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The Royko Thread

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by 21, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Thanks, 21.
  2. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    You people owe me a manicure, that's all I'm saying. God, I am a lousy typist, I had no idea. Sorry for the abundant typos...be glad I didn't ask Boom to type it for me.

    Some great history there.
  3. 21, i'm f---ing crying. royko was just unbelievable.
    thank you.
  4. CarlSpackler

    CarlSpackler Member

    I see that DyePack thinks Royko is overrated. DyePack is either a member of the Daley family or will find the upcoming Wayans Bros. film "Little Man" to be highly entertaining with such a set of standards. This, is without question, my favorite column of all time:

    Sins of the fathers make sons suffer


    They were walking about 20 feet ahead of me, a youngish father holding the hand of his son. The boy was about 8. Both wore Cubs caps. They had just left Wrigley Field after the first-game slaughter.

    We were several blocks from the ballpark and the crowd had scattered, so there were few others on the quiet street.

    Suddenly the father and son stopped. The boy had his head down and a hand over his eyes. As I caught up with them, I could see that he was sobbing.

    The father dropped to one knee, put his arm around his son's shoulders, and said: "Hey, it's OK. Come on, it's not over yet. They can come back tomorrow. It's just one game. You watch, they can do it."

    For a moment, I considered stopping and saying something. Then I decided not to intrude on so private a moment, and I kept walking toward the neighborhood corner bar.

    Over a cold one, I thought about what I might have said if I had stopped. Not to the boy, but to the father. I would have told him:

    "What kind of father are you, lying to your son? For that matter, why did you bring him here in the first place, causing him to suffer?

    "You should be prosecuted for abuse and neglect and jailed for inflicting what will probably be a lifetime of suffering, depression and disappointment on a helpless child.

    "For shame! You are no better than a drug pusher. And you must forever bear the guilt of having placed the terrible Cubs monkey on that innocent lad's frail back."

    Of course, the father might not be entirely to blame. Chances are that his father did the same thing to him. This type of cruelty is usually passed along, from generation to generation.

    Take my late father. He was not without vices. He sometimes drank, gambled, brawled and had an eye for a shapely leg. I could forgive him these minor character flaws.

    But to this day, I cannot forgive him for taking me to Cub games at an impressionable age, hooking me on Herman, Hack, Jurges, Nicholson and Cavarretta. And telling me tales of Grimm, Hornsby, Wilson, Stephenson and other earlier heroes.

    He didn't tell me that I was going to have to live through Smalley, Jeffcoat, Miksis, Chiti, Dave Ding Dong, '69 and '84.

    That's why, while I made mistakes as a parent, I did one thing right. I didn't raise my kids to be Cub fans. When they were tiny, I would point at the TV and say: "See those vines on the outfield wall? You know what's in those vines? Big, black, mean spiders and other crawly things."

    So today, as young adults, they wouldn't dream of skipping a Beethoven concert or an Eric Clapton performance for a Cub game. What the heck, Beethoven is already dead, so what's there to cry about?

    Oh, they have a casual interest. But when this season ends, they will not have shed a tear or lost a night's sleep over a ball game.

    Some might say I deprived them of the thrills, excitement and suspense of a baseball season. Maybe. But unlike hundreds of thousands of other Chicagoans, when they awoke Thursday morning, they weren't suffering from melancholia, mumbling about Will Clark, or praying for a West Coast earthquake.

    No, that man was not doing his sobbing kid any favor. And if he happens to read this, I suggest he heed this song (with apologies to Willie Nelson):

    Daddies, don't let your babies grow up to be Cub fans.

    Don't let them get snared into lifelong nightmares,

    Let them play guitars, go bowling or such.

    Daddies, don't let your babies grow up to be Cub fans,

    `Cause they'll never lose hope and it's worse

    than most dope, even with one out to go.

    So I say to that young father and to others like him: It's probably too late for you. But it isn't too late for your kids. Wean them away or don't let them get started. When they grow up, they'll be grateful.

    I know it isn't easy. But isn't it better than seeing a small boy standing there, heartbroken and crying?

    For that matter, as the bartender said as he dabbed my nose with a bar rag: "It ain't easy seeing a grown man cry." He also said: "Hey, there's still time. They can do it."

    The fool. Of course, if Dawson gets hot, and Sutcliffe comes through, and. ...

    Pa, see what you did to me?
  5. lono

    lono Active Member

    Forget that, 21.

    I'm so grateful that I'll personally paint your toenails.

    Great stuff!
  6. dreunc1542

    dreunc1542 Active Member

    I had never encountered Royko before this year. Then, I read Boss and was so enthralled with it that I finished it in 2 sittings. Then, I read all the columns posted today and while I am very late to the party, I am happy just to be part of it.
  7. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    I so enjoy open-minded people who say: "We think THIS way, so we won't listen to you, and we're not going to talk to you any more. Nah, nah, nah." (hands over ears, eyes closed)

    First of all, anyone who thinks Royko is not dated in the least needs to get a fucking clue.

    Second, there's a thing called opinion. Even if 99 percent of the world thinks Royko was the greatest ever, that doesn't mean the remaining 1 percent has to think the same way.

    Personally, I think Royko was good. I flip through the compilations from time to time, although I don't come here and salivate and navel-gaze about it.

    Was he very good? Yes. Was he great? I don't think so, but some people may disagree. Does he deserve legendary status? In my opinion, no.

    Now go running into the street in shock or come back with some lameass insult about how I must like the Garfield movies or something like that.
  8. CarlSpackler

    CarlSpackler Member

    I guess my main question is if Royko doesn't make your echelon of greatness, who does? I'd be interested to know. Especially since I'm 24 and Royko is way out of touch with my generation. Also, Shakespeare is dated. Mark Twain is dated. Steinbeck is dated. They must not be that good either.
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member


    DyePack is just enjoying a little board flagellation.
  10. tonysoprano

    tonysoprano Member

    Pink, Pink, Pink ...you missed the point. I was saying it's ridiculous to mention those individuals in the same sentence. Believe me, I don't believe Flea is anywhere near Clapton. Not in the same universe. I've seen Clapton in concert. Much the same - Jay is nowhere in the same stratosphere as Royko, one of the gods of the profession.
  11. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Carl, you beat me to the punch with your question.

    I eagerly await the answer.
  12. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    Royko is many leagues below Shakespeare, Twain and Steinbeck. I hope you are not seriously comparing a columnist who wrote about his perceived idiosyncracies of a city to major authors who blazed new trails and genres and reached many cultures and generations.

    Nice try, though.
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