Nick Saban to be keynote speaker at December Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet in Charlotte

Nick Saban

Nick Saban

Charlotte, N.C. — The Charlotte Touchdown Club, in conjunction with the Football Writers Association of America, has announced that Alabama Coach Nick Saban will be the keynote speaker for the 2014 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet scheduled for Monday, December 8th.

“I appreciate the invitation to speak at the 2014 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet,” Saban said. “The Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of America have built the Bronko Nagurski Trophy into one of the nation’s premiere defensive awards for college football and I’m excited to be a part of this year’s event.”

“The Charlotte Touchdown Club is thrilled to have Coach Nick Saban as Keynote Speaker for the 2014 Bronko Nagurski Banquet,” said John Rocco Executive Director of the Charlotte Touchdown Club. “We look forward to Coach Saban’s remarks and the announcement of the 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner at our black tie banquet held December 8th at the Westin Hotel.”

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President’s column: Introducing the FWAA-NFF Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll

2014 FWAA President Kirk Bohls

2014 FWAA President Kirk Bohls

Hope you didn’t miss it with all the hubbub over Bob Costas’s eye infection at the Winter Olympics and Johnny Manziel’s 40 time at the NFL Combine, but our Football Writers Association of America recently announced – a little drum roll, please – a new college football poll.

I’m sure all of you have been scratching your heads wondering why there hasn’t been another football poll lately. As for enduring questions of our time, it’s right up there with the whereabouts of Sasquatch and Lane Kiffin’s memoirs.

Well, wonder no more. This is big news, folks.

We do have our reasons why our 1,350 member-strong FWAA has collaborated with the prestigious National Football Foundation, our long-time partner since the 1940s, to launch the first “FWAA-NFF Grantland Rice Super 16” poll this coming fall.

Why not? That could be one simple reason, but we had far better rationale behind our plan.

I think we would all agree this is a momentous time in the history of college football as the very first playoff for the major division will be ushered in with a four-team tournament culminating with the championship game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, next Jan. 12.

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Comings and goings 2

Mark Anderson from the Las Vegas Review-Journal has been named the 2014 second vice president of the FWAA and moves into the line of presidential succession two years from now. Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald, second vice president in 2013, automatically moved up to the first vice president’s role in 2014 behind FWAA President Kirk Bohls.

Comings and Goings

Long-time Denver Post writer John Henderson has retired from his daily job in Colorado and has moved to Italy where he has spent time in the past either on leave or on vacation. We hope at some time to get an update on his daily rituals there. … More…

No one understands Notre Dame better than former SID Roger Valdiserri

Roger Valdiserri, former Notre Dame sports information director

Roger Valdiserri, former Notre Dame sports information director

Roger Valdiserri is now a retired FWAA member, but for many years he serviced the media as the Sports Information Director at Notre Dame. This is a story about him  from the December 2013 publication of “Strong of Heart,” which features Notre Dame athletes, coaches and administrators who have or have had successful careers. Click here to read the story.

Member’s website provides database of Texas high school honors, playoff history

TheAthleticsDepartment.com

TheAthleticsDepartment.com

TheAthleticsDepartment.com is an online Texas high school athletics history book. TheAthleticsDepartment.com gathers Texas high school honor teams (All-State, All-District) and playoff pairings and stores them in a database. The result is a resource for media. TheAthleticsDepartment.com gives media an instant honors bio of Texas high school student-athletes. Our database now contains five years of all-district and all-state team members; 20 years of enrollment figures, alignments and round-by-round playoff results in all UIL team sports; and all state champions.

Current year honors and playoff information is on TheAthleticsDepartment.com. In the Premium Access you gain the full benefit of our complete database, searching our coaches directory, honors history and playoff history.

Grace Media, LLC is the publisher of The Athletics Department.com, a Texas web site dedicated to high school athletics history. The site is founded by former sports newspaper reporter/editor and FWAA member Sarah Hornaday.

Questions? Phone: 512.452.8800 or Email Info@GraceMediaWeb.com.

Omaha World-Herald’s FWAA members launching Internet radio show in March

Omaha World-Herald columnist  and former FWAA President  Tom Shatel  and his colleague Lee Barfknecht, the FWAA’s first vice-president, and several other FWAA members at the World-Herald are part of this new radio internet program that will launch in March. The following is Tom’s column about plans for the new show.

Beam me up, Mike’l.

We’re not far from a day when the AM radio will be replaced by Internet radio. A time when you can get in your car, plug in your phone and listen to your favorite talk show, order a pizza or buy movie tickets over the Internet.

Omaha World-Herald columnist and former FWAA President Tom Shatel

Omaha World-Herald columnist and former FWAA President Tom Shatel

So says Mike’l Severe, the new host of the World-Herald show “The Bottom Line.”

“It’s already starting,” Severe said. “I drove a Dodge truck recently and you’re able to drive to the movie theater, look up what’s playing, see the trailer, call the theater and buy tickets — all right there on that 7.1-inch screen.

“We’re not very far from ‘Star Trek.’ ”

The World-Herald is preparing to boldly go where few newspapers have gone before.

Beginning in March, The World-Herald will host a sports talk show that will be accessible on Omaha.com or through a “The Bottom Line” phone app.

“The Bottom Line” will run Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and will feature World-Herald sportswriters, entertainment writers and news writers.

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2013 FWAA award photos

Photo Gallery: Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Presentation


And if you’re interested in hearing the parody of Born in the USA (Born in the SEC) that Rick Neiheisel sang to Gus Malzahn, CLICK HERE to see the Los Angeles Times’ video.

Photo Gallery: FWAA Awards Breakfast

New president Kirk Bohl’s column

2014 FWAA President Kirk Bohls

2014 FWAA President Kirk Bohls

INDIANAPOLIS — It’s the dawning of a new day for college football. I hope I don’t oversleep.

I wouldn’t want to miss it. By this time next year when we’ve celebrated our first champion from a real, live playoff culminating in Arlington, Texas, we might not even recognize the game. Change is coming, and, yes, it will be dramatic.

We enter 2014 with an appreciation for the rich past of this wonderful game we follow and an eye toward a future filled with equal parts anticipation of a historic season with the first College Football Playoff after the 2014 regular season. We also have a healthy concern for the direction of the sport. After all, the game is in a state of flux. Who knows when the Southeastern Conference will end its long drought and ever win another championship?

First, it’s a privilege to be your 2014 FWAA President. And I’d like to especially salute our 2013 President, Chris Dufresne, for his terrific service. I’d like to thank him for the great California weather for the final BCS game and the fact the game did not go into overtime

These are tumultuous times as college football wrestles with overwhelming issues: potential federation within the NCAA that could lead to a separate division and more distance between the haves and have-somes; Football Bowl Subdivision anxiety over uneven enforcement of penalties; players’ long-term health and safety; subsidies for players for the full cost of a scholarship; a tangled, complicated rulebook; and the controversial Ed O’Bannon lawsuit over payment for use of players’ likenesses for video games. And that doesn’t even count Lane Kiffin’s fascinating future, especially the week of the Alabama-Tennessee game.

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