Pat Harmon, 1916-2013
Former Cincinnati Post sports editor and columnist Pat Harmon, who was president of the Football Writers Association of America in 1984 and later received the organization’s Bert McGrane Award, died on July 28 at the age of 97.
Harmon also served as the National Football Foundation’s historian for 20 years, from 1986 to 2006.
“Pat Harmon’s passion and talent for covering sports created a lasting legacy,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “He honed his skills during an incredible 70 year career, and the NFF greatly benefited from the depth of his knowledge during his 20 years as our historian. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family as we mourn his loss and celebrate his life.”
Veteran Ivan Maisel of ESPN.com claimed his fourth FWAA writing first-place award during his career in the results just announced for the 21st Annual FWAA Best Writing Contest. Matt Hayes of the Sporting News also won first place, picked up an honorable mention and was one of three writers to be recognized in two different categories.
USA Today’s George Schroeder and Aaron Brenner, now with the Charleston Post and Courier, each received two honorable mentions. Ben Frederickson, now at Fox Sports Midwest, and Adam Lucas of Tar Heel Monthly captured the other first-place awards.
By Zach Barnett, FootballScoop.com
There was a time when college football was not as popular as it is today. Instead of the Saturday smorgasbords we are treated to on a weekly basis, there was one televised game a week. No matter who was playing, you watched what the network showed and liked it.
Many people deserve credit for the evolution of college football’s popularity, and at the top of that list is Beano Cook. Cook got his start in the business as the sports information director at the University of Pittsburgh from 1956 to 1966. From there, he moved to New York to publicize college football on ABC and CBS. It was his foresight and knowledge of the game that convinced ABC network executives to move the 1969 Texas-Arkansas game from October to December 6. The moved paid off fabuously for ABC, as a nationwide audience watched the top-ranked Longhorns defeat No. 2 Arkansas 15-14 in one of college football’s first Games of the Century.
Cook moved in front of the camera in 1982 for ABC and then later transitioned to ESPN, where he most recently co-hosted ESPN’s College Football Podcast with Ivan Maisel. Born in 1931 and known for a wit quicker than DeAnthony Thomas, Cook waged a lifetime war against baseball. Those two facts collided in 1981 when, upon news that Major League Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn would give recently released American hostages lifetime MLB passes upon their return from Iran, Cook retorted, “Haven’t they suffered enough?”
24 college football legends break historic ground as the first class honored in Atlanta
Steve Bartkowski, the All-American quarterback from the University of California and a hometown hero in Atlanta, responded for the class.
From the National Football Foundation
Atlanta rolled out the red carpet tonight for the 2013 College Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Class on Aug. 28. A sold-out crowd of 900 college football fans and dignitaries packed the Grand Ballroom of the Omni Hotel at CNN Center for a first-class celebration that honored 24 of the game’s greatest legends.