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Don't Ever Let Anyone Tell You Its "Just" Sports
June 11, 2014 9:42 AM   Subscribe

The awesome Rick Reilly's last column addresses fathering and sports. Until 2008 the "back page" columnist for Sports Illustrated, Reilly is retiring from ESPN. He is already a member of the Sportswriters Hall of Fame and was 11 times voted Sportswriter of the Year.
posted by bearwife (18 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Never a huge Reilly fan, but this is a nice, gracious
posted by kgasmart at 9:50 AM on June 11


Rick Reilly's fall from world class writer to lowest-common denominator SI columnist to self-plagiarism and self-parody at ESPN was really something. Deadspin had a nice retrospective of the good times.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 9:55 AM on June 11 [9 favorites]


I am the son of a drunk, a man who was much too concerned with where his next whiskey was coming from than where I was going.

I am too concerned with grammar than sports.

Seriously, the lead sentence in the guy's last column and ESPN couldn't take the trouble to copyedit it?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:03 AM on June 11 [3 favorites]


The best thing about Rick Reilly, as far as I was concerned, was that he wasn't Mitch Albom.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:12 AM on June 11 [5 favorites]


Rick Reilly has not been awesome for quite some time.

I mean, we are talking about someone who misquoted his own father-in-law in order to defend the Washington Racist Nicknamed Football team.
posted by norm at 10:13 AM on June 11 [4 favorites]


I remember really enjoying Reilly's column in the early 1990s and I prefer to remember him that way.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:21 AM on June 11 [5 favorites]


"I'd notice how Michael Jordan never appeared before us until his tie was tied, his $3,000 suit buttoned, his silk pocket square just so. From him, I learned professionalism."

LOL. Michael Jordan is a prick. Here.
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 10:23 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


The funny thing about that "Michael Jordan Is A Prick" slideshow is that much of the sourcing for it appears to be from Rick Reilly columns.
posted by norm at 10:40 AM on June 11


I can't imagine what I'd want to learn from Michael Jordan that didn't involve winning basketball games or losing money at poker.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 11:02 AM on June 11


Sorry to pile on, but Rick Reilly has long been completely unbearable, and this column is a fitting way to remember him. His legacy is having helped to establish the overwrought, magisterial-yet-touchingly-personal style of sportswriting that so curses contemporary sports journalism. If I wanted to read a man-child's Pilgrim's Progress, marinated in Gatorade and Dr. Phil, he's left plenty of successors, though none quite his equal.

P.S. It's so hard to choose the best passage. The poor man credited with teaching him humility? "No writer in history is more flawed than me, but it was never for lack of trying." "Sox Walseth died 10 years ago, but I hope he saw. I hope I did better." "Life's circles are funny, aren't they?"
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 11:52 AM on June 11 [4 favorites]


I too am concerned with grammar than sports.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:55 AM on June 11 [3 favorites]


He didn't have a functioning Dad, so I'll give him a pass on the plagiarism. One of the most important things a man can do for his son is to teach him how to properly cite sources and not steal ideas from others or ones own self.
posted by Renoroc at 12:04 PM on June 11 [4 favorites]


My brother subscribed to SI when we were kids. My mom didn't know that new subscribers had a choice between the SI gift (crappy jacket/bag) or the Swimsuit Issue. My brother chose wisely. Anyway, he's always been much too interested in sports than me.

I love a good bash, so I'll bash Reilly along with everyone else, but I really loved reading his column as a kid. I loved to read, but Reilly's column may have been some of the only op-ed I encountered at that age.

Other than Steve Rushin that is. Rushin beats Reilly any day.
posted by stinkfoot at 2:20 PM on June 11


Speaking of now-retired SI writers, Gary Smith retired at the end of April.

His stuff's largely available on the SI website and I've done two FPPs on him, here and here.

Okay, thanks for indulging me--now back to beating up on Reilly!
posted by MoonOrb at 2:41 PM on June 11


I think the sheer pace of "Life of Reilly" diminished the quality. It's hard to be original, clever and insightful that consistently. Toward the end he was flirting with the Mendoza line. That said, when he was on target he was fun to read.

Also, I applaud people who realize that they're finished and retire. May we all enjoy the fruits of our labors and close up work in our mid-fifties.
posted by 26.2 at 3:42 PM on June 11


"I'd notice how Michael Jordan never appeared before us until his tie was tied, his $3,000 suit buttoned, his silk pocket square just so. From him, I learned professionalism."

LOL. Michael Jordan is a prick.


Honestly, I don't think these are in conflict. Michael Jordan basically wrote the book on being a monomaniacal type-A A-hole, but he's also always been pretty damn good at looking and acting incredibly sharp for the cameras (minus that grotesque hall of fame speech), and building himself into a global "brand". Prick, yes. But a very professional prick.
posted by mcstayinskool at 5:17 PM on June 11


FakeRickReilly VeryFakeRickReilly
Maybe you think it's no big deal that Manny juiced. Well, tell that Jim Wheeler, whose son died from PED-induced liver failure.

FakeRickReilly VeryFakeRickReilly
"Manny Being Manny" is no excuse for "Timmy Wheeler Being Dead." Sometimes I think these ballplayers have sunflower seeds for brains.

FakeRickReilly VeryFakeRickReilly
A yachting team from Zimbabwe? Meet Maube Polumbo and his sailing crew. HAKUNA REGATTA!

FakeRickReilly VeryFakeRickReilly
In forming a track & field club for blind kids, Sue's heart was in the right place. Tragically, spectators near the javelin runway were not.

FakeRickReilly VeryFakeRickReilly
Demons? You want demons? Phil Tunney has demons. The kind of demons that caused a porch to collapse on his aunt when he was just 6.

FakeRickReilly VeryFakeRickReilly
The kind of demons that caused two anonymous robbers to walk into his brother Jay's diner one day, shooting Jay and taking all his money.
30 Apr 09

FakeRickReilly VeryFakeRickReilly
The kind of demons that cruelly let Jay live on a respirator for 8 months, only to finally stop his heart one day without warning.

FakeRickReilly VeryFakeRickReilly
The kind of demons that led his first wife to crystal meth and eventual suicide.

FakeRickReilly VeryFakeRickReilly
The kind of demons that caused Phil to grow to just 5'6", 156 lbs. The kind of demons that saw him cut from every team he tried out for.

FakeRickReilly VeryFakeRickReilly
The kind of demons that gave his father lymphoma and ravaged his body, killing him by age 45.

FakeRickReilly VeryFakeRickReilly
So yeah, Phil Tunney has demons. Maybe that's why he took up Busch league truck racing. Maybe, for once, HE could be a demon. A speed demon.
Here.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:32 PM on June 11


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by norm at 10:40 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


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