My Fifty Years of Headlines, Heroes, and Heartaches
Publication: Apr 21
6 x 9
Ray Didinger on following his dream from the bleachers to the Hall of Fame
Ray Didinger opens his lively memoir Finished Business with the Philadelphia Eagles’ upset win in Super Bowl LII. When the Eagles finally hoist the Lombardi Trophy, Didinger does his best to straddle the emotions of a working reporter and a long-suffering Philly fan. His ability to do so is why he has built up such a loyal following.
Didinger began rooting for the Eagles as a kid, hanging out in his grandfather’s bar in Southwest Philadelphia. He spent his summers at the team’s training camp in Hershey. It was there he met his idol, flanker Tommy McDonald. He would later write a play, Tommy and Me, about their friendship and his efforts to see McDonald enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Didinger has been covering the Eagles as a newspaper columnist or TV analyst since 1970. Over the years, he wrote sports for the Philadelphia Bulletin and the Philadelphia Daily News. He later produced Emmy Award–winning documentaries for NFL Films before transitioning to sports talk radio and TV analysis.
In five decades, across multiple media platforms, he has interviewed everyone from Hank Aaron to Wayne Gretzky, Muhammad Ali to Julius Erving, Jack Nicklaus to Mike Schmidt, and has written film scripts for Hollywood stars such as Bruce Willis and Alec Baldwin. He went to the White House with the U.S. Olympic team and even explored the bizarre world of professional wrestling.
His stories, told in his familiar, breezy style, capture his enthusiasm for sports and his affection for the Philadelphia fans who still mourn the pennant that eluded the Phillies in 1964. Didinger has become synonymous with Philadelphia sports, and his memoir is as passionate as an autumn Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.