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October 21, 2016
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Mark Heisler


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Mark Heisler
Mark Heisler

Mark Heisler, who avoids writing about himself in the third person when possible, preferring the royal “we,” is a regular Truthdig contributor...


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Stories by Mark Heisler


Last Call for Vin Scully, the King of Los Angeles

After 67 years as Dodgers baseball play-by-play announcer, the 88-year-old legend is retiring at the end of the season—and remains the biggest star in town.

Posted on Sep 23, 2016 READ MORE


Add Russia’s Olympic Doping Scandal to the Rich History of Cheating in Sports

Seeking an unfair advantage in sports did not originate in the former Soviet Union, but state-sanctioned cheating is much more common in communist or former communist countries.

Posted on Aug 4, 2016 READ MORE


Kevin Durant’s Exit From Oklahoma City Thunder Spotlights the Role of Whim in Sports

These people, treated with elevated deference by the media, are like overindulged children, stuck in adolescence, because they have never been obliged to make real-world decisions and live with real-world consequences.

Posted on Aug 3, 2016 READ MORE



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MLB All-Star Game Has Become a ‘Midsummer Classic’ Dud

Baseball’s showcase used to be a big deal, but like all other professional sports leagues’ All-Star Games, it continues to decline in popularity and now exists mainly as a way to schmooze sponsors and media partners.

Posted on Jul 11, 2016 READ MORE


Hubris Costs Warriors NBA Championship

Owner Joe Lacob should have been the voice of reason. But he—like the rest of the Golden State team—got caught up in a regular-season record chase and lost sight of the ultimate prize.

Posted on Jun 21, 2016 READ MORE


Blue Jays-Rangers Brawl Highlights Major League Baseball’s Latino-Anglo Rift

You can argue whether it’s racial or cultural, but tension among the players is real, and integration is not the same as acceptance.

Posted on May 18, 2016 READ MORE


NFL’s Handling of CTE Controversy Shows Compassionate Conservatism of Roger Goodell in Action

In determining the effect of concussions on the lives of football players, nobody lawyers up while making sincere protestations of loving the other side like the NFL commissioner.

Posted on Apr 22, 2016 READ MORE

View older articles:  1 2 3 >  Last »


Mark Heisler
Mark Heisler

Mark Heisler, who avoids writing about himself in the third person when possible, preferring the royal “we,” is a regular Truthdig contributor and a former NBA-at-large reporter for the Los Angeles Times and the Tribune newspaper chain.

The 2006 winner of the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award, Heisler has spent almost 30 years covering the NBA, the first seven in Philadelphia with the Inquirer and the Bulletin, later more than 20 with the L.A. Times and now he writes for Forbes on a constant basis. In 2010, the Los Angeles Press Club honored Heisler’s original Truthdig columns by granting him the Best Online Column award
for his Truthdig essay “It’s Not About Tiger Woods, It’s About Us.” In 2011, Heisler was awarded the Southern California Journalism Award for Online Sports News, Feature, and Commentary for his Truthdig article“Role Models for the Id.”

A native of Springfield, Ill., he graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in journalism. In 1969 at age 25, he was lucky enough to get a job in Philadelphia, a hotbed in the sports writing revolution sometimes called the “Chipmunk Movement” for a comment made by the great Jimmy Cannon at the sight of young writers chatting excitedly about what they had just written.

For their part, the chipmunks spurned homerism, prized irreverence, widened coverage to include social causes, and, as Philadelphia 76er GM Pat Williams told GQ’s Alan Richman, “scared everyone to death.”

Several revolutions later, Heisler is fascinated by the vast changes across communications that make almost everything accessible almost everywhere. On the downside, with the competition for market share making immediacy and sensation all-important, the press has become a giant tabloid, obsessing upon and warping stories, as opposed to putting them in perspective. If change is inevitable and his generation had it coming—Heisler calls it “payback for Elvis”—the scary part is this isn’t just something that happening in sports.

Heisler has spent three years as a baseball writer covering the Angels and the Dodgers, and five on the L.A. Raider beat in his Hunter Thompson Experience, with owner Al Davis petitioning his bosses to get him taken off it for the last four of those years. He has also written books about the Lakers and Pat Riley and co-authored a book about Bobby Knight with Steve Delsohn.

He lives in Northridge, Calif., with his wife, the long-suffering Loretta Summers Heisler, and their daughter, Emily.

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