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A Don Haskins story you shouldn't miss

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by gewrite, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. gewrite

    gewrite New Member


    I have yet to meet Dan Wetzel, though I am a new colleague. But I have already come to a huge appreciation for his work. This column is well worth your time. Bravo, Dan.
    gordon edes
  2. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Another well done piece. Between this and the extensive coverage in El Paso, there's a lot of neat little anecdotes - the ones that told us who Don Haskins really was.

    Thanks for sharing, Gordon.
  3. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    That was fantastic.
  4. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    This is one of the best stories I have read in a long time.

    I met Haskins once as a sports scribe out of the Dallas/Fort Worth area and he was awesome---this was late 1980s. Extremely generous with his time and thoughts.

    On that same trip to El Paso, I piggybacked an interview with Don Maynard for another story. These were/are a couple of real men, rough and tough and a hoot to be around, both brimming with stories and unpretentious as they come.

    That was one of the best trips I ever had, plus El Paso is gorgeous in many respects.
  5. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Great column, simple as that...
  6. As they were wont to say of the Bear, a truly warm and wonderful human being, ``he could be yours `n with his 'n and he could beat his 'n with your 'n.'' And he was never too busy to take time to be with people. He, however, never forgave Adolph Rupp nor SI. And for what they did to him, he shouldn't have. To try and discredit someone of his values and fairness was sad. The world is a better place because of him. Any who have known him are aware of how much they miss him. Those that didn't know him don't realize how much he did for them.
    The one basketball official he loved was Irv Brown, who will be at the services. Bear used to say, ``You walk into a gym on the road and see Irv Brown and feel, ''I've got a chance.' You see him in El Paso and you want to fire people.''
    I remember a game where Haskins is on the court yelling at Irv and looks down and realizes he's at midcourt. ``Now you aren't going to give me a T for being out here?'' Haskins said. ``No,'' said Brown, ``but I'm going to give you one for every step it takes you to get back to your seat.''
  7. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Great story from one of the many El Paso Times stories today (http://www.elpasotimes.com/haskins has some phenomenal coverage):

    Magic Johnson went into Pat Riley's office during one of the Showtime Lakers years and told Riley, "If David Lattin hadn't dunked on you that one time, I wouldn't be here right now."
  8. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    Excellent column. Haskins was one of a kind. Here's some more:
  9. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Oh, wow. Fantastic column. A great tribute. The money line, for me:

  10. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    Great story.

    RIP, Coach Haskins.
  11. jobu

    jobu Member

    Absolutely right, Sam. Everywhere you go in El Paso, there's a story from an ordinary person who Haskins made time for, whether it was shooting pool with him in some dive, picking up the tab for a bunch of college kids at a bar near campus or stopping to talk basketball with a fan in the middle of the street. In addition to Haskins' intelligence, humor and gruffness, his greatest attributes were his humility and his generosity.

    Here's my brush with Haskins: As the sports editor of The Prospector, the UTEP student paper, I went over to practice to talk with Haskins after Henry Iba, his mentor, had passed away. Practice went long, as it so often did, and Haskins was in a hurry because he had to get to his radio show. But he had trouble denying anyone, so he had me follow him into the locker room, where he talked to me about "Mr. Iba" as he pulled off his shirt, washed his hair in a sink and got ready for his show.

    The world became a poorer place Sunday when Haskins left it, but Heaven just got a lot more interesting.

    UTEP is hosting a public memorial service Thursday night at the arena that bears Haskins' name. The building holds about 12,000, and if everyone whose life Haskins has touched shows up, there won't be nearly enough room.

    A couple other good reads about Haskins:

    ESPN's Andy Katz: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/columns/story?columnist=katz_andy&id=3574928

    Fox Sports' Randy Hill: http://msn.foxsports.com/cbk/story/8537484/

    The Dallas Morning News' Kevin Sherrington: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/colleges/topstories/stories/090808dnspoqtsherrington.19cc295.html

    And some older ones:

    SI's story on the Texas Western-Kentucky game: http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1078335/index.htm

    And one from Haskins' last season: http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1015191/index.htm

    And yes, thank you, Gordon, for starting this thread.
  12. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Tremendous column by Dan Wetzel.

    As I read it, I couldn't help thinking, this is the kind of stuff that we never will get from the bloggers in their 'jamies from Mom's couch in the basement. It was Wetzel doing the original reporting and being on the scene -- again and again and again, to the point of developing a rare relationship with Haskins -- that imbued this piece with such power and sensitivity.

    As a matter of fact, as newspapers pull people off the road for anything except the bare-minimum trips for game coverage, these pieces won't get written either.
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