A Great Beat Writer Who Also Had A Great Heart

Appreciation Cameron Snyder

February 03, 2010|By Susan Reimer | Susan Reimer,susan.reimer@baltsun.com

Cameron Crockett Snyder, a legendary pro football writer who covered the Baltimore Colts for The Sun for parts of four decades, was carried to his rest Tuesday as he might have wanted to be: to the strains of the Colts fight song.

Snyder, who inherited his middle name from his notable ancestor, Davy Crockett, died over the weekend at 93, and among the mourners were Lenny Moore, the great Colts running back, and Ernie Accorsi, who went from Colts public relations man to general manager of the team and later of the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants. Also on hand was Sylvia Mackey, wife of Colts Hall of Famer John Mackey.

Also in the tiny Idlewylde United Methodist Church on Tuesday were former Sun sports columnist Bob Maisel, news editor Seymour Smith and editor Ed Brandt. Snyder's rival Colts writer, Larry Harris of The Evening Sun, was there to eulogize him; Snyder's son, Dutch, an Evening Sun sportswriter as well, spoke briefly, too, holding back emotion.

Snyder was eulogized as a tough-tempered little guy with a heart of gold, and the only sportswriter who dared give Baltimore quarterback John Unitas a scolding after a poor game and get away with it.

Snyder was the lead writer for The Sun on two of perhaps the most important games ever played in football: the 1958 NFL championship game, in which the Colts defeated the Giants in overtime, and Super Bowl III between the Colts and the New York Jets, won by a brash young quarterback named Joe Namath. Both games were critical in setting pro football on the path to sports supremacy.

I can attest to Snyder's great heart. In the early days of my career at The Sun as a sportswriter, I was sent to Colts training camp to write feature stories and the great beat writer, with his straw hat and his deep growl, his goatee and his twitchy eyebrows, let every player know he was to treat me decently.

It was his way of letting me know I had his support in the man's world of the NFL. It is a kindness I will never forget.

Reprinted from Ravens Insider

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