Thursday, December 05, 2002

The Agony of Defeat

Roone Arledge died today at the age of 71. He virtually invented televised sports and from there went on to build a world-class television news operation at ABC. I didn't know him, but my cousin, James Walker, worked for him at ABC News. And James would, from time to time, regale me with Arledge lore.

The Roone Arledge story that is lasered into my brain involves a couple of camera crews returning from the Gulf War. As is always the case in stories like this, they flew into JFK late in the evening. It was cold and rainy and utterly bleak. I don't think there is anything more depressing than waiting at JFK Baggage Claim at midnight on a miserable night. And these guys had risked their lives covering the war, only to learn that much of what they had filmed never aired.

And who was there to meet them? Roone Arledge, who thanked them for their hard work.

You can read more about Arledge's passing today by clicking here.