Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Maybe This Is Why They Called Him "The Lip"

Illustration for article titled Maybe This Is Why They Called Him The Lip

We're bringing back our popular "Dark Side of the Locker Room" series, which you'll remember was a compendium of journalists' bizarre, amusing and previously undocumented encounters with athletes (and often athletes' genitalia). Got a story? Send it to

Today's is a brief little gem from author Robert Lipsyte, a former city and sports writer for The New York Times. He is host of the forthcoming PBS weekly series on aging, Life (Part 2). Visit his web site,

So there I was, late in the summer of 1969, sitting next to the Chicago Cubs' manager, Leo Durocher. I am intensely engaged because the Mets are chipping away at the Cubs' league lead. As a young reporter in 1962, I had covered the Mets' first year of existence, and now, seven years later as a young columnist, I was covering their first serious pennant run.


So I press Durocher, once a Yankee shortstop, later manager of the Giants and Willie Mays, for words of wisdom about winning and losing. He offers me perspective.

I follow the tilt of his head toward an attractive woman in the stands as he says, "Kid, show me a man who doesn't go down on his wife and I'll show you a man whose wife I can sleep with, tonight."

The Mets went on to sweep the Cubs series. They beat the Atlanta Braves for the National League title. They beat the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. I didn't share the best advice I've ever gotten in baseball.

Again, any sports journalist out there with a story to tell — print, online, broadcast — should send it along to You know you've got a million of them.

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