Rick Reilly joins legends in NSSA Hall of Fame

ESPN columnist Rick Reilly has been a sportswriter for 35 years. He’s seen and done just about everything you could imagine in his profession, and this week represents the culmination of his brilliant writing career for two reasons.

First, this evening he will be inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA) Hall of Fame in Salisbury, N.C, joining the likes of Grantland Rice, Red Smith, Damon Runyon, Jim Murray and other legendary writers who have received this honor over the past 54 years. (ESPN’s Dick Vitale was also inducted as a sportscaster in 2013.)

Reilly, an 11-time NSSA Sportswriter of the Year, will be joined by veteran broadcaster Marv Albert as members of the 2014 NSSA Hall of Fame class. Reilly will be introduced by his longtime friend, Denver Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway, at the NSSA banquet tonight at Catawba College.

The other major milestone for Reilly occurs tomorrow when his final column is posted on In March, Reilly announced he would be giving up the column to focus on his ESPN television features and this will be his official goodbye from the career he started in 1979 as an undergraduate assistant with the Daily Camera in Boulder, Colo. As a tribute, also plans a sidebar story that gathers the opinions of sports writers and others about their favorite Reilly writing.

After discussing his recent book “Tiger, Meet My Sister. . . ” last month, Reilly speaks with Front Row again here (video above) about the NSSA honor and why it means so much to him. He also talks about Elway, the two-time Super Bowl champion Broncos quarterback, whose playing career Reilly covered.

Congrats to Reilly, and, while we will all miss his writing, look for more of his outstanding television features (like these) on Monday Night Countdown, SportsCenter and other ESPN programs this fall.

Note: For more on Reilly, here’s a recent interview he did with USA Today’s “For the Win” about his retirement from writing.

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