In fact, Murray maintains Spokane once got to feeling neglected and wrote in asking for the treatment. Always helpful, Murray wrote: "The trouble with Spokane...is that there's nothing to do after 10 o'clock. In the morning. But it's a nice place to go for breakfast."
Besides, if Murray had dropped dead as thousands have asked him to, sports wouldn't be the same. He has championed dozens of causes, many as stark as black and white, and they've made a difference in the nation's landscape. It was Murray's badgering of the Masters, for instance, that helped that tournament change its Caucasians-only stance: "It would be nice to have a black American at Augusta in something other than a coverall...."
He was incredulous that Satchel Paige was having difficulty being inducted into the Hall of Fame: "Either let him in the front of the Hall—or move the damn thing to Mississippi."
He championed the cause of the beleaguered, retired Joe Louis: "As an economic entity, Joe Louis disappeared into a hole years ago and pulled it in after him. He cannot tunnel out in his lifetime. He owes the United States more than some European allies."
Crazy, isn't it? For a man who is half blind, Murray sure could see.
I lost an old friend the other day. He was blue eyed, impish, he cried a lot with me, laughed a lot with me, saw a great many things with me....
He had a pretty exciting life. He saw Babe Ruth hit a home run when we were both 12 years old. He saw Willie Mays steal second base.... He saw Rocky Marciano get up.... You see, the friend I lost was my eye....
July 1, 1979
The beginning of the end announced itself one morning in Miami, three days before the 1979 Super Bowl, in the form of Dallas Cowboys linebacker Thomas ( Hollywood) Henderson.
"Funny how dusty the air is in Miami," Murray told Henderson. "Been like this all week."