June 15, 2004

ESPN.com's Ralph Wiley passes away of a heart attack at age 52.: I know that there have been mixed reviews of his work here at SpoFi, but any thoughts?

posted by smithers to general at 06:41 AM - 8 comments

One of the things I most appreciated about Wiley's work is that he was willing to take chances. In today's sport media world of bland columnists and Agent Smith-style TV sportscasters, he never insulted the intelligence of his readers.

posted by smithers at 06:44 AM on June 15, 2004

I never liked how he turned everything into a race issue, but if you can ignore that, he was pretty good. It's definitely too bad that he died, especially so young.

posted by Bernreuther at 08:28 AM on June 15, 2004

I loved Wiley. His writing was outstanding. It's a shame he passed away so young.

posted by Mike McD at 09:24 AM on June 15, 2004

He had much to say: The books of Ralph Wiley

posted by msacheson at 09:40 AM on June 15, 2004

There are some moving tributes to Ralph on today's Page 2. Wiley was that unique kind of writer that I didn't like but I definitely respected. I think he came from a political sensibility that I couldn't relate to. I'm half his age, white and Canadian. What do I know about the African American struggle in media, sports and society? I think he performed a unique and important role in sports journalism and I fear that there is nobody else out there with the stones or the talent to take his place. Ralph, the Road Dog and the rest of us will toast you when the badass Pistons bury the Lakers tonight.

posted by Scott Carefoot at 11:33 AM on June 15, 2004

I thought he was a very good writer within his subject area, but honestly, I didn't read him that much. Why? Because he confined himself to the American professional leagues in just three sports. That does not a mighty sportswriter make, IMO.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:27 PM on June 15, 2004

I actually liked Wiley a great deal, especially his commentary on the NBA. He'll most certainly be missed.

posted by sashae at 12:28 AM on June 16, 2004

I couldn't stand his writing style, but after reading the various tributes, I've got a new respect for what he accomplished. Rest in peace.

posted by dusted at 01:29 AM on June 16, 2004

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