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Letters to the Editors

Mizell mailbag

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 12, 2000


Retirement? Say it ain't so, readers tell Mizell

I feel like I'm losing a friend. Since moving to Florida in 1986 I have enjoyed reading your articles. Always felt you brought a sense of dignity and integrity to the profession. Always seeking the higher ground.

With mixed emotions I read of your retirement. Happy that you will have more time to spend with your family and do things you have worked so hard for but sad at the prospect of losing a clear voice in a murky world.
-- Ken Muratore, Via e-mail

• • •

Good luck! You definitely did a great and fair job. Enjoy. I wish it was me. Always enjoyed your no nonsense, no kiss a-- approach to sports. I hate to say I can't say that about other papers.
-- Dick Rivett, Lutz

• • •

I've spent 20 years envying you. If I only had your ability to report and write, I was always telling myself, maybe it could be me who had my way paid to the Super Bowl, Olympics, Masters, Wimbledon and all those other glamorous and exciting places.

Gary Shelton means that you're leaving the Times in good commentary hands, but I'll miss having the HM-GS tandem. I always felt you guys were trying to be fair, on the mark and entertaining. There's not enough of that these days.

I am a bit of a newspaper junkie. Every day I check 15 to 20 publications on the Internet. I check all the big cities, and no newspaper anywhere has a sports columnist twosome that is better than Mizell and Shelton.

Gary's not near retirement, is he?
-- Gabe DeLoach, Palm Harbor

• • •

Every couple of years, an old sportswriter retires. Very rarely, though, does one of my very favorite old sportswriters retire. My vote in that second classification goes to you on Election Day 2000, as my exit polls show you are preparing to exit.

I miss running into you as the two of us trotted the globe. Let's see, what didn't we cover together? Iditarod. Women's bodybuilding finals. Sammy Davis Jr. Greater Hartford Open. But that's it.

Take it from me, Hubert, life away from sportswriting is everything it's cracked up to be. You'll even get home some days before midnight. Have a great life in Virginia, where you'll never have to watch a Buccaneers game again.
-- Mike Downey, Los Angeles Times

• • •

I am sorry to hear we will be losing you. I have enjoyed your column and radio show since moving here in 1979. I am from Salem, Va., and attended the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Their gain is our loss.
-- Bob Grubb, Largo

• • •

God bless! You have always been one of my favorites. A great writer. Always honest and fair. You are special. Awesome, baby!
-- Dick Vitale, Sarasota

• • •

Good luck, Hubert. Virginia is such a lovely state. I read with mixed emotions about your retirement. I'm happy for you and Marcy, beginning the next chapter of your lives. I will miss your columns but will look forward to your (future) input on Sundays.
-- Tom Jewell, Oldsmar

• • •

Being an FSU fan, I often accused you of being biased toward the Gators. Frankly, it was football spirit getting the best of me. To be honest, you have been amazing at playing it down the middle, when anybody took time to assess the entire body of your work involving a heated rivalry where most of the fans want media to always take our side.
-- Christine Langford, Tallahassee

• • •

C'mon, Hubert, tell me that deep down, you're a Gator. I'm one, and I always wanted to know you were on the same side. But you did spend a lot of words writing complimentary stuff about those Florida State people.

An unbiased journalist?

Always thought that a oxymoron.
-- Ken Raulerson, St. Petersburg

Hubert responds

Thanks to all who've written, e-mailed, faxed or called about my May 2001 retirement. Remarkably, in a business where darts are frequent and frankly expected, there have been zero negatives. Remarkable in an era when being ticked off is usually the No. 1 reason for communicating with a media person.

Gator? Seminole?

Can't I be neutral?

Thanks to Times readers, to my radio listeners from the past, to friends and to a load of professional pals who have been kind enough to get in touch. Okay, from now through May, it's business as usual. Barbs expected. Kindnesses appreciated. Challenges. Deadlines.

Thankful for the past while looking ahead to some extraordinary times.

Oh, Gary Shelton has awhile.
--
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St. Petersburg Times
P.O. Box 1121
St. Petersburg, FL 33731
You can also e-mail: mizell@sptimes.com

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