First, Chris Jones writes about why he had never read Gary Smith, considered by many to be the greatest "sports writer," (consider the quote marks bold) of the era. And then he writes about how he finally DID read read him in Gary Smith and Me, the Sequel. The whole notion of one writer not reading another so as not to be influenced by him is an interesting one, and being debated at length at sj.com. Some people say they don't understand it. Some say they don't believe it. I personally both understand AND believe it. Left unsaid: The idea that one great writer simply must read another as a matter of course. I'm not sure I understand that thinking.