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IMPROMPTU MEDIA WATCH THURSDAY: FURMAN BISHER IS VERY, VERY OLD

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How old is Furman Bisher, the Pleistocene creature who also happens to double as Atlanta's oldest ranking sports columnist? He lists his five favorite interviews and includes Red Grange and Shoeless Joe Jackson in the list.(!)(?)(!) He also mentions that he wrote for Sport Magazine, which is doubly shocking. A few of Bisher's other achievements:

--Conducted the final interview with the legendary Mongol steeplechase team prior to the death of its legendary leader, Mongke Khan, and its subsequent defeat at the hands of the Mameluke Riding Team in 1264.

--Filed the first mass-produced sports story every published, a gripping account of a brutal man-versus-bear matchup between Blunderbuss the Great, 47-time bear champion, and Seamus "Whiskeybait" Finnegan in the West End of London, 1668. Wrote Bisher: "Paws alone could ne'er beat the spir't from the batter'd frame of the filthy yet resiliente denizen of the Em'rald Isle, e'en in horrible, intestine-exposing loss. Yay, as the crowd pick'd thro' the pockets of his pants as he lay prostrate by the side of the ring, he dragg'd the noble, separated upper half of his rent body across the ring, threat'ning all stealing his possessions with the last, liquor-soaked exhalations of his masty lungs."

--Once wrote a column while getting fellated by Tallulah Bankhead in a Shanghai opium den.

--Covered the infamous "Columbus 1845 Hullabaloo Days," where Bisher filed a death-defying description of the tragedy of the year, a record-setting crack-the-whip game gone wrong when the combined momentum of a 189-child long chain flung the final seven participants into a boiling kettle of brewing sourmash whiskey. Bisher made his deadline despite suffering from cholera and the loss of an eyeball in a barfight the night before. An excerpt from the poem he wrote to commemorate the tragedy:

"Lo, the whip did crack;
Their skin went all-a-crispy;
The Hullaballooers screamed alas! alack!
First the children! Now the whiskey!"