Les Bowen is Calling it a Career

from his Twitter account

Let’s get it back to sports media news.

Over the weekend, Eagles writer Les Bowen revealed that he was one of the Philadelphia Inquirer staffers taking a buyout and moving on, joining Marc Narducci, Ed Barkowitz, and Frank Fitzpatrick. In an article at the Inky site, aptly titled Hey Thanks for Putting Up With Me Through All These Years, he explains that he was originally going to hang ’em up at the end of this coming Eagles season, but instead opted for the early exit when it was presented:

I came here 38 years and one month ago from The Charlotte Observer. No one asked me to come, but the people in charge ended up letting me hang around a very long time, and I am grateful.

I was headed to Philly regardless because my lovely and talented wife, whom I met at The Observer, got a job at The Inquirer. (She left that job a long time ago and is now wrapping up a second career, as a teacher.) By the time we moved into a cockroach-inclusive apartment at 20th and Green in Fairmount, I had managed to talk my way past the door at the Daily News, initially as a summer replacement copy editor on the news desk.

This might be the place to give a shoutout to all the copy editors over the years who puzzled over why I thought 4-for-7 was 50%, or who, when tasked with writing my headline, had to figure out exactly what the hell I was trying to say.

But more than anything else, what I want to do here is thank you, the audience. I’m sorry I wasn’t ever quite as good as I wanted to be, or as good as you deserved. I never stopped trying to get better, and despite vast shortcomings, I think I’m more polished now than I was 10 or 20 or 30 years ago.

Les makes me laugh with that self-deprecating humor, but he should give himself more credit. He’s a good writer. Asked a lot of interesting questions at the press conferences, too. It was thoughtful stuff, not just “hey coach talk about the game.” I know we poked him a little bit as  that grumpy veteran newspaper guy, and we often reference that time when he punched Jeff McLane in the face, but Les put in a ton of years at the Daily News and Inquirer and turned in some really good work. He was not a hot take columnist and not a bullshitter, and those are two traits that will carry you far in this city.

Beyond that, Les is a good dude. Really laid back and down to Earth, easy to talk to. It’ll be a bummer to see him move on, but I’m sure he’ll remain active on Twitter, complaining about media access sharing opinions and insights that I mostly find myself agreeing with. Best of luck to Les with whatever comes next. 38 years at one place is a hell of a career and something worth celebrating. If they throw him a goodbye party, just make sure Inga Saffron and Stu Bykofsky aren’t invited.

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