Bisheff hangs 'em up

Register columnist Steve Bisheff announced his retirement from the paper in today's column. Bisheff goes back to the Herald Examiner days and used his last column to conclude that sportswriting is a pretty decent gig.

creditI was there for all of it. I covered Wooden and Auerbach. Koufax and Gibson. Ali and Frazier. Unitas and Montana.

From the best seat in the house, I watched Reggie Jackson and Reggie Bush. Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. Gary Beban and Matt Leinart. Bruce Jenner and Greg Louganis. Affirmed and Barbaro.

There have been too many great moments to count. From Kirk Gibson's limp-off home run to Montana's clutch drive in the Super Bowl. From Wooden's final-game, national title victory to the Angels' seventh-game World Series triumph. From Kareem's 88-2 college run to Magic over Bird in the NCAA Finals.

For all the athletes who were jerks, who grew to be mindless megliomaniacs [sic], there was also a core of good guys such as Jim Abbott and Ronnie Lott, Tony Gwynn and Jack Snow, Elton Brand and Tim Salmon, Tom Watson and Steve Young, just to name a few.

My job wasn't to immortalize them. It was to tell the truth about them, to dig past the score and try to find more to the story.

There was a segment of my sportswriting colleagues who used to turn their noses up at fans, believing they were above them. Some of the more self-absorbed considered themselves too literate for the sports page.

They were wrong. I always felt my mission was to be the fan's conduit, having access to clubhouses and locker rooms they couldn't visit. It was my job to ask the questions they'd want to ask, to probe the issues they were talking and thinking about.

Trying to write for the fans didn't mean you weren't trying to write well. On the contrary, the best people in this profession are those who have managed to do both. And I'm happy to report there are still plenty of those around. But it's not easy. You have to constantly work at it.

As the years have gone by for me, the deadlines and travel burdens have become tiresome and tedious. But how can you grouse when you've felt the electricity in Yankee Stadium, the drama at old Boston Garden, the thrill of a fourth quarter in the Rose Bowl, the excitement at the finish line of the Kentucky Derby?

Hat tip: Fishbowl LA

Photo: Orange County Register

November 30, 2006 5:19 PM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor
 

© 2003-2014   •  About LA Observed  •  Contact the editor
LA Biz Observed
2:07 PM Sat | The funeral for Mark Lacter will be held Sunday, Nov. 24 at 12 noon at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles 90045. Reception to follow.
Native Intelligence
Ellen Alperstein | These people walk among you. On stilts. Dressed in leaves and bark.
Jon Christensen and Mark Gold | It was a beautiful, sunny late afternoon in the Santa Monica Mountains, and James Cameron was sending mixed signals. The director of "Avatar" had just unveiled his latest invention: open-source solar sunflowers. This was a celebration, but there was a dark cloud on the director's mind.
Phil Wallace | The Lakers front office has a chance to take a superstar in next month's NBA Draft. But if recent history is any guide, there's a strong possibility that they'll take a complete bust.
Gary Leonard | Take My Picture Gary Leonard appears weekly at LA Observed.
Bill Boyarsky
The best place to watch baseball in Los Angeles is not Dodger Stadium. It’s Jackie Robinson Stadium, the small, elegant home of the UCLA baseball Bruins. Unfortunately for the university, the ballpark occupies 10 acres of the 387-acre Veterans Administration health facility in West Los Angeles, land reserved for housing and treating veterans.
Jenny Burman
Before I lived in Echo Park, there was a tiny 1920s bungalow-cottage-standalone house on N. Occidental in Silver Lake. I...
Here in Malibu
Despite what the calendar says, with the Memorial Day weekend behind us summer is unofficially launched. Here in Malibu, law...