Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Talking Sports With Ray Didinger

A LOT OF people dream big. Few achieve their goals.

Ray Didinger, TU class of '68, is living the dream. And he'll tell you all about it in class on Thursday, March 27.

As a child growing up in Southwest Philly and nearby Delaware County, Didinger idolized the Philly sports teams. As a kid, he went to an Eagles training camp, saw the sportswriters out on the field, and he decided that was what he wanted to do.

After completing his journalism degree at Temple, he landed a job as an Eagles beat writer. Then he became a columnist. He traveled around the world documenting sports, and life in general. Then he left newspapers to craft long-form documentary films for NFL Films. He still does that. And he appears on Comcast SportsNet's Daily News Live program occasionally, and after every Eagles' game on the Eagles Post-game Live show.

He has also authored several books, with the most recent one published last fall.

24 comments:

Justin Myers said...

Can't wait for this, I have heard Ray Didinger speak before and he is a great guy. Good pick George.

annie cosgrove said...

I thought he was very interesting. I never would have guessed he didn't enjoy speaking in public. I thought it was funny how he kept telling the class that the other writers had this gift of being able to write, but Ray most of had a few gifts himself. He was really an interesting guy! Fun choice Geo.

ryan overhiser said...

I thought Ray was AWESOME. As a student who enjoys sports yet has no idea what I want to pursue as a career, his anecdotes telling how his dreams came true were very inspiring. Thanks to Ray, I just registered for a Sports Writing class next fall. Great guest. Only shame is he's an Eagles' fan. Go G-Men!

Andy said...

I think the guest speakers are a great idea, and really compliment the class well. Since the course isn't very in-depth, as it is an intro course, the guest speakers really fill in the "so what" aspect of what we are learning.

Ray was really cool, even though I loathe the amount of time and money we as Americans love to spend on sports. He was a genuinely good guy, and he definitely has stories to tell. Good choice Miller!

Bring in some more politicians for us future leaders ;)

liz said...

i loved hearing ray speak today. i thought it was very inspiring to hear everything he has accomplished and even though he talked about the industry dying he left me feeling hopeful. he was my favorite speaker by far

Rudy said...

Ray was a great guy to have come and talk to the class. The coolest thing about him was that he thought that it took so much effort to write. You could tell by the way he spoke that he knows what he's talking about and everything he does has a valid point. I think the reason that he was a "slow writer" is because he seemed to have so much to say in such a small amount of time. He was very cool and very interesting....anyone else get chills after the Tommy MacDonald story? Anyway...good stuff...I'm thinking a guest should be Todd Zolecki....GO PHILS!

Joshua Middleton said...

I love the guest speakers. My favorite so far was Mayor Street. It would be cool if you could get Hillary or Obama.

Julie said...

I loved Ray! He was so real and down to earth. He told us the facts...sometimes journalism isn't so glamourous and it's DEFINITELY hard work. His story inspired me!

Anna Berezowska said...

I loved Ray! I don't even like sports that much, but I rather enjoyed him speaking about them. He was full of inspiration and passion! Excellent choice!

Rachel Wolkiewicz said...

Loved Ray's talk today! It's great to hear from people like Ray Didinger and Pete Kane who really love their work. It's inspiring! It makes everything you go through to get where you want to go seem worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

monica sellecchia

WOW! I love this guy! He was such an inspirational speaker. He really made me see that just because I'm not a perfect writer, that there is still hope for me in the journalism industry. I agreed with a lot of the things he said about working your way up and you don't really know what you'll be doing with a career in the media. I enjoy having guests speak in our class because it gives us a first hand look at where we can take a Temple degree. I would love to read Ray's book! I can not believe that Larry would do that to our class, however, we did have Ray!

Jasmine Louis said...

Hm, thats interesting. I have a different take on his talk today. While I think its very beneficial to hear from people in the business, I didn't benefit greatly from his talk as much I would have liked. Maybe it's because I'm not much of a sports person as everyone else. I wanted him to talk more about the steps he took to getting in his career than sports. I understand that's his job, but... what about how his writing effects people? How does he feel about his impact on the community? Yea, I know. i should've asked those questions but I couldn't think of them at the time. Another thing, I was a little discouraged by his talk at times. And it didn't have anything to do with how the business is declining. Although I know he worked very hard to get where he is today, he made it seem as though it was mostly luck. What about the unlucky people in the room who might not get a chance to sit next to their childhood heroes in the back of a convertible on their way to the Hall of Fame? I still feel a little in the dark. Answers will come with time I supposed.

Anywho, please keep the speakers coming, George. They really do help with confused writers who don't know exactly what they want to do. And they add a very personal touch to the class.

Anonymous said...

This class kind of showed me that I may not be as interested in journalism as I first thought, and in a way I suppose that is the point of an intro class. That aside, I love that speakers are always coming in. It really makes me look forward to coming into class as opposed to the usual powerpoint notes. I'm not a football fan, but I could see how some people would love to here this guy speak. If Harry Kalas ever came in to talk I would be all over it.
-Steve K

Geo said...

That's a good point, Steve K. This is the class where you learn about what journalism is all about ... that's why I asked Ray to talk about the life of a sportswriter. Did you realize that most journalists work odd hours, over weekends and holidays, and they crank out 900-word stories in 18 minutes sometimes?

It's not the life for everyone. You have to love the craft, flaws and all.

You don't like my PowerPoint slides? That just hurts me.

- George (the teacher who actually despises PowerPoint)

Rudy said...

Geo,
You should try to get Harry the K to come in, not to make every speaker about sports, but he is at the top of broadcasting right now, and probably has a lot to say. If not, I'm sure you could also get Scott Franzke, he does play-by-play on the radio. I saw him on College Media Day at CBP, and he has a very interesting story.
Either way...I'm digging R-Didi.

bryan leddy said...

i think he gave us some valuable information and i liked that he spoke about real life experiences in journalism. It gave me a better idea of what being a journalist really means. I did get bored of all those sports stories though.

marissa said...

I think Ray is an excellent speaker and an extremely knowledgeable person. Ray's emphasis about "where you start is not where you'll end up" gave me and probably the rest of the class hope and advice for the future. I'm sure alot of people would quit in the beginning if a job wasn't what they expected, but it's the people who perservere through the dreaded mailrooms that prove to possess a passion for journalism.

Anonymous said...

I really liked Ray Didinger. I think more people like him should come in. He really made me want to become a sports writer/broadcaster even more then I do now.

ali stalfa

Chris said...

I agree with Rudy on the Tommy McDonald story. I don't care if you have no interest and absolutely hate sports but how can you not feel touched or atleast feel like dreams come true after that story? It was truly amazing. Ray Didinger is seriously living a dream if you ask me. As for his talk, it was the best guest speaker we have had so far. He kept me interested start to finish. His and also Pete Kane's stories make you realize how personal this profession can be. Great choice George.

Jen Dennis said...

I agree with Chris. I went into yesterday thinking that I was going to be so incredibly bored because I have little to no interest in sports, but he kept me interested in all his anecdotes the entire time. He also offered up some great advice. I also enjoyed the format of his speech where, unlike some people (ahem John Street ahem), he didn't lecture us and leave little to no time for questioning. Although that's probably due to the fact that Ray has nothing to hide, it made the speech more easy-going and relaxed. Great pick!

Anonymous said...

I liked r. diddy. he spoked good.

Jeff Frandsen said...

he was so down to earth.
he worked so hard to do what he loved.
he reached a goal that so many fans would love to reach.

he was awesome.

Lee said...

I thought Ray was very interesting even though im not espically interested in sports. I love the guests, particularly becuase they are people I would seek out information about on my own. It's keeping me well rounded.Thanks

Anonymous said...

ray is a legend in and around philadelphia. i knew he meant everything he was telling us. He has been writing about philly sports forever, and has had a front row seat to it all. i really liked his story about the flyers winning the stanley cup. i dig the speakers, all of them have been very interesting. its cool you have had people from different styles of journalism.
-guido