It occurred to me while I was writing that Bissinger and John Feinstein occupy the same place in my head. Both wrote indisputably great sports books in the late 80s. Both are now grumpy old men, writing screeds against college football from the Acela Corridor. In both instances, I read their writing and remember the day when my childhood ended: the day that I read the obituary of Roald Dahl (my favorite author as a boy) obituary and learned that he said the following:
There's a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity ... I mean there is always a reason why anti-anything crops up anywhere; even a stinker like Hitler didn't just pick on them for no reason.
Bissinger also reminds me of Don Draper at the end of last week's Mad Men, left behind in a world where he didn't understand The Beatles in their "Hard Day's Night" stage, let alone their new "Tomorrow Never Knows" style, and having a drink while his actual wife is meditating and his office wife is smoking a joint while writing copy. Buzz sees a world where college football has become a national sport, outpacing baseball in a number of ways. The barbarians are at his gates. For a guy already prone to angry outbursts, his WSJ column was entirely predictable.