CENTERVILLE — It’s opening day for Utah football — and aside from games played during the pandemic — I’ll be watching the action from my living room. It’s a weird feeling after covering the beat for 17 years. The end of the newspaper era stinks. So does the lack of full-time employment.
Even so, there’s something special about college football openers. The same, I guess, can be said of every game day. As such, a flood of memories come to mind as I await the battle between the Utes and Weber State.
Besides valued relationships with the coaches, players, administrators and colleagues, I liked the routine of it all. I was usually the first media guy at the stadium, arriving hours early to get set up and make a trip down to the field in search of breaking news. My computer was plugged in and ready to go.
After that pregame routine I would head for the media dining room. I’ll always remember, with great fondness, sitting with guys like Bruce Woodbury, Bill Marcroft and John Pease. All three men have passed away, but will forever be remembered for their kindness. I could listen to their stories for hours and I’m grateful I did. Discussions with others were appreciated as well, especially the MK Bandit and Dave Spatafore. Media friends like Brad Rock, Mike Sorensen and Kurt Kragthorpe have been through some memorable experiences with me over the years as well. There are a lot of good folks still in the media. I miss hanging out with them.
Thanks to all for the kind words.
The death of former Utah coach Jim Fassel was sad. He was at the helm of the program when I was sports editor of the Chrony back in the day. After a lopsided loss at Nebraska, Fassel asked me to step into the coaches office in Lincoln. He then praised my work, noting that he really enjoyed a column I wrote.
Mark Eaton’s passing also took me down memory lane. While at the Chrony, I used to gather quotes for the Associated Press at Utah Jazz games. One day, as I was asking Eaton about something, he stopped and teased me for having a spiral letter-size notebook instead of a sleek press pad. He asked if I used it for school. The answer was yes. However, it probably had a lot of dust on it as evidenced by my grades in college.
Ah, the memories.
Here’s hoping others get the opportunity to cross such paths and make lasting memories. Now how do I find the Pac-12 Networks on my dish?