In a first-ever bonus track, Ellie Moritz (episode 21) interviews Amy Moritz (Episode 24).
Brian’s origin story as a reporter and writer is an easy one — his older sister is a writer and reporter, so of course he wanted to do it to. But what’s Amy Moritz’s origin story?
Sitting in Brian’s kitchen, they talk about how their grandma taught them how information is power, how their mom’s love of books made reading an important part of their lives, and the moment Amy realized she could be a sports writer. Amy also provides an in-depth look at life as a sports writer at The Buffalo News and why Bob Huggins loves Buffalo (and doesn’t wear a tie). They also (eventually) get around to talking about Amy’s current book project.
Molly Knight, bestselling author of “The Best Team Money Can Buy” about the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Brian reminisce about the 5th Summit on Communication and Sport and Bradley University. Molly was the keynote speaker and was terrified. Brian was a first-year doc student and somehow impressed Dave Kindred.
Molly talks about how baseball players are the easiest athletes to relate to, the adorableness of Vin Scully and his wife, how doing a little bit at a time can make a huge project seem less daunting, and why the best sports stories end in losses. She and Brian also talk about the balance of being a sports fan and a sports writer, and the importance of authenticity and passion in your writing.
The Rise, Then Shame, of Baylor Nation by Marc Tracy and Dan Barry.
It’s Press & Sun-Bulletin reunion day, as the former Binghamton University education beat writer and Binghamton University athletics writer reconnect.
Rion Amilcar Scott left journalism 10 years ago and is now a fiction writer and professor at Bowie State. He and Brian talk about creating and chronicling the fictional town of Cross River, Maryland; the biggest sins young writers make and how they can improve their writing, and the pure magic of watching your kids learn to read. Rion also gives Brian several recommended collections of short stories.
Ellie Moritz (first grader, actress, human spoiler alert) talks about her favorite Harry Potter books, the books and plays she’s written and been in, why she loves theater, and who her favorite actresses are. She also becomes the first guest of The Other 51 to sing.
Rochelle Bilow has been a writer, a line cook, a culinary student, and a farmer. She’s also the first second-generation guest of The Other 51, coming on at the recommendation of Leah Stacey. Rochelle and Brian talk about making yourself a character in your own book, why Rochelle’s memoir doesn’t have any exposition, and what people can do to make themselves a better cook.
National Magazine Award winner Chris Jones talks about what it’s like to replace Charles Pierce, why reporting is so important to his work, and finding your voice when you start writing for a new publication. Chris talks about how the Ellie-award-winning story “The Things That Carried Him” came together. They also discuss Chris’ favorite building in North America (Buffalo City Hall) and Brian’s strange romantic affinity for the southern-most stretch of the Q.E.W.
Many years ago, Mike Sielski tried to get Brian a job as a sports reporter at the Bucks County Courier Times. It didn’t happen, but life has a funny way of working out. The two get back together to talk about what makes a good Philadelphia story, why you can’t scream and yell about everything, picking your sports for a personal column, and the wonderful career of Bill Lyon. They also spend a good nine minutes geeking out about Godzilla. It’s quite a thing.
Erik Malinowski of Bleacher Report talks about writing a book about the Golden State Warriors, our favorite Simpsons episodes (including which one to best introduce Brian’s daughter to the show), and why you should never Tweet. We also get super nerdy talking about Scrivener.
Dr. Ben Sawyer, a historian from Middle Tennessee State, joins Brian to talk about why Forest Gump is a dangerous movie, why journalists are kicking historians butts in terms of writing compelling works, and why Lenin was making it all up as he went along (validating a long-standing theory of Brian’s). They also discuss their favorite Founding Fathers.
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow
All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor by Donald Stratton with Ken Girl
Woody Guthrie: A Life by Joe Klein
To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party by Heather Cox Richardson.
Dan Horan, OFM, is Alexander Hamilton to Brian’s Aaron Burr. OK, not exactly. But the writer, theologian and Franciscian friar talks about how he keeps up an insanely productive writing schedule (seriously, six books and 120 articles in just about a decade), reinvention, the problems with academic writing, and drops some Post-Colonial Theory on us. (Also, there’s a fair amount of St. Bonaventure talk).
Author Jeff Pealrman tells us why the 1980s were an awesome time in sports, how he turns 400-500 interviews into a narrative, and why he loves writing in coffee shops. He also tells us the real reason he wrote the excellent book “Gunslinger” about Brett Favre.
Casey Stengel: Baseball’s greatest character by Marty Appel
The widowhood effect: What it’s like to lose a spouse in your 30s by Christina Frangou
Food writer Jared Paventi tells us how to eat like a food critic, how he uses his camera to write recipes and the challenges in trying to maintain a blog you’re proud of . He also breaks down why he doesn’t like Hamilton.
ESPN’s Bomani Jones joins us to talk about the lessons writers can learn from economics; how his writing career influences his broadcasting work; and why college journalism students should take philosophy courses. He also gives Brian a long-overdue education to James Brown.
Michelle Garcia, senior editor for race and identities at Vox, talks about growing up as the daughter of an award-winning author, growing up in the shadow of Donald Trump, and why journalism is all about verbs. She and Brian also share some shocking confessions about Harry Potter and Oswego. It’s amazing they stay friends.
Writer, podcaster and one of Brian’s favorite people on the internet Merlin Mann talks about how the best writing books are kind of self-help books; how writing can influence every aspect of your life; and Hamilton. So much wonderful Hamilton nerdery.
New York Times columnist Dan Barry talks about the benefits of slowing down, the clarifying power of deadline and how the Franciscan sensibility informs his writing. He and Brian talk A LOT about St. Bonaventure. You’ve been warned.
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Writer, editor and professor Leah Stacy talks about why we’re drawn to stories about food and eating; how storytelling influences everything she does; and why she never uses red pen when editing or grading students’ work.
Will Leitch from Sports On Earth (and Bloomberg Politics, and New York Magazine, and New Republic, and Deadspin) talks about the importance of giving yourself deadlines, why being organized is important to being a writer, and making editors happy. We also talk about when to start reading Harry Potter to your kids.
Tim Graham from the Buffalo News talks about why writers hate mediocrity, writing stories no one else does, and a shocking amount about Rich Bartel. He also tells me whether or not I have any reason to hope for the Buffalo Bills this season (spoiler alert: nope).