John Feinstein (born July 28, 1956) is an American sportswriter, author and sports commentator who wrote the top two best-selling non-fiction sports books in history, A Good Walk Spoiled and A Season on the Brink.
Feinstein was born in New York City, July 28, 1956. His father was heavily involved in the arts having been the General Manager of the Washington National Opera from 1980 to 1995 and was also the first Executive Director of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Feinstein's works include the two top best-selling non-fiction sports books in history. In 1995, he published the all-time best seller, A Good Walk Spoiled, about a year inside life on the PGA Tour as told through the stories of seventeen players. Just behind that in sales is his book A Season on the Brink, which chronicles a year in the life of the Indiana University basketball team and its enigmatic coach, Bob Knight.
A Season on the Brink was adapted to film with an ESPN production of a made-for-TV movie of the same title. It starred Brian Dennehy in the role of Bob Knight. During its original airing on ESPN on March 10, 2002, the film was presented uncensored for profanity, while a censored version was simulcast on ESPN2. The film was also released to DVD later in 2002. Feinstein's book The Bruce Edwards Story was released in 2004. In the book Feinstein writes about the life and final days of Tom Watson's caddy, Bruce Edwards, who had been diagnosed with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.) Feinstein and his long-time friend Terry Hanson engaged the William Morris Agency and commissioned a screenplay in conjunction with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's production company, Live Planet. The script was optioned by Disney, who considered either ABC or ESPN, but eventually decided to pursue the project. In 2010, Caddy for Life was produced in documentary format for the Golf Channel.
Newspaper and other media work
Feinstein is a columnist for The Washington Post, The Sporting News, and Golf Digest. He is also a guest commentator on NPR, and does color commentary for United States Naval Academy football games. He is a frequent contributor to The Tony Kornheiser Show and The Jim Rome Show. He also writes a blog called "Feinstein on the Brink."
Moment of Glory: The Year Underdogs Ruled Golf ISBN 0-316-02531-3
A profile of the four relatively obscure golfers who won the men's majors in 2003.
Change-Up: Mystery at the World Series ISBN 0-375-85636-6
The fourth sequel to the Last Shot series, involving a mystery at the World Series.
Living on the Black: Two Pitchers, Two Teams, One Season to Remember ISBN 0-316-11391-3
A look at the seasons of two veteran pitchers, Mike Mussina of the New York Yankees and Tom Glavine of the New York Mets, as they chase success and another World Series in their long careers.
Tales from Q School: Inside Golf's Fifth Major ISBN 0-316-01430-3
The story of the players who compete for coveted positions on the PGA Tour in the 2005 Q School
Last Dance: Behind the Scenes at the Final Four ISBN 0-316-16030-X
Tales of plays, coaches, and refs in the NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament Final Four
Next Man Up: A Year Behind The Lines in Today's NFL ISBN 0-316-00964-4
The story of the 2004-2005 Baltimore Ravens.
Cover Up: Mystery at the Super Bowl ISBN 0-375-84247-0
In the next book in the Last Shot series, Stevie and Susan Carol discover that several players who are set to play in the upcoming Super Bowl have failed doping tests, and their team's owner is trying to cover up the failed tests.
The second book in the Last Shot series sees Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson try to solve a kidnapping and numerous crimes at the U.S. Open tennis tournament.
Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery ISBN 0-375-83168-1
A fictional children's book about two children trying to solve a mystery at the Final Four. Winner of the 2006 Edgar Award in the Best Young Adult category. Stevie and Susan Carol get caught up in a blackmail threat to Chip Graber, Minnesota State's best player. In the end they get the message to Chip that they're ok and he wins the game in the "Final" Four minutes.
Let Me Tell You A Story (with Red Auerbach) ISBN 0-316-73823-9
An audio collection of Feinstein's interviews with the legendary coach of the Boston Celtics.
Caddy For Life: The Bruce Edwards Story ISBN 0-316-77788-9
The story of Bruce Edwards, the longtime caddy for golf great Tom Watson, and his ultimately losing battle with Lou Gehrig's disease.
Open: Inside the Ropes At Bethpage Park ISBN 0-316-77852-4
A look at the 2002 US Open golf tournament, held at the Black Course at Bethpage State Park on Long Island.
The Punch ISBN 0-316-73563-9
Deals with the infamous punch thrown by Kermit Washington that nearly killed Rudy Tomjanovich during an NBA game in 1977, and its impact on both men and the league.
A Good Walk Spoiled: Days And Nights on the PGA Tour ISBN 0-316-27737-1
Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 1995.
The Last Amateurs ISBN 0-316-27842-4
A look at the 1999-2000 basketball season in the Patriot League, a low-ranked Division I basketball conference. "Amateurs" refers to the fact that when Feinstein wrote this book, the conference had a policy against the granting of athletic scholarships, and even today strongly emphasizes the "student" in "student-athlete".
The Majors: In Pursuit of Golf's Holy Grail ISBN 0-316-27795-9
A look behind the scenes at a season's worth of majors, and what players do to win their sport's biggest prizes.
First Coming ISBN 0-345-42286-4
A March to Madness ISBN 0-316-27712-6
An inside look at the 1996-97 basketball season in the Atlantic Coast Conference, featuring segments on each of the nine schools then in the conference. Notably, this was the last season for North Carolina coaching legend Dean Smith.
Army vs. Navy ISBN 0-316-27824-6
A look at the 1995 football season at Army and Navy, culminating in the Army—Navy Game.
Running Mates (book)|Running Mates
Play Ball ISBN 0-679-41618-8
Hard Courts ISBN 0-679-74106-2
Forever's Team ISBN 0-394-56892-3
A look at the Duke team that lost in the NCAA final game in 1978. Because many of its stars were freshmen and sophomores, it was widely expected that the team would win a national title, but this group of Duke players never did so.
A Season Inside ISBN 0-394-56891-5
In his follow up to Brink, Feinstein took an inside look at the 1987-1988 college basketball season, including teams, players, coaches and officials from throughout the country.
A Season on the Brink ISBN 0-671-68877-4
A look at the 1985-86 basketball season at Indiana University, especially famous for its treatment of legendary coach Bob Knight.