Columnist for ESPN.com
Rick Reilly, 53, has been voted National Sportswriter of the Year 11 times. He is a front-page columnist for ESPN.com and an essayist for ESPN SportsCenter, as well as ESPN's and ABC's golf coverage. He is also the host of
Homecoming, ESPN's one-hour interview show which has featured Michael Phelps, John Elway and Magic Johnson, among many others. He is also an occasional anchor for
He is the winner of the 2009 Damon Runyon Award for Outstanding Contributions to Journalism, an honor previously won by Jimmy Breslin, Tim Russert, Bob Costas, Mike Royko, George Will, Ted Turner and Tom Brokaw, among others. Three times his columns have been read into the record in the U.S. Congress. An astronaut once took his signed trading card into space.
The New York Daily News called him “one of the funniest humans on the planet.” Publishers Weekly called him, “an indescribable amalgam of Dave Barry, Jim Murray, and Lewis Grizzard, with the timing of Jay Leno and the wit of Johnny Carson.”
He has written about everything from ice skater Katarina Witt behind the Iron Curtain to actor Jack Nicholson in the front row, from wrestling priests in Mexico City to mushers at the Iditarod, from playing golf with President Clinton to playing golf with O.J. Simpson and back again. He has five times had the disagreeable task of accompanying the models on the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. He was once featured in a Miller Lite ad with swimsuit cover girl Rebecca Romijn (Stamos). In July of 2010, he survived running with the bulls of Pamplona, Spain. Twice.
He is the author of 10 books, including his latest -- Sports From Hell, My Search for the World’s Dumbest Competition (Doubleday). It’s the account of his three-year search for the dumbest sport in the world. Not to give anything away, but a good bet would be either Ferret Legging or the World Sauna Championships. It also includes embarrassing attempts by Reilly to try Nude Bicycle Racing, Zorbing, Chess Boxing, Extreme Ironing, the World Rock Paper Scissors Championships, and an unfortunate week on a women’s pro football team.
For nearly 23 years -– from 1985 until 2007 -- his breezy, hilarious and yet often emotional style graced the pages of Sports Illustrated. For the last 10 there, he wrote the popular “Life of Reilly” column, which ran on the last page. It was the first signed weekly opinion column in the magazine’s long history. He is “the Tiger Woods of sports columnists,” says Bloomberg News.