A New York Times Sportswriter Looks Back And Explains Why He Was Too Good To Be A Sportswriter

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George Vecsey will "step back" from writing a sports column in The New York Times, he writes today. His farewell column opens with an account of his beginnings:

On St. Patrick's Day of 1980, the sports editor of The New York Times asked if I would consider moving back to the sports department.

The editor, Le Anne Schreiber, said she admired the way I wrote about nuns while covering religion. Find the humanity in sports, she said. Think of it as writing short stories or plays. I cannot imagine any other approach that would have lured me back.

Oh, put a sock in it, Timesies. If you were writing plays, you would have written some plays. If Le Anne Schreiber were helping to craft short fiction, she would have gotten a job at Iowa. You worked in the toy department. Fine, you played with only the finest hand-crafted wooden heritage toys. It's still the toy department.

Photo by Mario Tama, Getty Images: BAGHDAD, IRAQ - DECEMBER 12: the Tigris River is seen at sunset on December 12, 2011 in Baghdad, Iraq. Iraq is transitioning nearly nine years after the 2003 U.S. invasion and subsequent occupation. American forces are now in the midst of the final stage of withdrawal from the war-torn country. At least 4,485 U.S. military personnel have died in service in Iraq. According to the Iraq Body Count, more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died from war-related violence.