Sport | Jean-Louis Korb, class with a large K …

Just four months after the disappearance of André de Rocca, another great figure died in the sporting writing of Provencal and La Provence yesterday in Marseille. Alain Pécheral, a journalist by his side for almost a quarter of a century, evokes here the figure of the one whose pen, brilliant and sharp, has not been forgotten …

Race … This is the first word that comes to mind when talking about him. Class with a capital K. In addition to an elegant dress that was in a way his brand image (s), Jean-Louis also displayed a lightness of being, not at all unbearable. A kind of refinement of the spirit, which was largely due to his humor.

Preferably English humor that holds up perfectly to its apparent detachment. And this even though he did not like the culture in particular British, which he considered outrageously invasive in relation to our French language, so precious and so endangered. All the movie titles that we do not even bother to translate anymore, all the commercials in franglais volapyk, all the words artificially put into conversation of snobbery … That a language is in eternal development, he was the first to confirm need , but what is the point of importing terms that are useless …

Why say a plane crashed when it crashed? This fueled his anger, and so did the galloping progress with spelling mistakes on our TV screens, especially in the news channels’ drop-down banners. At the risk of going for what we were – two old c … – we often talked about it as we knew the lost cause in advance.

A fortiori for “sports” journalists, always considered almost untrained hackers …

A real talent for writing

One day, invited to represent the newspaper in a very clever dinner debate, Jean-Louis had the unpleasant surprise of hearing a sociologist trumpet that a sports journalist had only three hundred words in his vocabulary … The lady had taken for her rank. in the next day’s newspaper, through one of the ingenious and biting newspapers about which he had the secret … Maybe even – who knows – she had learned some new terms there? And so, as Courteline wrote, “passing for an idiot in an imbecile’s eyes is a gourmet’s pleasure …” Because, clairvoyant and even capable of being fragile at times, he knew, as in rugby, to put the uninvited guests ten yards away.

Orchidoclasts, go your way! I also remember a colleague who enjoyed some fame and older than us, who had come to complain about our overly frequent laughter in the editorial office, and in all modesty delivered this last sentence: “Children, you are very sweet, but there are people here who write smart papers …” Unanimously and on the spot, the word had entered our pantheon of mockery, and the rude children we still were would for years evoke the expression. His papers, in any case, intelligent or not, often fluttered like a flag under the mistral …

The taste of laughter and celebration

Jean-Louis had a taste for laughter and celebration, a legacy from his sporting past and his infallible membership in Smuc, where until recently athletes were not the last to draw when there was something stupid to do. Beautiful, large, even monumental, everything was good in the student spirit of that time …

Not long ago, before the disease became ubiquitous, he continued to maintain the unbreakable bonds of friendship he had established in the Gray and Black Club. With a group of children in their seventies, funny and untraditional, he even prepared for the club’s 100th anniversary in 2023 against the backdrop of parodies, songs and sketches that were not necessarily clear … The fiftieth anniversary, renamed the Persépolissonade, because the Shah of Iran had celebrated some time before the 2,500th year of the Persian Empire, had not been sad, and this new anniversary is not intended to provoke melancholy, nor had Jean-Louis tasted high-level sport, at other times, certainly more human , with e.g. record for Provence Juniors in the 400 meters, which was to stand for twenty years. But in fact, he excelled in a myriad of sports, thanks to physical characteristics far above average and also through his ability to adapt.

Football, cross-country skiing or windsurfing saw him make astonishing progress in a very short time, depending on his passions at the moment. Within the newspaper, however, his favorite disciplines were always athletics and rugby, where he found the true values ​​of capital sport, the one he always tried to defend. It was also an opportunity for him to approach and perfectly imitate Daniel Herrero, the blindfolded prophet of the Rugby Club of Toulon, in his famous oratorical flights … Without forgetting in passing to remember that the famous Pilou Pilou, battle cry prior to all the meetings in Mayol, was not born on the banks of the Rade, but that he had been “imported” to Toulon by Marcel Bodrero, rugby player at Smuc in the 1930s. Jean-Louis was a talented man who also adored French songs, especially Brel and Brassens, of which he had lately more than usual hummed verses that evoked this last encounter, which he saw approaching with incredible firmness.

“It’s hard to die in the spring, you know, But I want us to laugh, I want us to dance “sang Grand Jacques with him, while Tonton Georges with the black humor, which is said to be the courtesy of despair, will have brought him back to the end towards the tradition of student farce …

Goodbye fake shins, cardboard skulls. No more funeral marches to the sound of kazoos. At the big ball in Quat’z’arts we will no longer go to dance. The real funerals have just begun “.

The funeral will take place on Tuesday, May 17: at. 10.30 for those who want to say a final goodbye to him at the retirement home Bon Pasteur, 23 avenue de la colline Saint-Joseph Marseille 9. Then at 2 pm at the Aubagne crematorium.

André Giraud, President of the French Athletics Federation: “It is with great sadness that I hear of the death of Jean-Louis Korb, an excellent sports journalist, passionate about athletics and even an athlete during SMUC’s heyday. Jean-Louis covered our Marseille for 20 years. -Cassis and he had written 20- “Together with our entire large athletic family, I join his loved one’s pain and send my deepest sympathies to his family.”

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