When I was a kid, my uncle would let me read or give me his old copies of Sports Illustrated, a magazine I devoured because of the quality of its writing. Paul Zimmerman, aka Dr. Z, was one of SI's best — that's saying a lot — and one of the first bylines I looked for while dog earing a back issue.
Zimmerman died yesterday at age 86, so I thought I'd share a sample of his work and humor by quoting from a piece on quarterback Dan Pastorini, the former quarterback of then woeful Houston Oilers.
"A bright young quarterback on the worst team in the NFL. He’d get sacked five or six times a game, get his nose broken, teeth knocked out and wrists and fingers mangled—and the crowd would boo him.
“It’s like being in a street fight with six guys," Pastorini said, "and everybody’s rooting for the six.”
RIP, Dr. Z.