November 29, 2023


Inspired by sport

Sports scribe Ray Didinger on Philly connections, retirement

Didinger’s coverage of Tremendous Bowl LII in which the Philadelphia Eagles conquer the New England Patriots 41-33 was a blissful time for this lover and writer.

“It was superb. Even nevertheless I was there as a reporter and attempting to preserve my reporter’s objectivity. That 10-yr-old boy was nevertheless inside me cheering. And the best element about it was right after the video game, my son was there taking pictures the recreation for NFL Films. He’s a cameraman for NFL Films. And he came and found in which we were being accomplishing the postgame present. And he walked on the established. And he and I had a tearful embrace on reside television that I nevertheless listen to about to this working day. It just kind of represented what most people in Philadelphia was sensation, that it was about this sense of elation and how men and women ended up celebrating jointly.”

In the course of the peak of the pandemic when there have been no sporting activities situations to address, Didinger and his radio co-host on WIP, Glen Macnow, imagined a extensive-sort job interview system they known as “Tell Me Your Story.” The exhibit authorized the hosts to get their time finding to communicate with and understand the life of numerous athletics legends they experienced lined in their decades-prolonged professions.

“We’d ask: Explain to us about exactly where you grew up. Tell us about your family. Explain to us about the to start with time you played football. Convey to us about the mentor that affected you the most and then just wander us via your full vocation. We did 108 ‘Tell Us Your Stories’ in two a long time,” he described, including 1 that targeted on the everyday living of basketball participant and mentor Dawn Staley of Philadelphia.

“The minimal girl from North Philadelphia. She was fantastic conversing about, you know, how she grew up on the hardscrabble courts of North Philadelphia, participating in basketball with the fellas and then became a fantastic faculty player and Olympian and then wound up currently being these a distinguished multi-medal winner that she wound up carrying the U.S. flag at just one of the Summertime Olympic Game titles.”

“One of the most touching factors was her stating that even though going for walks into that stadium and carrying the American flag, she questioned herself, how did a small girl from North Philadelphia locate herself in this place? It was actually beautiful.”

Eagles enthusiasts, and the enthusiasts of each individual other Philadelphia sports crew are acknowledged for their passion. A common joke is that Eagles devotees bleed eco-friendly, as in the color of the team’s jersey. When questioned what coloration he bleeds immediately after 5 a long time of masking the staff, Didinger mentioned, “I bleed Philadelphia, whichever colour you want to make it. Which is what I consider. I experience blessed. I sense privileged that this is specifically what I wished to do with my life.”

He reported he could have been a sports author and broadcaster anywhere, “But it wouldn’t have been the similar as accomplishing it below in Philadelphia, since I live this background.”

“I’ve been element of this from the time I was born. I grew up watching these groups. I hardly ever actually had to open a book and glance up a file or a statistic because I understood it all. I experienced lived it all. Currently being able to do what I have completed was a blessing, but staying ready to do it in Philadelphia for a life span is the best blessing of all.”

Didinger says he’s in good wellness and will continue on to endorse his participate in “Tommy and Me.”

In retirement, he programs to expend a lot more time with his wife and spouse and children.