Friday, May 4, 2012

What I learned: Frank Bodani on rolling with the unexpected

Frank Bodani's column about former NFL star Rosey Grier grieving for his deceased wife was part of an entry that won second place in sports columns in the Keystone Awards competition.

The column starts in an unusual place: The opening moments of conversation after Rosey returned Frank's call when Frank was at home. Here is Frank on how that came about:

In writing about Penn State legend Rosey Grier, I was reminded again about not losing candid reporting moments in your story, if possible. Rosey returned my call several days later, and out of the blue. It caught me by surprise, and so I ran with that. I used our reactions to each other, our conversation, to help tell my story and make my point.
And since this was a column, I hoped doing that would also lure readers. Here was a conversation with a man so many people idolized or simply knew for so many exploits. Someone they had forgotten and could remember again.
I wanted people to relate to Rosey now, so I just let the conversation flow. I didn't get in the way.