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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Sad Goodbyes
2003-08-21 09:47
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Two influential figures in my life died in the past week.

Roy Neal was a neighbor and a family friend. For the pivotal decades of the 1960s and 1970s, he was the lead NBC national correspondent on the space program. When I was almost 8 years old, Neal invited myself, my mother and my cousin to Houston to watch the end of the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz mission (the first-ever link between American and Soviet crafts in space) from the Johnson Space Center in Houston. This was one of the most memorable experiences of my childhood, and even then, I knew how incredible an opportunity it was for him to offer.

Roy's son, David, later worked for NBC in sports, eventually rising to become the head of NBC's Olympic coverage. David gave me my first job, working as a gopher for NBC Game of the Week broadcasts in Los Angeles (where I also worked with his brother, Mark), and got me the experience that enabled me to earn jobs working for NBC in Seoul in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992. I also worked for Roy's wife and David's mother, Pat, in a non-sports related job. Great people, great friends to our family.

Roy passed away last week at the age of 82. My sympathy and very best wishes - and thanks - all go out to the entire Neal family.

* * *

I never once heard Ken Coleman as a broadcaster, but he was a impressive figure in my childhood.

The former Red Sox broadcaster once wrote a book, So You Want to Be a Sportscaster. As someone who gave up hopes of being a pro athlete before junior high, I dreamed for many years of following in Vin Scully's footsteps. Ultimately, I fell in love with writing and acknowledged that I didn't exactly have the personality of, well, a personality. But in that era, Coleman's book was my bible - one I read over and over again.

Coleman died this week at the age of 78. I'm sorry I never got to hear him call a game, but I thank him all the same.

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