Reilly II

A poster, KVV, wrote something very interesting in a comment:

It’s sort of interesting how Reilly, at least to the Bill Simmons generation, seems so uncool and tired. People my age viewed Reilly the way people now look at Simmons. As someone young, funny, clever and not afraid to shake up the establishment.

I couldn’t agree more. Over the past few days I’ve had two fantastic sportswriters tell me how they started reading my stuff when they “were younger.” They meant it as a compliment, and I took it as such. But you realize how quickly the switch flicks, and you go from being young and up-and-coming to old, older, oldest, stale. I’ve made similar comments to other writers—to Mike Freeman, my college hero. To Dave Anderson, the legendary Times writer. “Man, I started reading you when I was …”

Not all that long ago, Rick was America’s columnist, and with good reason. Now he’s a writer at—a great one, a talked-about one. But it’s not the same, and surely he’d admit such. In fact, he’s probably glad about it. Who wants that mantle forever?

Truth is, writing isn’t about celebrity, or getting the most Twitter followers. It’s about putting thought on paper/screen, and hopefully moving some people along the way. As I get older and dig deeper into this business, that’s what I can truly appreciate. Do I like being followed? Sure. Do I like seeing my stories get good pub? Sure. Do I want (need) my books to sell? Absolutely. But I’ve never wanted to become a celebrity.

It’s about writing.

Sorry for the babble. The coffee’s talking. 🙂

7 thoughts on “Reilly II”

  1. No no no. Back then Reilly WAS cool. Read his old stuff. It’s different from his stuff now. If you read his piece on Marge Schott, his piece of Bryant Gumbel, his novel Missing Links, and a lot of his other SI stuff, he was unbelievable. That was – and still is – really f’ing cool. Now, though, he is bad. If he was writing that way now, he’d still be cool regardless of age and time.

  2. If Reilly was writing about this post he’d say something like “This topic is hotter than Shrimp Vindaloo!” or “This is a subject that has teeth!”

    Then he prattle on about golf for about 500 words and call it a day.

    DG is right, when Reilly gives a shit, he’s awesome (that story about the bully showed that) but when he doesn’t care it’s a write-by-numbers story.

  3. Reilly used to actually put some effort into his columns. It’s obvious that he no longer does this.

    Simmons may be viewed the same way in the future, but only if he starts mailing it in like Reilly is now.

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