Red Fisher Monologue

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his comeback, I was dispatched to George Cherry’s boxing club to watch him work out. After he had finished and showered, we adjourned to a neighbourhood greasy spoon for an amiable, two-hour chat. As we were about to leave, Lafleur asked about an old friend: “So how is Red Fisher?” “Red is Red,” I said, the only accurate description of the man I could ever manage. Lafleur laughed. “You know,” he said, “the first year I was with the Habs, Red Fisher, he never talked to me. The second year, he talked to me a couple of times. The third year, the first day of training camp, they said Red wanted to talk to me first. “I said to myself: ‘Guy Lafleur, you’re gonna be a superstar in this league.’” The writer who never talked to rookies had just anointed the league’s next superstar. That is power. That is influence. That is, above all else, respect. In a full-time…show more content…
Conversely, if Red respects you, he’ll give you the shirt off his back. When I was agonizing over whether to leave full-time sportswriting for the chancy business of writing serious fiction, no one in the business encouraged me more than Red Fisher – which is ironic, because he taught me most of what I know about sportswriting. Red doesn’t make mistakes and he doesn’t miss deadlines. I remember a playoff game in Hartford 25 years ago, when a young hockey writer on the beat was more than an hour late with his story. The writer said he didn’t file on time because he was having trouble thinking of a lede. In more than 60 years on the beat, if Red Fisher ever missed a deadline by more than an hour, it was because the Soviets had shut down the phone lines. He’s the best. As a man and as a journalist. Sorry, Red, I hope you’ll forgive me – but it had to be
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