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Royko at the Goat: Scott Jacobs' short video of Dad in his natural environment

Royko at the Goat

When I first saw Royko at the Goat, I posted the following to chi.general and alt.journalism (Usenet newsgroups): March 31, 2006 Subject: My father, Mike Royko... ...was rarely truly relaxed on camera. He disliked doing TV, and made relatively few TV appearances. (He felt he got paid for writing the column, he wrote it, and that was enough work for one day, five times per week.) We don't even have that much home video. I was recently tipped to a website ( with a newly-released short interview of my father talking about softball, at the Billy Goat, from around 25 years ago. It's a real knockout for me, because it is my father when he was relaxed, had had a couple but it seems not more, was with friends and softball buddies (like Don Debat, now a member of the 16" Softball Hall of Fame, as is Dad), telling a favorite story--at least a favorite of mine. My father in this wonderful vein was something preserved only in the memories of those of us who'd been around him, and here's a snapshot, out of the blue. I've had one e-mail exchange with the proprietor of the website and co-maker of the short, Scott Jacobs, who has a background in local journalism and film. He says: "This comes out of a project my friend Lilly Ollinger roped me into back in 1982. She wanted to make a documentary on 16-inch softball and the Sun-Times team happened to play across the street in Trebes Park. So we shot a game one afternoon, then went down to The Goat for drinks (natch!). Nothing ever came of the doc. I threw out the game footage years ago. But always saved this one little interview with Mike because, frankly, I've never seen him more real, funny and genuine." I'm not shilling for his site, and he's not aware I'm posting this plug, but I think fans of Dad's might enjoy it (almost) as much as I did. Dave Royko


I recently came across this photo of Dad which, I believe, Tom Bonen sent to me some years ago (Thanks Tom!). If you've already watched Royko at the Goat, you'll know why Dad's smiling (note the jersey).

Mike Royko - Striker (for a day)

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