In the cacophony of voices in the nation's assorted sports pages, it's easy to overlook the best wordsmith: The Chicago Tribune's Bernie Lincicome. Too often he is played inside.
Here are some samples of his writing:
Contemplating the possibility that Chicago would produce not just one, but two Major League Baseball winners, Lincicome had this to say in "Cubs, White Sox and the inconvenience of winning:"
The inconvenience of winning will end, like road repair or dental work, leaving us the better for the trouble. In the meantime, the White Sox and Cubs thoughtlessly carry on as if this is how it is supposed to be.
We have been at this too long to be fooled into thinking this is the new normal, first place, best records, that sort of thing. Get too carried away and there will be billboards proclaiming "Ball Town," or forced nicknames like A-Rizz or B-Law.
Such foolishness is for those who do not understand the human heart, certainly not the one that beats during Chicago summers. True happiness is incomplete without the misery of others.
Golf wanders from moments to remember to places such as north Florida, where it has re-emerged this week with all the important characters back for an outing of more than usual significance.
Whether the Players Championship is a mini major or a major mini has yet to be determined, but it is the first time Spieth and the other guy have returned to work.
That other guy is — wait, it will come to me — an Englishman, not to be held against him, who shrugged on the great green jacket of Augusta National with Spieth's help, first on the course and then off.
Agree with him or not, you need to sample more, the full length of his insightful, sometimes playful, sometimes grinding, words. When many of his colleagues settle for the easy way, quoting the empty, threadbare remarks from the locker room following the game, Lincicome understands that sports has built-in drama. While news reporters in the front, news section often have to look hard for the drama, sports writers are blessed with the unfolding spectacle, excitement, climax, pain and joy right before them on the various playing fields, gridirons, rinks and courts. Lincicome makes the most of it, extracting when it fits, life lessons from the competition.
It's always dangerous comparing the present with the past. So too, when comparing Lincicome with the great sports wordsmiths, such as Shirley Povich, Red Smith, Jim Murray and Grantland Rice. Read some of their magic and see if you don't agree that Lincicome should be ranked among those peers. All I know is that look for him everyday.
Read why Americans need to learn about the nation's most ignored war.
Find out what freelance editorial services I can provide for you.
Want to be notified by email when I post? Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.