Joe Biddle, whose Nashville sportswriting career spanned five decades, died early Wednesday. He was 78.
Born June 13, 1944, in Johnson City, Tennessee, where he was a high school classmate of Heisman Trophy winner and legendary coach Steve Spurrier, Biddle rose to prominence as the sports editor and columnist of the Nashville Banner, the city's afternoon paper, from 1979 until it shuttered its doors in 1998.
It was during his time at the Banner that the popular "I Beat Biddle" contest came to be. Anyone who bested Biddle's college football picks received a red, white and blue "I Beat Biddle" bumper sticker. They could be seen throughout the Southeast.
Biddle, an East Tennessee State graduate and an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War, moved over to The Tennessean, Nashville's morning paper, as a sports columnist in 1998 and remained there until 2011.
Biddle, an avid golfer, was a fixture at the Masters. He also covered 31 Super Bowls and 31 Final Fours. He was a four-time Tennessee Sports Writer of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sports Writers Association. He was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.
Biddle is survived by his wife, Sharon. They were married 47 years.