Being Dwight Perry’s backup writer for Sideline Chatter has been a boring job. He never takes time off.
Well, that isn’t exactly true. He has written more than 3,900 Sideline Chatters, starting in 1999. I have written about 25, and none since 2013. Dwight goes on vacation but hasn’t stopped writing his column.
For years, he wrote five times a week, then four and recently one expanded column on Sundays. I don’t know how he does it. I had to work so hard trying to be funny when I replaced him. For him, it comes naturally. I like to call him the “Funniest Man Alive,” and I dare anyone to find someone funnier.
We used to carpool to work, and I looked forward to the one-hour Dwight Perry comedy show. He sees humor in everything. Any day at the office that Dwight worked was fun, because you would laugh so much. The harder the day on the copy desk, the funnier Dwight was.
This, unfortunately, will be the last Sideline Chatter for a while. The Iron Man of Sideline Chatter is taking a hiatus to deal with a health issue. As a tribute to not only the Funniest Man Alive, but a special friend, here are a few of Dwight’s greatest Sideline Chatter items from over the years.
Dec. 8, 1999 (from what I believe was Dwight’s first Sideline Chatter)
USA Network announced plans for a movie on the life of Marge Schott, the former Cincinnati Reds owner who was twice suspended by baseball for remarks considered offensive to minorities and women.
If Pete Rose were a betting man, he might say that Rosanne Barr is a sure shot for the lead role. But bigger questions remain, such as who’s going to play Schottzie the dog? Or Pete? Or Lou Piniella?
Or better yet: Who’d want to watch it?
June 27, 2002
When the NCAA announced that Cal’s football team has been banned from bowl games this season and stripped of nine scholarships, we were appalled.
No, not appalled that Cal got caught cheating, appalled that the Golden Bears cheated and still couldn’t produce a winning record the past five seasons.
Isn’t banning a team that finished 1-10 last year from playing in a bowl game akin to telling Anna Kournikova she’s ineligible to play in the Wimbledon final?
November 10, 2006
Former All-Star pitcher Dwight Gooden, 41, was released from prison in Gainesville, Fla., on Thursday after serving a probation-violation sentence.
Or, as they say in baseball, he’s left The Yard.
April 5, 2010
The former Heritage Golf Club in Tucker, Ga., has been a $5 million drain on owner Julius Erving, the hoops Hall of Famer, and the course is up for foreclosure, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Or as the bean-counters in the gallery tend to yell, “In the hole.”
November 2, 2014
Our neighborhood’s trick-or-treat champion this year was the kid in the J.J. Watt uniform.
He came home with five sacks.
December 14, 2018
A 46-year-old Irish woman who claims she’s married to a 300-year-old Haitian pirate called Jack now says she wants to divorce him.
As for Jack, he reportedly ran off with Mantei T’eo’s girlfriend.
May 21, 2021 (from Dwight’s most recent Sideline Chatter)
Wideout Kadarius Toney, the Giants’ first-round draft pick, had to run individual drills in his bare feet on the first day of rookie minicamp because the team issued him cleats a couple sizes too small.
Hey, it’s better than telling him he had some mighty big shoes to fill.
Good-bye, for now
Dwight always ended Sideline Chatter with a great kicker.
I never was good at writing a kicker, so I won’t try. Because as I learned long ago, I might be able to fill in for Dwight, but he can’t be replaced.
Get well, my good friend, and I can’t wait to read your next Sideline Chatter.