William Nack’s “O Unlucky Man” piece on one-time heavyweight champion Sonny Liston is one of the greatest stories to ever grace the pages of Sports Illustrated for many reasons.
For starters, it’s a big project, going back in time about a man who many might agree had been lost in history. It has a lede so captivating that the reader is on the edge of their seats by the time they finish the first paragraph. And it elicits an emotional response, where, by the end of it, the reader is left reflecting on life after enduring a mix of feelings including sorrow, anger and doubt.
Who was Sonny Liston? Nack takes a long, hard look to find out.