“The Finished Business” tells the modern history of Philadelphia sports through the story of Ray Dingdinger


The sports soul of the city lord, I would rather you not call him that. He would prefer you to call him “Lei”, short for Reddinger.

The Hall of Fame sports writer has been a continuous channel for fifty years, from the backstage of participating in WWE events with Slaughter and Chief Iron, to rolling down the broad street on the flyer’s Stanley Cup parade route, to spitting. Phlegm, sports fans are everywhere. On February 4, 2018, at Larry Bowa (Larry Bowa) barb, overlooking the Bank of America Stadium, witnessed what Philadelphia sports fans never expected to see-the Super Bowl champion.

Didinger covers all of these in his new book “The Finished Business”, which was then published by Temple Press.

If you are a Philadelphia sports fan of any age, this is a hard book to put down.

And believe that the huge gains in the region can be attributed to the Hawks winning the 52nd Super Bowl.

“If the Eagles didn’t win the Super Bowl, I don’t think this book will happen,” said the 74-year-old Didinger, who won the Emmy six times and the Pennsylvania Sports Writer of the Year five times. “On the occasion of my 50th anniversary, Temple Press talked to me about a certain kind of book and reviewed my career in 2015 and 2016.

“I played for a while, and then I started writing to see how it felt. I thought about trying. I did one chapter, one and a half chapters, I just didn’t feel it. I felt a little embarrassed to write myself, and I went back to them and said “I don’t think it will work. “They said yes. Then 2017 is here and the Eagles keep going. They have a great season and they continue to win the Super Bowl.”

At that time, Didinger and his son David embraced this moment in the Eagles post-game live broadcast after the game, which resonated with all Eagles fans who could not share this moment with their loved ones.

“Suddenly, the book paid off, and I thought,’Let me try it now,'” Didinger recalled. “The whole theme of’Finished Business’ made sense at the time, because I saw the Flyers won the (Stanley) Cup twice, I saw the Phillies won the World Series twice, I saw the 76ers Won the world championship.

“The missing piece is the Eagles. When they win, especially the way they win, it gives a logical conclusion to the story.”

Didinger is a bottomless story library. He has witnessed many games, in many venues, and met countless celebrities along the way. What he cannot recall through memory, he can always refer to the massive information in his famous yellow legal notebook, as well as his countless document chronology, one document, one document, these documents have been established for more than 50 years.

The most challenging aspect of the book is Didinger’s chapter on Hall of Famer Tommy McDonald. The two have a very close relationship. McDonald’s was Didinger’s childhood idol, and it was Didinger who promoted the McDonald’s Hall of Fame membership, which led McDonald’s to ask Didinger to attend his induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio.

Writing about McDonald’s brings back many hazy memories. Didinger had to cut off his relationship with everyone around him, including his feelings, in order to complete this chapter. When he writes a paragraph, you can almost see the teardrops on the pages of the book, become emotional, get up and walk away to compose by yourself, then go back and do it again.

“The materials I made reminded me of things I didn’t have, and this constitutes the backbone of this book,” Didinger said. “I don’t want this book to be all about me. What I want is this book about my life. Five or six years ago, I read Roger Albert’s autobiography “Life itself”. I think it’s great , And I’m a big fan of Ebert’s writing.

“When I read it, I think this is the way to do it, about his experience and the experience of riding a Hertz car with Robert Mitchum. You are getting to know him, and you are getting to know all these people. When he meets these people , Like you are walking beside him. I think if I want to write this, that’s what I want to do in the same way.

“The chapter about Tommy and me was the hardest to write. It was obviously the most emotional, because it ended with me by his side, and he was actually dying in bed, and I was holding his hand. , The two of us relive our entire lives together, knowing that it is about to end.

“Getting justice is the hardest part for me. I had to turn off the computer and walk away.”

All chapters are fascinating, although Didinger’s chapter on professional wrestling is out of date for him. This is interesting, because this is a story that Didinger publicly admitted that he didn’t want to do it. He repeatedly considered whether to include this chapter in the “Completed Business”.

He was happy—and readers would be happy—he did it.

“This is actually a good thing because it’s obviously different, how many people really know what the world of professional wrestling is like,” Didinger said. “The beginning of this chapter is about I don’t want to do this. I oppose it. This is the only time I have had a dispute with an editor in my years of work.

“I argued that I didn’t want to do this. My editor let me know that he is the boss and I have to do it. So, I did it, grinding my teeth all the way, but I found it very interesting. On a human level, it is very interesting.”

The Associated Press bought it, and the story appeared in more than 200 newspapers across the country.

“I really admire these guys. Although professional wrestling is fake and well arranged, these guys do get hurt,” Didinger said. “The physical part of it is very real. Even if a person knows that he will be turned seven feet out of the ring, he will still be turned seven feet out of the ring. The beatings and beatings of these guys are very real.

“There is nothing false about the damage it caused to their bodies.”

If Didinger has one favorite part, it is the chapter where the Hawks won Super Bowl 52. He recalled the whole season, the day of the Super Bowl, hugging his son after the game.

This is just one of the heartfelt moments in the series of heartfelt moments that Didinger has given life to in the “completed business”.

Please pay attention to the time you start to read it, because you are likely to be late where you want to go next.


Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sports writer in the Philadelphia area. He has been writing for PhillyVoice since its establishment in 2015 and is the president of the American Boxing Writers Association.He can be Follow here on Twitter.





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