THE RAMS LOST A KEY MEMBER OF THE ORGANIZATION FROM THE L.A. DAYS WHEN DON HEWITT PASSED AWAY THURSDAY. Don, like his son Todd is now, was the players' best buddy. The equipment manager is the lifeblood of any professional locker room. Don was not only liked, he was respected. Jack Snow was extemely fond of Don and vice versa. Don served the organization from 1967 to 1994. He turned the job over to his son Todd when the Rams moved here. But, he was still around quite a bit until he became too ill to travel. I could listen to Don's stories all day long. And especially when those stories focused on Jack. Don called Jack the most particular player he was ever around. His locker was pristine and his shoes and equipment had to be perfectly layed out. (not a shock to those of us who knew Jack)
But, Don had great respect for how hard Jack worked and how he conducted himself. The Rams have lost two valued members of the organization in a little over a year. My condolences to Todd and his family. I'll miss seeing and talking to Don. He was a true gentleman.
IF YOU READ THE POST DISPATCH THIS WEEK YOU NOW KNOW THAT I WORK OUT IN MY SPARE TIME. WOW! I'm always reluctant to talk about myself or my personal life but I didn't want be a hypocrite when Dan Caesar of the Post called me. I make my living asking people to make time for my questions so I always try to reciprocate. I don't JUST work out in my spare time but that's what Dan wanted to focus on. I personally don't think there's a whole lot about my life that people would find fascinating. I'm actually a boring guy. I like it that way. But, he could have mentioned my other hobby--golf. Some people dread retirement. I can't wait for it so I can play golf five days a week. I love that game but I'm still much better at working out than playing golf. One day I hope to change that.
SPEAKING OF GOLF, JOE BUCK SHOWED THE GALLERIES AT THE PEBBLE BEACH PRO AM THAT HE CAN PLAY. Joe's worked really hard on his game in recent years and he's become a really good player. In my opinion, Joe is on his way to becoming the greatest television play by play man in history. He's only in his late 30's and he's already accomplished more than just about anyone in network history. No doubt that he's worked hard to perfect his delivery, but Joe is one of those rare guys who has the ability to speak on any topic and make it interesting and entertaining. Bob Costas is the same way. And Dan Dierdorf has that ability too.
WE'VE STARTED AN "AROUND THE HORN" SEGMENT ON OUR WEBSITE. The sports department discusses various sports topics on a daily basis. For those who may be watching and wondering, the guy usually to my immediate right is our executive sports producer, Tim Klutsarits. The guy who has been to my left is our sports editor Mark Griffin. They are, by the way, the unchallenged sports department champions in Jeopardy. So, the guys behind the scenes here are the ones with the higher I.Q.'s. Bet that doesn't shock you. Another guy that will pop up on "Around the Horn" is our other sports producer, Troy Roberts.
I HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE ALL THE WORK THOSE GUYS DO TO KEEP ME AND DOUG AND JEFF FROM EMBARRASSING OURSELVES. (it's an ongoing battle) Tim is a McCluer North and Lindenwood University grad. He played offensive tackle at Lindenwood. Tim has worked with me for about nine years. Mark was the starting fullback for the state champion Mascoutah Indians football team in 1979. He's a Mizzou graduate who has been our sports editor for about 11 years. Troy is originally from Decatur, Illinois and graduated from SIU-Carbondale. He's worked here at KMOV for about 18. He was an intern for Zip Rzeppa at KTVI(in the 80's) and then moved over here with Zip. It's an eclectic but interesting mix of individuals back here in the sports department. But, it's never dull. We have a lot of fun back here because there are very few egos. No one here is confusing reading sports scripts for curing cancer. But, I'm proud of the stability we have: Doug has been here about 18 years, I've been here almost 13 years, Tim and Troy have been here about nine and 18 years respectively, and Mark for about 11.