Tom Junod is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com. He joined ESPN after spending nearly 20 years at Esquire, which he left after former editor-in-chief David Granger was fired earlier this year.
Junod is one of the most decorated magazine writers of his generation. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award 11 times, and has won twice. His story, “The Death of Patient Zero,” won the June L. Biedler Prize for cancer writing earlier this year. He’s been anthologized in The Best American Magazine Writing, Best American Sports Writing, Best American Political Writing, Best American Crime Writing and even Best American Food Writing.
For Esquire’s 75th anniversary issue, editors at the magazine selected his 9-11 story “The Falling Man” as one of the top seven stories in the magazine’s history.
In this episode, Junod talks about the first story he reported for ESPN (his second story overall), a piece titled “Eugene Monroe Has A Football Problem.” The story is about the retired NFL lineman who spoke out earlier this year about the NFL needing to change its policy toward marijuana.
He also talks about a piece that just went live on ESPN.com, titled “In Defense of Participation Trophies.”