Thursday, October 9, 2008

HS Football Remains Strong Among Major Media Stalwarts

The defense of Lord Stanley's Chalice begins tonight on the banks of the Detroit River for America's signature hockey franchise, the Detroit Red Wings. With little more than 100 days behind them after an exalting run to the Cup championship, the Wings will host their longtime rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs, to Joe Louis Arena.

What does this have to do with high school football? Give me another paragraph or two.

The season's energy began in earnest two days ago when the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association (DSBA) hosted a media luncheon Tuesday in the Hockeytown Cafe featuring Red Wing brass Ken Holland, Steve Yzerman and Jim Nill. During the organizational housekeeping duties and preliminary introductions, DSBA President Rick Kincaide made mention of my book, Metro Detroit's High School Football Rivalries, and went on to tell the thrilling details of Farmington's 20-19 triumph over Farmington Hills Harrison last week.

In front of a major media market, in a hockey-crazed city, before introducing household names like Holland and Yzerman, Kincaide was talking high school football, and with good reason. He broadcast the Harrison-Farmington game featured six lead changes, a healthy amount of PAT drama from both coaches and a thrilling conclusion that saw Farmington recover the football for a climatic kneel-down to capture their first win over Harrison in 31 years. Quite a story, in any market, for any sport.

Kincaide, who has a neat book of his own called The Gods of Olympia Stadium: Legends of the Detroit Red Wings, showed me through his plug for my book and his re-telling of last Friday's Falcon win that Detroiters have secure spot in their heart for prep sports.
After the program, Bill Evo of Evo Enterprises stopped me to tell me of his relative, Chuck Skinner. Readers of this blog will quickly recall I ran a story a few weeks back of a fun phone discussion I had with Skinner. The story was rich with memories of Skinner's days with the Hazel Park Vikings and later Birmingham's Seaholm Maples.

Before I finished talking with Evo, the voice of the Red Wings, Ken Kal, stopped me and retold a great story of his broadcasting a game between Adrian's Maples and the River Rats from Ann Arbor Huron that was played at Hollway Field on the Ann Arbor Pioneer campus. "I remember the excitement and fun of the game kind of overtaking me," Kal said with a chuckle. "I was calling a kickoff, and the runner took the ball on the 10. I said 'He's at the 20, now the 30, the 40..45...50! 55, 60, 65...He's down to the 30 and downed at the 25-yard line!"

A graduate of Dearborn St. Alphonsus, Kal grew up a native Detroiter with a keen awareness of the major HS rivalries in the metro area. Kal's brother is longtime Brother Rice baseball coach Ron Kalczynski, who still serves as an assistant to current Rice coach Bob Riker. Before Kal was the radio voice of the Wings, he was the voice of the Michigan Wolverines and a favorite of the sports writers of The Ann Arbor News in the downtown Ann Arbor eateries and brew houses after we had put the paper to bed on a Saturday night. Today's he's best remembered for calling four Red Wing championships in the past 11 years.

Kal has a media resume most of us would kill for, and no one would blame him for burying a memory of a call that is not the truest representation of his best work in radio. Yet what did Kal remember Tuesday, on the eve of another thrilling season of Red Wing hockey?

45, 50! 55-60! 65.....

Long live high school football!

~ T.C. Cameron is the author of Metro Detroit's High School Football Rivalries, and is working on a follow-up title, Metro Detroit's High School Basketball Rivalries!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wondering how books you sold so far....and are you self-published....?

October 10, 2008 at 10:35 PM 
Blogger The Write Referee said...

No, I'm represented by an agent and I'm working with an established publisher. This title is in 2nd edition print already and I've recently signed contracts to write Metro Detroit's High School Basketball Rivalries.

October 10, 2008 at 11:13 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am still wondering how many books sold and why aren't you getting any one reading the blog jackass.....

October 28, 2008 at 3:08 AM 
Blogger The Write Referee said...

Can't you find something more productive to do with your day than post this mindless blather?

Is it really an accomplishment to attempt to degrade a confident person like myself, who won't be influenced in the least by this, instead of addressing the reasons for your own failures in life?

You have an I-P address like everyone else, and your identity as the HS sports official who hides behind the title 'Anonymous' will be revealed when the time is right to the appropriate party.

In the meantime, have a nice day, and thanks for taking the time to post!

October 28, 2008 at 9:08 AM 

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