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Another home run for Wright Thompson

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Steak Snabler, May 23, 2012.

  1. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Anyone who's ever written about Alabama football — especially Alabama football history — knows that Billy Varner, who was Bear Bryant's body guard and driver in his later years, would have been the ultimate "get" of an interview. But Varner always refused to talk.

    Well, Wright Thompson got him, albeit under terrible circumstances.


    A great, and sad, read.
  2. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    Spectacular piece.
  3. BlackBerry

    BlackBerry New Member

    Seems like everything Thompson writes is a Grand Slam. He and Wetzel rarely miss.
  4. mjslovin91

    mjslovin91 Guest

    Fantastic story. Much of this was new to me, and Thompson tells it so perfectly.
  5. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    Thanks for posting that, Steak!
  6. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Yep. I'm jealous.
  7. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    I thought this was about his performance at the Memphis in May BBQ contest. But this is much, much better.
  8. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Good good.
  9. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    I'm just glad it wasn't about a brand of whiskey that only a gentleman of his class could afford or find enjoyable. Or about someone's grandpappy.

    Good story.
  10. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    I have to say I have a passion for these Willie Morris type Southern stories.

    This one:

    Good story but no train whistles and little about food. All great southern stories need to have train whistles in the background and lots of high fat foods.

    Certainly not Thompson's doing but it was a little misleading of ESPN to put up an interview of Varner done in 1998.
  11. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Another great effort...

    I'm sick of him writing about food too...

    With the truly great writers when they get to a level where nobody tells them "no" anymore, that's what sometimes happens. They start doing whatever they want and the results are not great...

    I flash back to when Rick Reilly started only writing about golf.

    This was a great story, one of the best things Thompson has written in awhile.
  12. I wouldn't say Thompson got to him..

    IMO - which amounts to shit against many others here in terms of writing - this story seemed like a really long, flowery way to say: Anyone hoping Billy Varner ever opens up about Paul Byrant is SOL, cause he has a dementia.

    I got that Varner was trusted by Bryant and privy to a lot, little of which was detailed in that story or anywhere else.

    Hell, Thompson didn't even get the story of how Varner and Bryant met, according to Jack Rutledge. Thompson got the story from Varner's wife, but was that it? 'Cause Rutledge's comments made it sound like there was more to it ...

    What I got from the story:
    Those who knew Paul Bryant are dead, dying or demented.
    And it appears we will likely never know Paul Bryant as well as we would have liked. Especially, compared to the legend - the UofA sanitized version - that is the Bear Bryant.

    I read the story, but I felt cheated.
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