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Bondy, who goes with Testaverde in his Monday game column, says it's unfair to blame writers for the sameness and heaviness of football writing: "It's not a sport that brings lightness. It's a fascist spectacle that takes itself very seriously. We've become pests, but when you have other sports where inPidualism is permitted, like tennis or soccer, there's more stuff to grab hold of."
Bob Drury, who covered the Giants for the Postin the early '80s, concurs. "Even with an autocrat like Pat Riley," he says, "you get to know the players. In football, they're cut out of the equation. Everything is filtered ex officio through coaches and GMs. I feel sorry for desolate beat writers who are at the mercy of monotone, jargon-spouting coaches with all the personality of Al Haig."
Drury says he long ago foresaw the coming of Ray Perkins and Jim Fassel types (former and current Giant coaches) and the gradual decline of eminently more-quotable mavericks like Al Davis and Mike Ditka. But listening to a writer who once traveled with the team conjures up a kinder, gentler era of football coverage. "I used to smoke dope with a starter," Drury recalls. "I don't think that could happen now."
Not likely, though the image alone of a blustery Parcells dealing with such news--now there'd be a story.