Why Your Hometown Columnist Sucks: Joe Biddle

It was Joe Biddle who once said: "Not everyone is going to like you. If you want that, go be a greeter at Wal-Mart." Well, we knew a greeter at Wal-Mart once, and he was a real bastard. His first words to us upon entering the store were: "Keep it moving, Jose." Our name is not Jose. Then, and we're not totally sure about this, but we think he flipped us off. So yeah, Joe: strike one. Let's go to the vital statistics:

Name: Joe Biddle.
Writes For: The Tennessean.
Former Employers: Nashville Banner (defunct), Daytona Beach News Journal, Johnson City Press-Chronicle.
Born: Johnson City, Tenn.
Attended: East Tennessee State University (Buccaneers).
Others To Attend ETSU: Kenny Chesney.
Most Often Heard On: WWTN-FM The Fan (99.7) SportsNight.
Nicknames: Biddle 'n Bits; Dauber.
Most Resembles: Chris Griffin.
Why, in the final analysis, he's still better than most of us: Served tour of duty in Vietnam, 1969.
Telling Quote: "It hurts a little bit to have to acknowledge that The Tennessean was right. Never mind that Joe Biddle probably has more inaccuracies in one daily column than (Tom) Collen has had in a lifetime." — VandyMania.com

It's been an exhaustive few days here at Deadspin; we've spent most of our time here reading Joe Biddle columns. Our conclusion is that he couldn't put a coherent sentence together if you spotted him "It was the best of times, it was the worst ..." It's as if most of his columns were cobbled together by elves; little, flimsy wooden structures which fall to pieces under the least bit of fact or scrutiny.

We'll admit it, half the time we didn't know what we were looking at, as in this piece, which we think is a notes column. Then there was the column on the Belmont-Lipscombe basketball rivalry, which included the line "If it gets any closer, these two teams will turn into Siamese twins." Is there a high school journalism advisor on the premises? We need a red pencil, stat! There wasn't a hint of insight in that column, no real reason we should be reading it. We guess that, with his radio gigs and many appearances at various local conferences and media events, Biddle is what passes for as sports celebrity in Tennessee. He's embraced this "fame" to the detriment of his writing, which has fewer calories than garden cress. On top of that, he's starting to get the reputation as a curmudgeon — the words "argumentative for no reason" and "old codger" are mentioned more than once when locals refer to him. In journalism, that's the refuge of soundrels.

Joe Biddle Archive [The Tennessean]