#2 Posted on 14.6.04 1624.41 Reposted on: 14.6.11 1624.50
The opening line of his last column?
"All a man's got is the integrity of his work."
One of my favorite lines that he's written came very recently, as he was talking about getting ready to write Johnny Cochran's book after the OJ Trial:
I said, "You, sir, are the latter-day Atticus Finch. Atticus had a day at the beach compared to you. Atticus had a kindly black defendant who all evidence said was innocent. But Atticus knew he could never get him off, not in front of an all-white Southern jury at that time. But he tried, anyway. Innocent black guy dies, but Atticus did his job, stayed true to his profession. You, Johnnie, on the other hand, had a much greater dilemma. O.J. was kindly only to people who had him under contract or who could help him get one. He was an unholy terror to everybody else. The line on guilt and innocence was blurred at best. Yet you, Johnnie, still had your professional duty -- to try to convince a mostly-black jury that there was doubt about O.J.'s guilt, according to the evidence. You had a deeper moral dilemma. What we need is a way to sum that up, in one line, the shorter the better, then use that line as the one to start your book."
#3 Posted on 14.6.04 1626.34 Reposted on: 14.6.11 1626.56
Quite simply one of the best sports writers this world has to offer.
"As an essayist I don't believe in the fiction of an anonymous observer. Rather than the sham of objectivity, I think you should put your perspective up front. That's only fair to the reader." - Ralph in Essence, 1993
Many times I found myself not believing he was only a couple years younger than my own father.