Top of the Morning, Aug. 1, 2014
It was supposed to be a short stop in Champaign-Urbana. Two or three years, then move on to a bigger paper. Maybe in Atlanta.
Twenty-five years ago today, I came to The News-Gazette to cover prep sports and help with Illinois. Thanks to Jean McDonald and John Beck for changing my life. In a great way.
The News-Gazette turned out to be better than I could ever imagine. And C-U is the most livable community on the planet. Can't imagine being anywhere else. Met my wife here. Raising our two kids here.
I have survived five football coaches (John Mackovic, Lou Tepper, Ron Turner, Ron Zook and Tim Beckman) and five basketball coaches (Lou Henson, Lon Kruger, Bill Self, Bruce Weber and John Groce). Memorial Stadium has been rebuilt and the Assembly Hall is now the State Farm Center.
I have learned so much at 15 Main Street: News judgment from publisher John Foreman, work ethic from "Grandpa" Loren Tate, the most active 82-year-old you will ever meet, creativity from current bosses Jim Rossow and Jeff "Junior" D'Alessio.
The sports staff isn't as big as it was in 1989. But it is every bit as strong. Fred Kroner rivals Tate when it comes to work ethic. Marcus Jackson is a rising star. Matt Daniels has been a godsend. Scott Richey is the best hire in years. And the copy editors — Mike Goebel, Rich Barak and Colin Likas — fix all of my mistakes.
My 50th anniversary will be in 2039. Tate will be 117. And writing four columns a week from his spaceship.
May the force be with you.
Enough with the walk down memory lane. Here are three TV choices to keep you busy this weekend:
"The Late Show With David Letterman"
10:30 p.m., WCIA (CBS)
Just like with Derek Jeter, Letterman's career is winding down toward retirement. Maybe guest Michael Douglas will bring him a going-away gift. A souvenir from "Basic Instinct?"
9 p.m., BBC America
It is the final new show of the season and the main characters visit Nashville. Something tells T.O.T.M. there is going to be country music involved.
8 p.m., Showtime
It is time to pony up and pay for the premium channel. Liev Schreiber stars as the title character, who is a fixer for the rich and famous. Don't forget, "Homeland" returns in October.