OMAHA — Now that college football’s minuscule catch-your-breath season is upon us — the short break between national signing day and the start of spring practice — it’s time to introduce myself as your new president of the Football Writers Association of America.
And I do mean “your’’ president because I view this as a service position.
FWAA 2015 President Lee Barfknecht.
This sport we find so fascinating/maddening/energizing gets bigger and (mostly) better every year. Coming off the first College Football Playoff, attention and interest is as high as I can recall in my 35 years with this product.
(Don’t forget a hearty round of applause for Bill Hancock, Gine Lehe and all those from CFP who made “North Texas 2015” a rousing success.)
The FWAA, under the strong guidance of executive director Steve Richardson, is set up to honor those who deserve a pat on the back, talk discreetly to those we think could do things better and in general pay attention to this sport’s operations in a way to help all members do their best.
I’m a newspaper guy — who in the next two weeks has “continuing education’’ meetings on video streaming, Twitter and Internet radio — but am well aware our membership includes all types of folks associated with college football.
We will look at issues that arise without fear or favor, but with respect.
The relationship between beat people and coaches is a two-way street. The relationship between news gatherers and athletic departments is a two-way street. Sometimes, swords are crossed. It’s the nature of the business. Our goal, though, is to find common-sense solutions for any problems that come up.
We need input from both sides of the fence, and accurate information on which to pursue any necessary conflict resolution. And don’t forget to include good news and “atta-boys,’’ too. The celebration of good work is something our business too often neglects.