A salute to Ray Didinger
Lost in all the Philadelphia sports happenings was the news that analyst, radio host and Pro Football Hall of Fame writer Ray Didinger is retiring at 75.
Known affectionately as Ray Didi by Michael Barkann and the rest of the “Eagles Postgame Live’ panel, Didinger is a living legend. I really valued his insights and couldn’t wait to hear his input after a Birds’ game. He was always so knowledgeable, and his criticisms were always fair.
Didinger was honest without being mean. And you could tell he had a sense of humor, because the “Postgame Live” panel kept it light, too.
I also loved to hear his NFL draft analysis. The last time I saw him was pretty recently, when he was discussing the Eagles’ 2022 draft.
Once, when I praised Didinger in one of my Sunday News “Wheelchair Quarterback” columns, he sent me a thank-you email. I was stunned that he took the time to respond, and it was a very kind note, too. Needless to say, that’s one email I didn’t delete.
I liked that Didinger, a Temple grad, was a fan as well as a commentator. As a teen, he was on hand when the Birds won the NFL championship in 1960. And you could tell how much the Eagles’ victory in Super Bowl LII, more than 57 years later, meant to him.
Didinger is obviously a great journalist. But more important than that, he is by all accounts a class act and a nice man. The Philadelphia sports scene just won’t be the same without him.