Alumnus is a knockout writer

June 30, 2009

David P. Greisman ’07 recently garnered national recognition during the eighth annual Boxing Writers Association of America writing contest, including taking first place in the “boxing column” category.

Greisman was among those honored earlier this month with a “Barney” award – named in the memory of the late former BWAA president, Barney Nagler – at the 84th annual BWAA Awards Dinner in New York City.

Greisman – who earned his bachelor’s degree in English and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa while at McDaniel – is a reporter for The Keene Sentinel in New Hampshire, where he has covered local government, politics, a month-long murder trial and last year's presidential election.

He has been writing a boxing column since his days on The Hill, and credits his time at McDaniel with helping him launch a successful career as a writer.

“McDaniel helped me get my foot in the door with an internship at The Baltimore Sun,” said Greisman, 27. “That got me the experience and training I needed. I've only grown as a writer since then, and I've been able to grow while covering some exciting stories.”

In addition to first place for a column titled, “The Prices They Pay: Of Warriors and Tragedies,” which was published on, Greisman also was awarded honorable mentions in the “Boxing News Story” and the “Boxing Event Coverage” categories.

Other first-place winners included writers from The Ring magazine, Boxing Monthly, the Philadelphia Daily News, and the New York Times Sports Magazine. A panel of six nationally renowned sports writers judged the contest.

Greisman’s accomplishment as a nationally recognized boxing writer harkens to a period in the late 1920s when boxing was one of the most popular intercollegiate sports at what was then known as Western Maryland College. Football coach and Athletic Director Richard C. Harlow introduced boxing to the college in 1927.

More than 200 coaches and fighters are credited with helping the college earn a reputation for boxing excellence. It was one of the most respected boxing schools in the East, according to “A History of Boxing at Western Maryland College 1927-1951,” published by the college in 1988.

“Many were men of the Depression who found their way to Westminster and Western Maryland College. Some became champions, some near champions. Many were great and some not so great. All were admired,” according to the publication.

An excerpt from Greisman’s first-place column:

The Prices They Pay: Of Warriors and Tragedies

Police chases, celebrity overdoses and reality television. We are a society fascinated with both glamour and the unvarnished truth, with outsized personalities and individual failings. We favor human drama, and we are often compelled by tragedy while largely forgetting about the underlying humanity.

At its core, the Sweet Science is neither sweet nor scientific. It is thudding jabs, cracking crosses, hooks and uppercuts intent on disorienting an opponent and delivering him into unconsciousness. It is swollen tissue, gaping cuts, welts, bruising and bleeding supplied and taken the same whether the payday is eight digits or $100 a round, whether the prize is a championship belt and a roaring ovation or an arm raised in the air in front of the few faithful gathered for preliminary action.

It is what it must be: two men, for one hour or less. The impact of all that impact stretches longer.

The most visible example is Muhammad Ali, whose Parkinson's disease is attributed to the punishment he took through decades of prizefights and sparring. His lighting of the Olympic torch in Atlanta in 1996 touched many as recognition of a personality that transcended the sport, but the attention it brought to his condition is the proverbial exception to the rule. Most other fighters are remembered solely for who they were in the ring.

Theirs are lives chronicled in scrapbooks, each fight a chapter with a protagonist and his foil, rising and falling action. The canon compiles the greatest of epic warriors, men armed for battle and prepared to go out on their shields. They speak of being willing to die in the ring and fight as if that is true. Sometimes it is.

Read the rest of Greisman’s winning piece...