The Cover of the final issue of The NationalBud Shaw has a great story over at Mental Floss on the rise and fall of The National, a short-lived national daily sports newspaper.

I read it regularly and loved it, before it died a year after it sprang into existence. It was supposed to be the USA Today of sports, covering both national and local sports every day. It was loaded with some of the best sports writers of any era: Frank Deford, Scott Ostler, and Dave Kindred.

At the time the National was on newsstands, I was a Lakers fan living in Chicago. Back then, if you wanted to follow another team other than the local teams, you had no real options. This was before the Internet. But I fondly remember sitting at lunch, reading the National for daily, in-depth coverage of my hometown Lakers from 2000 miles away, an idea that was revolutionary at the time.

Not only did The National precede the Web, it nearly preceded the desktop publishing revolution, so, as Shaw details in his story, the technological challenges they were trying to overcome in 1990 were daunting. Ultimately, it was a bold, journalistic idea with a bad business plan. But it was great while it lasted…

Check out the full, entertaining article here.