Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Part 2 - Interview with legendary sports journalist Furman Bisher of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Today is the second part of my interview with legendary sports journalist Furman Bisher of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution....

Q8. How has sports changed over the years?
FB: You want me to write a book (laughing). That is what it will take.

Q9. Well give me a couple of things that has changed the most?
FB: The pay. It has turned what used to be very affable young men. Back then they (athletes) were not making too much more than us writers. Nowadays they (athletes) don't need you. They don't need the writer. They don't want to be bothered by you unless it is somebody with a microphone in their hand or Sports Illustrated calling. There are some who are still good though. Some of them are worthwhile and some of them are jackasses - and I don't do very well with jackasses.

Q10. Who is the biggest jackass that you dealt with?
FB: (chuckling) I don't think I can name just one.

Q11. You are still active in covering golf. What has it been like covering Tiger Woods?
FB: First place I never dealt with him except in mass interviews. He doesn't have time. One of the writers from Sports Illustrated said he did a 6,000 word story on Tiger Woods and he only got to spend 10 minutes with him. He does not give interviews unless there is a price involved unless it is something that goes to his great and glorious benefit. Frankly I don't need to interview him. If I had to, I would try. I don't go around prying or looking under rugs for scandal. I basically get what I want by watching him play golf and through press conferences. I don't need to interview him personally.

Q12. How was Jack Nicklaus to interview?
FB: Oh good grief. We have been good friends for many years. Same with (Arnold) Palmer. Arnold and I have been good friends for a long time. We all sort of came along the same pike except I am considerably older than them.

Q13. Do you think Tiger Woods will pass Jack Nicklaus for the most majors?
FB: Woods has a chance. I don't know how long his body is going to hold up though. I think he is having swing problems right now. I saw him down at the TPC and he just bombed out the first three rounds. He could not break 70 but he came back and shot a 67 but it didn't make any difference. I don't know how long his swing is going to hold up. He puts an awful lot of pressure on that skinny body of his.

Q14. In college basketball, did you ever deal with Adolph Rupp?
FB: (Laughing) Oh yeh. He had a lot of fun with me and I had some enjoyable times with him. He could scare you, but I didn't scare very easily. I went up and did a magazine story on him for Sport magazine. I sat around with him, rode out in the pasture to look at his cattle and all that sort of thing. He was rough, but he was kind.

Once again I would like to thank Mr. Bisher for his time in doing the was an honor to interview him and was much appreciated...

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