Three FWAA members team up to launch new website, TMGcollegesports.com

TMG Flier 6-16-16Three FWAA members — Herb Gould and former presidents Chris Dufresne and Mark Blaudschun — launched TMGcollegesports.com, a new website devoted to college football, on July 18.

The following is from an email blast Gould sent out to announce the site.

I want everyone know this “retired” sportswriter is involved in a new college football website, TMGcollegesports.com. I could not resisting teaming up with two old buddies–Chris Dufresne (former L.A. Times), Mark Blaudschun (former Boston Globe).

We launched the site today (Monday, July 18) with three columns that should give readers an idea of where TMGcollegesports.com is headed. … Chris explains how he was at Ground Zero when Jim Harbaugh’s coaching career took off. I take a look at why people shouldn’t sleep on the Seven Dwarfs of the Big Ten. And Mark delves into Big 12 expansion and how it will impact the college-football landscape.

We’re going the paysite route, asking people for $19.95 for the entire season, with an early-bird rate of just $14.95.

Please join us.

And please tell people who love college football about us.

Needless to say, we’re going to have fun with this. We remember when sports was less of a business and more of a game—and as aging Baby Boomers, we’re going to do everything we can to keep it that way.

We not only are going to give our views on the always-wild ride of a college football season. In the blog format, we will have ample opportunity to present background and personal experiences from the past.

With more than a century of experience, we have a lot of stories to tell. And this format is perfect for that.

Our web designer, Chris wife, Sheila, has given us a very easy-to-navigate site.

We want you to be involved, too. Questions, suggestions, ideas for columns are welcome.

Please check us out.

Thanks for reading.

Best Regards,

Herb

Advertisements

Jack Bogaczyk retires, pens farewell column

Jack Bogaczyk on the Cam Henderson Center floor with one of his three NSSA West Virginia Sports Writer of the Year awards.

Jack Bogaczyk on the Cam Henderson Center floor with one of his three NSSA West Virginia Sports Writer of the Year awards.

Editor’s note: Longtime FWAA member Jack Bogaczyk retired June 30. Bogaczyk, a four-time FWAA writing award winner who worked the last four years as a web columnist and magazine editor for Marshall University Athletics, was a former sports columnist in Roanoke, Va., and Charleston, W.Va., (where he was also sports editor), as well as a sportswriter at newspapers in Binghamton, N.Y., and Covington, Ky. Bogaczyk and his wife, Carol, are relocating to Florence, Ky.

The following is a portion of his final column.

This is my last column for HerdZone.com and HerdInsider.com. As some readers are aware, I am retiring from the sportswriting profession into which I made a somewhat accidental entrance nearly 50 years ago, and today (June 30) is my last day of work. My wife, Carol, and I will be moving soon to northern Kentucky, which is “home” for us because we grew up there in the shadow of Cincinnati … but haven’t lived there in nearly 44 years of marriage.

In four-plus years with Marshall Athletics and Herd Insider, I have written more than 1,100 stories – this one is No. 1,103, to be exact. In my years behind the keyboard, I’ve seen a lot of big games, been a lot of great places and witnessed plenty of compelling moments … not to mention seen a lot of changes, like working behind a computer monitor rather than with typewriter and paper, or ending a story with a -30-.

Marshall Coach Doc Holliday and the Herd football team showed their appreciation to Jack Bogaczyk for his coverage on a rainy April Saturday to cap 2016 spring practice.

Marshall Coach Doc Holliday and the Herd football team showed their appreciation to Jack Bogaczyk for his coverage on a rainy April Saturday to cap 2016 spring practice.

I’ve also had the opportunity to mentor more than a few younger writers and publicists who have gone on to love the craft as much as I do. Helping our profession with such encouragement has been important to me and will remain so when I have the opportunity.

But what I liked most about what I was doing – then and now – is that it was different every day. Sports stories are a lot like fingerprints. Every game is different. Every story is different. Rarely is a situation you deal with quite the same as the day or week or year before.

It’s often live, taking place only yards in front of you, and there are times when you’re sweating like the participants – like when you have 20 minutes until deadline and you need to file a 650-word, no-quotes column on an NCAA Tournament title game that’s just ending.

But to me, what sports writing and sports public relations are mostly about is people. It’s about making a connection. When you’re writing a story and quoting someone, it’s about he or she letting you into their thoughts and/or their lives, and trusting you to tell their story … and whether good or bad, to get it right.

Huntington (W.Va.) Mayor Steve Williams (center) presents Jack Bogaczyk (left) with signage denoting that a traffic light on Third Avenue – adjacent to the Marshall University campus – was named in Bogaczyk’s honor on June 22, 2016. At right is Paul Swann, host of First Sentry Bank Sportsline on Huntington’s WRVC, where Bogaczyk was a Wednesday regular.

Huntington (W.Va.) Mayor Steve Williams (center) presents Jack Bogaczyk (left) with signage denoting that a traffic light on Third Avenue – adjacent to the Marshall University campus – was named in Bogaczyk’s honor on June 22, 2016. At right is Paul Swann, host of First Sentry Bank Sportsline on Huntington’s WRVC, where Bogaczyk was a Wednesday regular.

I have never forgotten that. I always tried to fulfill that responsibility. Yes, it’s good to be first with a story. But it’s great to be accurate. It’s paramount. The reader and the subject are counting on you. It’s OK to be tough, as long as you’re fair.

And in the good ol’ days when print was king, you couldn’t take it back. These days, you can take an online version down. Once a story was on the page, however, you couldn’t hit the “delete” key.

Most days over the years, I haven’t looked upon what I do as a job. It was a calling that turned into a passion. What I wrote about seemed to intrigue people, and so I tried to deliver something intriguing to them.

I wanted people to learn something from what I wrote. And I wanted to learn something while working background for a story and base my opinions on fact and go from there. If somebody wanted to know a reason why I wrote what I did, I wanted to have more than one reason to offer.

To me, writing about sports is what I always wanted my copy to be – compelling. I might be retiring, but I hope to continue writing about sports in some fashion until I can’t anymore. I may have lost some hair, may have lost some hearing, but I don’t want to lose my keyboard.

A lot of people deserve thanks, but the ones at the top of the list are you – the readers. Without readers, we’re nowhere.

From copyboy to Colorado Classic, Irv Moss did it all in career that spanned more than 60 years

Editor’s note: Terry Frei of the Denver Post recently paid tribute to Irv Moss, who retired from the paper at age 81 on June 20.

Irv Moss of the Denver Post, who was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the FWAA. Photo by Melissa Macatee.

Irv Moss of the Denver Post, who was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the FWAA. Photo by Melissa Macatee.

Moss, who has covered events in Colorado for 60 years, received the FWAA Lifetime Achievement Award in January during the FWAA’s annual awards breakfast.

Here is a portion of Terry’s story.

In the spring of 1956, Denver Post sports editor Chuck Garrity was impressed with the newsroom copyboy’s hustle as he delivered the stock market ticker tape and wire-service copy to various departments.

Eventually, Garrity asked the young man: “Do you want to try this?”

“This” was sports writing.

 Sure, Irv Moss said.

Garrity assigned Moss to cover the men’s fast-pitch softball league at City Park, which routinely drew standing-room-only crowds of more than 5,000. If the untried Moss fouled up the high-profile assignment, Garrity would hear about it.

Moss got his story in and in June 1956 became a full-fledged writer in the Post’s sports department. After a stay of more than 60 years at the Post, Moss’ final day as a full-time reporter was June 24, making him one of the longest serving newspaper employees in the country. He will continue to write the Rockies’ minor-league report on a freelance basis through August.

“It was an interesting time to watch, and in a way, be part of the changing of Denver as a sports city,” Moss, 81, said. “When I first started down here, City Park softball was the big story. And next thing you know, we’re one of the top sports markets in the country.”

To read Terry’s entire story, CLICK HERE.

Fifteen years after his son’s death, Bill Hancock stands as a symbol of hope

Editor’s Note: This story appeared on kansascity.com on April 30, 2016. Bill Hancock, an FWAA member, is the Executive Director of the College Football Playoff.  Author of the story, Vahe Gregorian, is also an FWAA member. 

By Vahe Gregorian/vgregorian@kcstar.com

Bill Hancock of Prairie Village is one of the most influential men in collegiate sports, having run the NCAA Tournament as it was blossoming into a phenomenon and now as executive director of the College Football Playoff.

You’d never know that from the folksy, humble, kind and gentle demeanor of Hancock, who despite those high-profile and at-times controversial jobs, is one of the most popular and appealing people in the sports industrial complex.

But for all there is to admire about Hancock, the most amazing part of his life-affirming radiance is that it survived the unbearable tragedy of the death of his son Will in the Oklahoma State plane crash that killed 10 members of the Oklahoma State family on Jan. 27, 2001.

For all he has achieved, maybe nothing is more important to him now than being a symbol of hope for those in despair even as his own mourning never ends.

That’s why Hancock periodically speaks to groups grieving life’s calamities and why he wrote a book about his own path to coping.

More…

Renew membership by June 12 to get Phil Steele Magazine

Please be advised that in order to have a printed version of the Phil Steele Magazine mailed to you, you must have joined the Football Writers Association of America for 2016-17 or renewed your membership  by June 12. There is a box in your profile to check if you want the magazine. These will be electronically gathered through the system and turned over to Phil Steele. Those who requested the magazine will be on the list.

Increased costs in mailing the magazine have made this necessary per Phil’s request to do one mailing to FWAA members when the magazine first hits the streets.

If you don’t care if you get a printed magazine, then you don’t have to worry about this deadline. You have plenty of time to renew your 2016-17 FWAA membership through early August.

MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL LINK:

https://directory.sportswriters.net/register.html

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 NOLA.com and living in Baton Rouge.

CLICK HERE to read the Q&A.

 

Denver Post’s Irv Moss gets FWAA Lifetime Achievement Award

 

Irv Moss of the Denver Post, center, receives a commemorative football in recognition of his Lifetime Achievement Award from 2015 FWAA President Lee Barfknecht, left, and Tim Simmons of BFI Events, right.  Photo by Melissa Macatee for the FWAA.

Irv Moss of the Denver Post, center, receives a commemorative football in recognition of his Lifetime Achievement Award from 2015 FWAA President Lee Barfknecht, left, and Tim Simmons of BFI Events, right. Photo by Melissa Macatee for the FWAA.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.— Longtime Denver Post writer Irv Moss received the FWAA Lifetime Achievement Award on Monday morning during the association’s annual awards breakfast at the College Football Playoff title game media hotel.

Moss, 81,  is a graduate of Denver West High School, and has covered events in the state of Colorado for 60 years.

ffaw_redesign

  • He is both a Ram and Pioneer as he attended both Colorado State and the University of Denver.
  • He is a U. S. Army veteran.
  • He has been covering sports in the “Centennial” state for seven decades (60 years).
  • He started writing sports for The Denver Post on February 8, 1956.
  • He has also covered the Winter and Summer Olympic Games.
  • He will be inducted this month into the Colorado High School Sports Hall-of-Fame.
  • He was a long-time member of the selection committee for the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.
  • He has been nominated for the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.
  • He still writes the “Colorado Classic” column for the Denver Post.
  • During his first of 46-seasons as the Air Force “beat” writer in 1970, the Falcons posted a 9-3 record, finished as the 16th ranked team in the country, defeated Stanford and Jim Plunkett 31-14 and played Tennessee in the Sugar Bowl.  That season, Stanford defeated No. 2 Ohio State in the Rose Bowl.
  • He has covered five of the seven football coaches at Air Force, including Ben Martin, Bill Parcells, Ken Hatfield, Fischer DeBerry and now Troy Calhoun.
  • Bob Whitlow and Buck Shaw were the first two Air Force Academy coaches and he probably saw the Falcons play during their first three seasons of competition (1955, 1956 and 1957) when their games were at the University of Denver.
  • He has covered 20 of the 24 Air Force bowl games (10-10 record).
  • He is probably the only media person to cover every commander-in-chief trophy competition since the start of the series in 1972.
  • He has covered 84 CIC games as Air Force has won the trophy 19 times.
  • He has covered 28 of the 30 games in the Air Force-Notre Dame series.
  • He saw the Falcons defeat the Irish four-straight seasons (1982-1985).
  • He saw two Falcon squads ranked among the Top 10 (1985 and 1998, when Air Force finished 12-1 both seasons).
  • He covered the 1985 Air Force team that is considered the most successful season in Academy football history. The Falcons came within one win of playing for the national championship (Oklahoma vs. Penn State) as Air Force recorded 10 straight wins to start the season, climbed the polls to No. 2 in the nation, but lost to BYU by seven points in the next-to-last game of the regular season. Air Force rebounded with a bowl win over Texas in the Bluebonnet Bowl and finished as the No. 5 ranked team in the nation.
  •  Moss has covered everything from A to Z in the Rocky Mountain Empire.
  • That starts with Air Force Football ends with Zebulon’s failure to climb Pike’s Peak in 1806.
  • He covered Wyoming football and wrote about the Black 14 in 1969.
  •  Twenty years later, he helped break the story with the late Dick Connor about Bertram M. Lee and Peter C.B. Bynoe making sports history as the first African-American owners of a sports franchise (Nuggets).
  • He has been quoted in the book Freddie Steinmark: Faith, Family, Football — “If you’ve ever swatted at a fly with your hand, you know what the Lakewood High School football team faced when it tried to stop a 77-yard touchdown run by Wheat Ridge’s Fred Steinmark that whipped the Tigers.”  And to note, John Hancock coached Lakewood.