Nate writes of David Lanier's passing

This appeared in the paper yesterday, but I wanted to link it and mention one pretty good story about David Lanier. His funeral will be today. David was a character and enjoyed by our profession: … hrough-20/

One of my favorite Lanier stories came after an Arkansas-SMU tied game. David’s clothes were different to say the least. He had a little bit of everything and it didn’t always match. He might wear a shirt, pants and a tie that all had different patterns, different wild colors. This particular day he wore a paisley tie with a plaid shirt and striped pants.

These were the days when interviews were done in locker rooms. This one was at Texas Stadium, where the Cowboys played. SMU used the stadium at times. This was that game that was the result of the bad pass interference call. The Arkansas locker room was pretty down over that call.

David and others stood in front of Billy Ray Smith for some quotes. David asked Billy Ray if “this was a bad tie.” Billy Ray, always quick with a good quote, smiled and reached out with his long right arm and lifted up the bottom of David’s tie. Billy Ray said, “No, this is a bad tie.” Everyone laughed, including players sitting next to the group interview. David laughed, too.

I’m seeming to remember a David Lanier that was a sportswriter for the Arkansas Gazette in the early 90’s. He used to occasionally be a guest on the early version of Drive Time Sports in Little Rock, then left when he got a job with the Oklahoma City newspaper. Is this a different person, or am I getting a name wrong?

Different person. I worked with and around both of them. The Lanier at the Gazette was an LSU grad from Baton Rouge. Went to the Norman, OK, paper, not, OKC.

I helped David get the job as sports editor in Bentonville after he left the Springdale News. He helped me with his vast perspective and deep knowledge. We were friends. When I left Bentonville for a job in Florida, David and I fell out of contact. When I returned, it was as though he had disappeared. Many years later, I learned of the many problems he endured and overcame. Somewhere along the way, David reclaimed the self he had lost, and I’m very glad that happened. His perspective was unique and needed to be heard. It saddens me that David is gone so young.

The rest of that story is that David eventually gave that “bad” tie to Billy Ray Smith.