pen – I imagine that Deford still writes out all of his columns in longhand and forces an intern to type them – and wrote an ode to Alex Rodriguez on the eve of the suddenly-everybody-in-New-York-loves-him (imagine that) Yankees slugger’s first appearance in the World Series. A sampling:

And then, of course, October — A-Rod’s month that had lived in infamy. Had any great player’s name in any sport ever so pitilessly been paired with the word “choke” in a succession of offseasons? But in his third at bat in this October’s first postseason game, he drove in a run and drove away the boos, and he was off on a tear all the way to the World Series. By the end, Sunday night, when New York finished off the Angels, it was A-Rod that the Yankees surrounded. It was hard to believe he was the same person who started the season. He was a team-mate.

To be sure, it is top-notch passage written by one of the more well-respected and admired journalists to ever write about sports. But it lacked passion, intensity, lust. When I saw that he was writing about A-Rod, I was hoping he would try to match his sexually-evocative, erotic prose he displayed when he recounted his love for women’s grunting during tennis (seriously, click through, it’s worth it).

I must come clean with you guys. The only reason I published this was so I could link back to my earlier post about Deford’s women’s tennis column and upload that atrocious photo of him. Mea culpa, everyone.

But you know, considering the two things I set out to do, I would call this post a success, which is nice when you think about it.

No one else quite like A-Rod [SI]