Doug Ferguson’s AP obituary of Dan Jenkins opens this way:
Dan Jenkins, the sports writing great and best-selling author whose career covered Ben Hogan to Tiger Woods, began with Western Union and ended with Twitter, has died.
Bruce Weber packs a lot into the lede of the New York Times obit:
Dan Jenkins, a sportswriter whose rollicking irreverence enlivened Sports Illustrated’s pages for nearly 25 years and animated several novels, including “Semi-Tough,” a sendup of the steroidal appetites, attitudes and hype in pro football that became a classic of sports lit, died on Thursday in Fort Worth.
Funny as in the way my dad could turn even a reading of the morning paper into a comedy. Like the time he shook out the New York Times and said of Margaret Thatcher, “The only time she cries is when she tries to pull a comb through her hair.”
An aunt named Inez owned a drugstore, a repository of dreams. Luxuriating in the store’s delicious aromas, Dan set up camp at the out-of-town newspapers stack. For a while, his favorite lead was by Damon Runyon from an account of Chicago mobster Al Capone’s tax-evasion trial: “Al Capone was quietly dressed when he arrived at the courthouse this morning except for a hat of pearly white, emblematic, no doubt, of purity.”
Golf.com’s Michael Bamberger shares his memories of Jenkins.
He took newspaper austerity and went to town with it. If he read Hemingway, I don’t know, but there’s some kind of link there, except that Jenkins was funny.
I sent him a manuscript and followed with a call in 1986, looking for a blurb for a book I had written, about a brief stint caddying on Tour. It’s impossible that he read it — why would he? I described it to him. With barely a pause he said, “Here, for a change, is an Ivy Leaguer carrying the bags of other people.”
Dan was like a sportswriter who walks out of a movie from the 1940s, slaps a couple of big bills on the bar, and tells the bartender, “Don’t neglect me.” I’m not vamping here. That was his actual line.
Even by the standards of ’60s Sports Illustrated writers, Dan was a big drinker. But he worked when he drank. When one of his pals impressed him with a good line, Dan would sneak to the bathroom and write it down. Those lines wound up in his copy. He called them “overheards.” It was the original quote-tweeting, minus the quote.
Esquire’s Charles Pierce offered this salute, including this closing line:
The lights are dim at Goat Hills this weekend. Thanks for everything, hoss. As someone once mused, nobody ever said it wasn't going to be semi-tough.
G.C. Digital rounds up the social media tributes to Jenkins.
Golf Channel’s Morning Drive coverage, including a video obituary:
Jack Nicklaus’ tribute: