Greatest Headline in the History of Sports Journalism

August 19, 2009
By

Ladies and Gentlemen –

I make no secret of my love for the great Southern writer…
Lewis Grizzard….
He could make you laugh….
He could make you cry…
And sometimes he would make you mad as hell…..
But he was ours….

And make no mistake about it…
Lewis was a Georgia Bulldog……..
And he wasn’t Politically correct…
Period…

So with the college football season upon us I feel it appropriate to recant a story about Lewis and agree with Coach Vince Dooley that this was “the greatest headline in the history of sports journalism…”

Enjoy…..

You may not believe this…
But Happy Dicks was a linebacker at the University of Georgia in the mid 60’s, which should make this article about the young journalist from Georgia, the late Lewis Grizzard, even funnier.

It was Friday Night….
On the eve of the Georgia – South Carolina game 41 years ago, three Sigma Pi fraternity brothers were drinking a few ice cold Pabst Blue Ribbon Beers at the old Callaway Gardens Apartments on the Atlanta Highway…
In case you were wondering and for the guys that are still out there..
They were “The Hound”, “Tex” and “Bake”….

They were discussing the upcoming game against the Gamecocks and lamenting the fact that Georgia was going into the game with several key players out with injuries, including the Dogs starting defensive end Billy Payne and his roommate, Middle Linebacker Happy Dicks.

Around ten o’clock that night, another fraternity brother, Lewis Grizzard, came to the party after he got off work. Their buddy Lewis was inactive at the time because he had gotten married over the summer to his high school sweetheart, Nancy. In addition to taking a full load at the University of Georgia, he was working two jobs to help pay for (as he called it) this expensive habit.

A talented young man, he was writing two columns daily – one in the morning for the Athens Banner Herald and one in the afternoon for the Athens Daily News.
Lewis walked in, went straight to the refrigerator, got a beer, plopped down in a chair, pushed his glasses back up his nose and announced…

“Gentlemen, with any luck at all tomorrow morning you’ll witness journalistic history. I have submitted my column and if it gets by my editor – and there’s a good chance of that happening, since he looked drunk earlier this evening – you’ll enjoy the greatest headline in the history of sports journalism”.

He refused to tell them what it was he had written, and to be honest with you…
They all forgot about it by the time the evening wrapped up.
As Lewis went back to his lovely, young bride, the three fraternity brothers went back to the Fraternity house to get a head start on the football weekend.

The next morning, as usual, they all went straight for the Sports Section.
As they pulled the sports section out of the paper, all they could do was smile, because their buddy had pulled it off.

To this day, Vince Dooley calls it his most memorable column ever…
All because of the headline which read:

DOGS TO PLAY COCKS WITH DICKS OUT

There’s no doubt about it, it was the greatest headline in the history of sports journalism.

We still miss you Lewis…

Only 15 days Until Kickoff….
More on Friday with Hootie Snitch…
So stay tuned…

RTR
MEB

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8 Responses to Greatest Headline in the History of Sports Journalism

  1. Kaye on August 19, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    I can’t think of a better sports headline.

    I’m still laughing.

  2. Icheer4Bama on August 20, 2009 at 1:59 am

    OMG…

    I can’t quit laughing!

    RTR (still laughing),
    Christy

  3. MEB on August 20, 2009 at 3:37 am

    SO glad you got a good laugh out of it!

    You got to love Lewis!

    RTR
    MEB

  4. MEB on September 24, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    You can read the entire story right here…

    http://www.catfishandcornbread.blogspot.com/

    We miss you Lewis….
    There will never be another one like you..
    GO DAWGS

    RTR
    MEB

  5. John Futch on August 11, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Just heard about this posting. Great yarn but sadly ain’t true. It’s a Lewis variation on an old Athens Banner-Herald yarn from the ’60s. The version Lew and I heard was that Steve Teasley wrote a headline on a story about an Athens High player named Peters being hurt that said Athens High to Play Without Peters. He left and the page was sitting in composing waiting to be plated when a printer walked by, read it and horrified changed it to Athens High to Play With Peters Out.

    Lewis did a little embellishing for public consumption.

    John Futch
    Athens Daily News 1965-78

  6. Chelsea on August 20, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    hi-ya, superb writing.

  7. USCGrizzardFan on September 4, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    One of my favorites – Grizzard was in Russia and had to go badly. He was in the public toilet standing over the treads and when he finished there was no toilet paper, but he saw an ice cream wrapper on the floor and grabbed it. He said after that, he could never eat another Nutty Buddy in his life.

  8. RS on September 4, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Lord, I miss that man…even if he was a Georgia fan, he had class.

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