By Joe Falls
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Extra resources for Joe Falls: 50 Years of Sports Writing and I Still Can't Tell the Difference Between a Slider and a Curve
I was running the wire and it was my job to edit his copy. O. O. stood for. I intended to remove the byline but a guy said, "Joe, phone. O. Corrigan. When I saw it on the wire, I sawonce morethe end of my career. "Kill it" I said, and the teletype operate stopped punching his keyboard and wrote "kill" under the story. I was in another panic. I went around to all the other departmentscity desk, foreign desk, local, radio, even the photo departmentripped off the copy and threw it into the waste baskets.
I used to fill in for the receptionist on the executive floorHartrice Minturn (or Min)and I loved that woman and got the thrill of my life one day. It was very quiet on the executive floor. The carpeting was plush, all the office doors were closed, and hardly a sound was ever heard. The big boss was Kent Cooper, general manager of The AP. I'd see him occasionally as he waited for the elevator, saying, "Good morning, Mr. " He'd shrug, mutter something, and be on his way. One day I was sitting at Min's desk when this man got off the elevator.
But, of course, it can't be. Once back on land, we tend to return to what we areoften selfish, caught up in nothing more than trying to climb as high as we can in life. Fifty years of writing sports is not a record. It's not bad, but it pales next to someone like Shirley Povich of the Washington Post. He is in his 90s and still writes an occasional column. That means he has been at it for 70 years or more. Shirley has been married as long as he has been writing and I asked him how any marriage could last that long.