UConn Magazine: I Wouldn’t Have Listened to Me

The I-84 musings of famed sportswriter Leigh Montville ’65 (CLAS)

Black & white photo of sportswriter Leigh Montville sitting down in front of a typewriter

Montville in his Medfield, Massachusetts, home office in April. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

The thought arrived on that mindless stretch of I-84 between Boston and Storrs. You know where I mean. You’re heading past what once was RedArt’s garage on the right, then a sign for the Ashford Motel, then the Ruby Road turnoff for the TA Truck Stop in Willington, then the billboard for exotic dancing at the Electric Blue Café, all in preparation for Exit 68 and that seven-mile straight shot on Route 195 back in time to the UConn campus you once knew so well.

“Will these kids pay any attention to me?” I wondered.

I was scheduled to speak to Mike Stanton’s Newswriting I class in a lecture hall in the Nursing School in an hour or so, describing a career as a sports columnist at the Boston Globe, a senior writer at Sports Illustrated, and as the author of nine books, plus a tenth that I had just started. I certainly had enough experience to talk, but maybe I had too much experience.

You know what I mean.

I graduated in 1965. This was 2019. The difference was 54 years. Suppose some character showed up in the office of the Connecticut Daily Campus at the Student Union in 1965, some wizened graduate from 54 years earlier, ready to impart some journalistic knowledge to the young editor-in-chief. The visitor would have graduated in 1911. Would I have paid any attention to someone who graduated in 1911?

“Not a chance,” I decided.

Would these kids pay any attention to me?

Read on for more.