Photo: Philadelphia Inquirer

Bill Lyon had a career that many sports writers dreamed of. He wrote about pretty much every major Philadelphia sports story over the past 45 years including the Eagles victory in Super Bowl LII. On the day of that Super Bowl rematch, Lyon passed away at the age of 81.

Lyon suffered from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s but if you talked to his peers, his friends, or read his writing, it was clear he fought to the bitter end. Over the past few years, Lyon wrote a series of columns about fighting Alzheimer’s as well as the loss of his wife Ethel, who passed away in 2018.

Joining the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1972 as an assistant business editor, Lyon moved over to the sports beat the next year and had the chance to cover so many prestigious events. He covered the Super Bowl, World Series, Olympics, Masters, Stanley Cup, and Final Four multiple times as well as the Triple Crown and many boxing title fights.

Lyon was there for the biggest Philly (and Pennsylvania) sports moments. Beginning with John Cappelletti’s Heisman Trophy winning campaign, Lyon was on hand to cover championship victories from the Phillies, Flyers, 76ers, and Villanova men’s basketball. Lyon was inducted to the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame and won multiple writing awards, including two Emmys. In the Inquirer’s eulogy of Lyon, they noted that before Lyon came to Philadelphia, he was covering Illinois high school sports with legendary film critic Roger Ebert. Ebert noted Lyon as an influence as his advice to Ebert helped kickstart the rest of his career. Lyon retired in 2005 but occasionally wrote for the Inquirer over the years.

Many within the industry as well as his Inquirer colleagues paid their respects to Lyon, including Jim Nantz who noted Lyon’s passing during the Patriots-Eagles broadcast. It’s clear that anyone who read Lyon’s work as well as those who got to know him were better for that and that may ultimately be Bill Lyon’s legacy within the industry.

[Philadelphia Inquirer/Photo: Philadelphia Inquirer]

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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