Rob Vanstone can now only aspire to mediocrity
He who lives in a glass house should throw no stones. I have always found it disappointing that one man would campaign for another to lose a job. Especially when the man he campaigns against is a genuine and decent man doing a good job. Therefore I will not campaign but expunge web facts that you reader might make decisions for yourself.
Rob Vanstone, a lifelong Reginan and football enthusiast, was appointed Assistant Sports Editor in 1995 and was named sports columnist one year later. He is now the L-P's Sports Co-ordinator and columnist. Vanstone has spent much of his time at the L-P writing about the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Regina Pats. He also writes a lighthearted sports column in the Regina Sun.([url=http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/columnists/rob_vanstone.html]http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/ ... stone.html[/url])
The National Newspaper Awards have been Canada's premier journalism awards for more than 50 years. In 1949, six awards were handed out. Today, there are 20. The awards were established by the now Toronto Press Club thanks to a generous donation from the late George McCullagh, then president and publisher with The Globe and Mail and the Telegram.
The awards are administered by an independent Board of Governors which was created in 1989.
The National Newspaper Awards is a trade name operating under the corporate title, Canadian Daily Newspaper Awards Programme Administration Corp., a not-for-profit federally-chartered body.
1995 Winners: Sports Writing
Winner: Roy MacGregor of The Ottawa says the crisis in modern sport is not necessarily all about greed; it's also about attitude. Just Do It: The bad boys of sports is a thoughtful, opinionated, sometimes angry essay on the attitudes and morality of sport today. It's a world in which cheaters prosper, and sometimes fall, and jerks become millionaires. You know some of them--Mike Tyson, Pete Rose, O.J. Simpson and Michael Jordan.
Runner-up: Randy Starkman and Peter Edwards of The Toronto Star teamed up to expose a shabby telemarketing scam that took advantage of the vulnerability of wheelchair sports organizations across Canada. Through initiative and solid digging, Randy and Peter told of a fund-raising firm that pocketed large amounts of cash while sending a pitiful amount to disabled athletes. This is Randy Starkman's third straight nomination in this category. He has won the award the last two years in 1993 and 1994.
Runner-up: The Montreal Gazette's Jack Todd vividly brings to life the story of Tshimanga Biakabutuka, the University of Michigan's brilliant running back. It was, the judges said, the best sports profile of the year. Jack tells the tale not only of a champion athlete who never played football until he was 15, but also chronicles the past and present of a remarkable family of 12 children from Zaire.
1996 Winners: Sports Writing
Winner: Erin Anderssen of the New Brunswick Telegraph Journal in Saint John profiled Olympic swimmer Marianne Limpert just prior to the Atlanta Games. Anderssen left her readers awed by the sheer physical training needed to prepare for the Olympics and offers an intimate view of the athlete's personality and drive. Her readers wound up with a much greater appreciation of Limpert's accomplishment when she finally earned a coveted silver in the 200-metre individual medley in Atlanta.
Steve Buffery of The Toronto Sun profiled former child swimming star Shauna Collins in a trio of articles about her courage in trying to resurrect a career in time for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Shauna was 12 in 1990 and a swimming phenom with stardom stamped all over her. Today, she's 19, a single mom in Regina trying to overcome two attempted suicides and still work toward her dream of swimming in the Olympics. Judges said Buffery's initiative and follow-up work produced a story to which readers could relate.
While the coverage of the Atlanta Games focused on the accomplishments of the competitors, The Ottawa Citizen's Roy MacGregor had other thoughts about what was going on. In a collection of opinion pieces about the modern Olympic Games, MacGregor questioned the commercially-abetted, only-winning-matters approach that has obscured the conventional Olympic spirit. Set against judoka Keith Morgan's broken dream was a thoughtful questioning of the direction of the Olympics. MacGregor is last year's winner in this category.
1997 Winners: Sports Writing
Geoff Baker of the Montreal Gazette went way beyond the playing fields and locker rooms by digging through the hype to show his readers the sad state of affairs in Montreal for the Canadian Football League and its Alouettes. Chapter by chapter, in a dozen stories over a two-month period, Baker exposed the shenanigans surrounding the troubled Alouettes franchise. He reported details of the clashes and conflicts that nearly destroyed the CFL in Montreal and perhaps the entire league along with it.
Stephen Brunt of The Globe and Mail provided superb coverage of one of boxing’s all-time great fiascos—the Tyson-Holyfield ear-biting circus in Las Vegas. Brunt’s insights into the demons that afflict Mike Tyson were remarkable, said the judges, as was his detailed analysis of the fight itself—a bite-by-bite account of the most bizarre bout in boxing history. In his lead paragraph of that fateful fight, Brunt may have prophetically written the future of boxing: "Scenes from the death of professional boxing."
Roy MacGregor of The Ottawa Citizen crafted the year’s best sports profile, according to the judges, when he took a fresh look at one of Canada’s most familiar hockey players, Alexander Daigle, an enigmatic and complex young man. Daigle, who came out of junior hockey in 1993 with stardom stamped all over him and a mind-boggling multi-million dollar contract at age 18, has been a bust and is now a Philadelphia Flyer. MacGregor, winner of this award in 1995, talked with friends and family to tell his readers what makes this young man tick.
1998 Winners: Sports Writing
Like a lot of us, Damien Cox of The Toronto Star has known for a while that Canada is losing its hockey supremacy on the world stage. In a series called "Losing the Edge", Cox cut through the mythology of Canada's game and came to the inescapable conclusion that Canadian hockey remains entrenched in 50-year-old traditions while other countries are breaking new ground in developing young players.
When unknown New York banker Michael Largue announced that he wanted to buy the Edmonton Oilers and keep them in Edmonton, reporters Jim Farrell and Jac MacDonald of the Edmonton Journal wasted no time digging into his background. What they found was a man whose estranged wife called a pathological liar with no money and vivid fantasies of owning an NHL team. Even Largue could not argue when confronted by the reporters' questions about his background: "That's interesting. I guess you've done your homework," he said.
Jack Todd of The Gazette in Montreal spent 42 exhausting days covering the World Cup of Soccer in France. His work brought to life the extraordinary pressures and stifling heat of an event that is more than just an international soccer tournament. Readers could feel the heat that enveloped the tournament as they read this description of the sizzling conditions in Marseille: "It's an idiot sun. It broils your eyeballs, fries your knees, stifles your breath, turns you into a tongue-rolling, lobotomized idiot incapable..." well, you get the idea.
1999 Winners: Sports Writing
The Montreal Gazette's Jack Todd went to Russia to chronicle the state of Russian hockey, from the game's roots in bandy to the Band-Aid measures now necessary to keep the game alive in a country in turmoil. The series resonates with the names of Soviet and Russian greats, from Tarasov and Tikhonov to Maltsev and Bure. In the end, Todd concludes that there really isn't much difference any more between the game in Russia and the one here, given the preponderance of unspectacular, low-scoring games and the sending of unpolished players to over-expanded, under-skilled North American professional leagues.
Bruce Culp of the Ottawa Citizen recounts the story of the glowing future awaiting a teenager ranked as the best seventh grade basketball player in America. In doing so, Culp gives his readers a penetrating look at the sociology of a Brooklyn ghetto and the important place of basketball for its youth. It is a very human tale, at times uplifting and at others heart-breakingly stark. He tells of young talents who go on to greatness and others, perhaps equally talented, who miss the brass ring, betrayed by an inferior education.
Beverley Smith of The Globe and Mail tells a heart-tugging story about life behind the racetrack for some has-been horses in "Racing's other plate." The story shows how, in our expendable society, even horses of great heart and stamina are, eventually, equally expendable--just another piece of meat on a gourmet's plate in Europe. While making her readers aware of the hard-hearted business of the sport of kings, Smith also tells -- with warmth, sensitivity and a touch of humour -- of the horse-lovers who try to save some of these equine athletes from their slaughterhouse fate.
2000 Winners: Sports Writing
Gary Mason, The Vancouver Sun, for a profile of Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, a Vancouver Grizzlies basketball player’s struggles with Tourette’s Syndrome. Runners-up: Chris Cobb, Ottawa Citizen, for a story on the effects of concussions in sport, both amateur and professional; Dave Feschuk, National Post, for a story on Gordie Gallant, a notorious hockey goon who battles to overcome the serious burns he suffered while saving the lives of his girlfriend and her son
2001 Winners: Sports Writing
Winner: Ron Corbett, The Ottawa Citizen, for a story about underprivileged and immigrant children learning to play baseball in Ottawa; Runners-up: Ian Brown, The Globe and Mail, for a behind-the-scenes tour of the horse breeding sheds in Kentucky; Allan Maki, The Globe and Mail, for a story on the return to coaching in Spain of a former Canadian hockey coach who was convicted of more than 350 sexual acts against teenage hockey players
2002 Winners: Sports Writing
Winner: Gary Mason, The Vancouver Sun, for a look back at the 1972 Soviet Union hockey team. Runners-up: Red Fisher, Montreal Gazette, for a feature on Canadiens captain and cancer victim Saku Koivu; Ken Wiwa, The Globe and Mail, for a feature on Calgary Flames star Jarome Iginla.
2003 Winners: Sports Writing
Winner: Morgan Campbell of the Toronto Star for a series looking at the daily trials and tribulations of members of a high school basketball team; Runners-up: Pierre Foglia of La Presse for journal-like reporting of the Tour de France cycling duel between American Lance Armstrong and German Jan Ullrich; and Gary Mason of The Vancouver Sun for stories on the debate over the use of visors in hockey.
2004 Winners: Sports WritingWinner: Randy Turner of The Winnipeg Free Press for a feature on Brent Sutter, a former NHL star now a rancher and owner and coach of the Red Deer Rebels. Runners-up: Terry Bell of The Province in Vancouver for a story on the NHL labour crisis well before the lockout occurred; Grant LaFleche, St. Catharines Standard, for stories on people taking up boxing.
2005 Winners: Sports Writing
Winner - Geoff Baker, Toronto Star, for an investigative series on the widespread use of performance enhancing drugs among teenage baseball players in the Dominican Republic. Runners-up - William Marsden, The Gazette in Montreal, for reporting on the hazing scandal involving the McGill University Redmen football team; Earl McRae of The Ottawa Sun for a story of an afternoon of watching the movie “Cinderella Man? with legendary boxer George Chuvalo
The count is eleven years and not one championship. Some of us only get 6 and a half.