Sportswriting legend Blackie Sherrod has died

Blackie Sherrod, president of the FWAA in 1963.

Blackie Sherrod, president of the FWAA in 1963.

Blackie Sherrod, president of the Football Writers Association of America in 1963 and winner of its Bert McGrane Award in 1985, died of natural causes Thursday afternoon at his home in Dallas. He was 96.

Sherrod, who was voted Texas Sportswriter of the Year a record 16 times and was honored with the prestigious Red Smith Award, was remembered by one of his former newspapers, The Dallas Morning News, as the greatest Texas sportswriter of his generation or any other.

Click here to read The Morning News’ obituary.


President’s column: Mark Anderson invites you to ‘Expand the Brand’

2016 FWAA President Mark Anderson

2016 FWAA President Mark Anderson

As the seemingly unending UNLV basketball coaching search draws to a close (the regents still have to vote on the deal), I can finally come out of my Las Vegas bunker and think about other things.

And, as the temperatures start approaching 90 degrees, thoughts naturally turn to college football.

And yours should, too. The FWAA has just begun our membership drive, and the slogan is “Expand the Brand,” meaning we want to go from about 1,300 members to 1,500.

If you’re reading this column, chances are you already have a good idea of why the $50 ($25 for students and 2016 graduates) is money well spent on a membership. It is even better spent if your company picks it up. But if not, you can write it off on your taxes because of the FWAA’s non-profit status.

Find those who aren’t members, be it reporters or SIDs, and let them know the benefits. The more members, the louder our collective voices, and there are plenty of reasons to scream about becoming a member.

The directory, which is available in print form and online, is alone worth the cash. Hear about a player transferring from Illinois but you live in the Pacific Northwest? Look up cell numbers to beat writers in the directory and start calling (begin with those in bold because they are members and should be rewarded with information sharing). More…

Q&A with Ron Higgins 1

Ed Odeven of The Japan Times recently engaged Ron Higgins of the New Orleans Times-Picayune in a question-and-answer session on his 30-plus year career and the world of sports writing today.

Higgins, a current FWAA Board Member, was the 2008 FWAA President when he was still at the Memphis Commercial Appeal. He is now back home in Louisiana where he is a columnist for and living in Baton Rouge.

CLICK HERE to read the Q&A.