caught looking

a blog about the philadelphia phillies. not to be confused, exactly, with "caught looking" the debut album by independent/unsigned/unheard of singer/songwriter greg roth, who is, coincidently, yours truly.

Friday, November 18, 2005

King of the Jungle

Bill Lyon, the sports columist to end all sports columnists, is retiring from his post at the Philadelphia Inquirer after a career spanning, well, the entirety of my life. His work was immensely vital to the shaping of this (still?) young writer's mind. It was Lyon's friendly pacing of prose that a young GR shamelessly aped during his career-starting stint as a sportswriter for the Lancaster New Era and Sunday News back in the 90s. Therefore, I left a comment in the forum which reads thusly:

Bill-
Thanks very much for your work. It's probably not the most prudent thing to bring up, but your career service is the same as my age. I imagine that, like other young 30-something sports fans, reading your column became more and more of a given over the years. Growing up in the Lehigh Valley, I remember through my teens thinking "this guy probably has the best job in the world in the best sports town in the world." Of course, I have no idea whether or not that's actually true, but looking back, my sentiments were probably more due to your consistant quality of writing than any single game or season I witnessed. Between your style and your residence, you seemed to have everything a sports-minded writer like myself could ever want. On a personal note, I learned more about how to use words from your consistant output than I ever did in any classroom, newsroom, or bookroom. So, for that, I thank you.
Enjoy your retirement, you've earned it.


-gr

Anyone who does not appreciate or is not familiar with Bill's effortless style of writing should read probably one of the best columns ever written, a eulogy for the man who created the greatest comic strip of all time about a boy who continued, no matter what, to play the greatest game of all time.

The greatness of Bill's writing cannot be fully explained. It must be experienced.

5 Comments:

At 11:06 AM, Blogger Tom Goodman said...

gr: I will also probably post something about Bill Lyons. I have corresponded with him frequently over the years and have valued his humanity and writing, too.

His retirement doesn't come as a surprise. Except for a brief period when his column returned to the paper this past year he has been absent lately more often than not. He will be missed.

 
At 10:02 PM, Anonymous Tom Durso said...

Having met Bill a few times over the last few years, I can attest personally to his graciousness. He's just a hell of a nice guy, in addition to being a hell of a writer.

 
At 11:12 AM, Blogger Tom Goodman said...

I hope both of you were able to watch Bill last night on DNL. I have stopped watching that show for the most part because I have little interest in the Eagles and even less in their wide receiver corps. Last night, for some mysterious reason, I did tune in and was treated to a lengthy interview with Bill, Rich Hoffman, Les Bowen and Michael Barkaan.

Lyon is one of the real treasures of this city.

 
At 9:40 AM, Blogger Tom Goodman said...

gr: turn on the comment filter and you can get rid of "people" like kleinooo

 
At 10:12 AM, Blogger gr said...

yeah, i was thinking about that. i've left it off thusfar so as not to discourage real-live anonymous posters, but maybe its time to start filtering. plus, kleinoooo and i go way back.

 

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