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RIP Duke Maas

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Moderator1, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

  2. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    That was a great tribute.

    I didn't know Duke but feel like I got to, through that story. It sounds like he was someone I would've liked to work for and with. I'm sorry I didn't get the chance.

    RIP, Duke.
  3. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    Encountered Duke when he was at the Tribune Review, after years of hearing about what a good dude he was. Turned out all of those accolades were 100 percent correct. Very sorry to hear this news. RIP.
  4. LouGrant1995

    LouGrant1995 New Member

    When he took over The Tampa Tribune sports department in early 2000s, he really added leadership and a distinguished voice that benefited the section. Sad to see him have to oversee so many layoffs at the paper after he moved from sports. A great newspaperman. A great person. RIP, Duke Maas.
  5. HappyCurmudgeon

    HappyCurmudgeon Well-Known Member

    Proud to say I did some work for the Tribune while Duke was the sports head there. A lot of my friends know him much closer and many of them are mourning a man they admired and respected. He was one of the real good ones.
  6. Well, I don't chat much on this any more, not that I did anyway, but I do need to put something up. I was the first hire in the Duke Maas era at The Tampa Tribune shortly after he took over the sports department in 2000 and he was the best editor I've had in my life.
    There are countless stories I can share, like the time how he was going to make a change at the Pasco bureau and "buck down" the current coordinator Daryl Presgraves to bring back a former ace named Tom Ford, who briefly retired.
    Duke and I talked about this eventual meeting with Daryl and we made the decision. Many Tribbers will remember my long drive that I had to work and on the day of the meeting Duke called me concerned about my feelings toward making this change since I was the Local Sports Team Leader and he knew I wanted to make sure Daryl would be more than OK with this (BTW, It was Duke who really taught me that being concerned for a member of my team always came first.) We met at a Cracker Barrel off I-75 and Hwy 54.
    Duke kind of started to beat around the bush about the change. Daryl interrupts him and says "Look, if I'm not the Pasco coordinator any more, then I'm all for it." We all laughed about it. Ford came in, it was a short time after that we hired a kid named Andy Staples and with Daryl, Andy and Ford, we had a MASSIVE team kicking butt in that bureau.

    I posted something last month on Duke's Facebook Page that I thought I'd share, I'm so glad he was able to respond and it's written in a different context:

    It was the morning of Jan. 20, 2003 I stumbled into the newsroom after working late the night before helping out the desk as the Bucs defeated the Eagles to win the NFC Championship. For some reason that year, there was a one-week turnaround to the game and not the standard two weeks.
    About 11 a.m. you saw me in the office shortly after I made that 74.9 mile drive from Inverness to 200 S. Parker and you said "Hey, what are you doing today?"
    "Not much, got a few things to line up, but nothing major."
    "Can you take care of the Bucs Special Section today?" You asked.
    "Um, sure."
    That was at around 11 a.m. and five hours later at the 4 p.m. budget meeting Donna Reed asks "Duke, what's going in the Bucs section?"
    "Well Katherine has a story on (whatever) and Woody has a story ... you know what? I'm going to let Mike Harris talk about what's going in the Bucs section.
    "In fact, Mike Harris is going to be the liaison for the Bucs section the rest of this week. Talk to him about what's going in the Bucs Section, what's going in Sports, what's going in Metro, he's going to handle that."
    My mouth dropped. "WHAT!?!?!"
    Fortunately Duke, you were the type of guy, that when I followed you into your cubicle I could always speak my mind.
    "WHAT the Hell are you doing?"
    "What, you can do it," you said.
    We talked and you put your trust in me. Thank you.
    I certainly remember that Friday before the Super Bowl both you and I got to the parking garage around 10 a.m. for the morning meeting and I remember we both left that night at the same time. 11:40 that night. I also remember, I didn't have lunch or dinner that day, but it was a great week.
    After the Bucs won the game, you put your trust into my guys Daryl, Eddie, Anwar, Andy to help cover the Bucs' return home and parade.
    After Tuesday's parade, I walked into the office on Wednesday morning and you pulled me into your cubicle and you thanked me for doing the Bucs section (Later that day, Gil Thelan came up to me and said thanks as well.) But you tried to order me to do another task:
    "OK, now you need to take three or four days off. Lay low." (For those who don't know I think Duke's favorite saying after we busted our butts on something was "to lay low.")
    However, I said "I can't, we have soccer playoffs, wrestling districts and basketball coming up. And Oh, one week from today it's Signing Day."
    "Well, when can you take any time off?"
    "Why didn't you tell me?"
    "Duke, don't worry, it had to be done."

    Duke, YOU will always be my mentor, and I appreciate everything you've done for me and for my career. You were always the best because you believed in not just me, but everyone on the sports staff.

    Thank you for hiring me, being my editor and being my friend.

    I know this was a long-winded sportsjournalists post so thanks for allowing me to share. This loss hurts.

    Michael Harris
    Managing Editor
    Aiken Standard
  7. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Great post, Mike. And I still can't believe you made those drives from Inverness. Granted, you were never on the road when the rest of the world was.
  8. HappyCurmudgeon

    HappyCurmudgeon Well-Known Member

    Beautiful. I always smile when I see Tom Ford's name. I learned a ton from him and really miss that guy.
  9. mediaguy

    mediaguy Well-Known Member

    Great memories of Duke on here. Thanks for sharing.
  10. Izzy Gould

    Izzy Gould Member

    Thanks for the memories, Mike. That post took me back. Seems like yesterday. Hope you are well.
  11. Tommy Deas

    Tommy Deas Member

    I didn’t get to know Duke well but I did get to have a few chats with him at APSE events and when he was in Opelika. Never heard a single bad word about him, which in this business is saying something. Good man. RIP.
  12. Thanks Izzy, it should be noted that Izzy joined the Pasco world not long after Andy left the bureau to cover a small college football team located in the hamlet of Gainesville, Fla. And Andy only went to cover the Gators after Ford passed and Joey Knight "returned" to Pasco county from Gainesville as the coordinator. Another couple of valuable Duke moves.

    Happy C mentioned he smiles while hearing Ford's name. The greatest thing, well maybe not the greatest thing because there are many, about Ford was, as a copy editor on the sports desk, he would come to work - from Mount Dora about 80 miles away - dressed in the traditional "leftover" hippie garb, sandals shorts and sit down at his desk. After an hour or two of editing (or three if he was editing a Tom McEwen column) he pulled his head back from the great SII Coyote, remove his reading glasses, saunter over to a file cabinet next to the design desk where he would pull out a yoga mat and do 15 minutes next to the panoramic window overlooking the Hillsborough River.

    That sports department, as great as it was, made it a joy to come into work every day because there was probably a daily quirky story that you tell and have a laugh over.

    As I said, Ford passed, but for many years I believed Ford didn't pass but just faded out. I still don't believe cancer could knock out Tom Ford. A part of me would like to think the same for Duke as well.
    Dog8Cats likes this.
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