Monday, March 19, 2012

Furman Bisher Dead at 93

Furman Bisher died last night at 93 years old. He was the sports editor that drove Lewis Grizzard into column writing. He was the man that brought the Braves to life for a kid from South Georgia. He was the subject of the punchline in one of the craziest stories on Atlanta newspaper history*.

And I didn't like him at all.

I only say that out of honesty. If you have been a long time reader of the blog, you know where Dawgnoxious and Paul Westerdawg stood on Bisher. I think it is fair to say they didn't like him much either. There are plenty of reasons, not the least of which is Bisher's role in defamatory Bryant/Butts story in the Saturday Evening Post.

This isn't a litany of the real and perceived wrongs perpetrated by Bisher on us or our beloved Bulldogs. Actually, it is an acknowledgment. Furman Bisher is the reason I still write nearly every day. As a kid, Bisher brought the Braves, and the agony of being a Braves fan, to life. Yes, even as a kid, Bisher's Dawg hating bothered me, but his writing inspired me to write.

I never became a professional writer for many reasons, not the least of which is my inability to write. There is little doubt Bisher's inspiring me to write has saved thousands of dollars in counseling costs. For that, I am thankful.

Rest in peace, you old bastard.  Hope the Braves put together a miracle run for you, then the Dawgs beat Tech by 70 and win the national championship just because I know it would bother you.


*Grizzard related a story surrounding the kidnapping of then Atlanta Constitution Editor Reg Murphy in "If I Ever Get Back to Georgia, I'm Going to Nail My Feet to the Ground" about Jim Minter, who hired Grizzard to work with Bisher, being asked what it felt like taking $800K of AJC money off in a suit case.

His response, "Like Furman Bisher going to Spring training."

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