David Kindred’s press credentials reflect a fabulous life well-lived. He has been privileged to have a front-row seat to Super Bowls, Olympics, the World Series, 52 Masters, and countless heavyweight fights. He interviewed the late Muhammad Ali more than 300 times.
He isn’t just a sportswriter. He is a storyteller, and a damn good one.
At 79, Kindred is still in the game. But the high-profile stage is in his rear-view mirror.
These days, Kindred covers a local high school’s girls basketball team in Central Illinois. He began that journey shortly after retiring there in 2010. Faced with a touch of cabin fever, he started watching high school games in nearby Morton, Illinois, home of the Lady Potters. He now posts his stories on the Lady Potters website and his personal Facebook page.
Kindred put that affinity to good use, doing what he’s done best as a nationally acclaimed sportswriter and columnist for decades, whose handiwork has been etched on the pages of the “Washington Post,” the “Atlanta Journal Constitution” and “The Sporting News,” among other publications.
Now the stage is his, free flying with no editors or bosses, on his own terms.
“Katie Krupa, big-time player, arrived this afternoon at the Potterdome,” reads a Facebook post from March 13. “It’s not as if we haven’t seen her be really good for three years, among the best in Illinois. But now it’s time for upper-case letters, KATIE KRUPA.”
His career trajectory will be featured this Sunday, Match 28, on 60 Minutes.
“This team became my community,” he tells 60 Minutes. “It became my friends. You know, they were light. And I knew that light was always going be there, you know, two or three times a week.”
The “light” is definitely something that Kindred needs in his life. His presence at the games has provided a healing touch in times of personal pain.
His 25-year-old grandson, Jared Kindred, died in January 2014 after suffering from alcohol addiction. Kindred details that journey in his recently released book, Leave Out the Tragic Parts.
In December 2015, Cheryl — his wife and high school sweetheart — suffered a major stroke that left her uncommunicative. She is now confined to a nursing home.
“We were 17 together,” he wrote in a Facebook post on Feb. 24, accompanied by a portrait of Cheryl. “I see her there still. Cheryl is 45 in this painting. I see her there, too. Every time I see her in the nursing home now, I see her still beautiful. Today is our 59th wedding anniversary.”
Life goes on for David Kindred, filled with simple joys, and a pain he can very eloquently articulate.