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NSMA Awards Weekend begins on Saturday

Staff report

SALISBURY — The 57th annual National Sports Media Association’s Awards Weekend begins on Saturday and concludes Monday night.

The organization, founded here in 1959, was formerly named the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. The name was changed in March.

As always, the weekend concludes with the NSMA Reception and Awards at Goodman Gym on the Catawba College campus, Monday evening, beginning at 5:30.

This year, the NSMA will honor four Hall of Famers: ESPN’s

Chris Berman; retired CBS/NBC/Raycom college basketball analyst

Billy Packer; retired Sports Illustrated feature writer Gary Smith;

and the late best-selling author David Halberstam.

In addition, Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick of NBC will receive his 2015

National Sportscaster of the Year Award, and Tom Verducci will be honored as the 2015 National Sportswriter of the Year.

Many of the 104 state sportscasters and sportswriters of the year from throughout the country will be present and honored as well on Monday night.

The weekend begins on Saturday as state winners begin arriving and registering at the Courtyard Marriott. A welcome reception is scheduled for 3:30 until 5:30 at the hotel.

Later, at 6:30, Legacy Night will be held at Goodman Gym, as The Boston Globe receives the Roone Arledge Award.

The Globe was selected for its innovative sports coverage, much of which has inspired other sports departments across the country. Sports columnists Bob Ryan, Lesley Visser and Leigh Montville, along with former Globe sports editor Vince Doria will accept the Arledge Award and discuss The Globe’s impact.

“The Globe sports department has been a trendsetter for decades,” NSMA executive director Dave Goren said. “It’s produced more NSMA Hall of Famers (Ryan, Visser, Montville, Peter Gammons, Bud Collins and Will McDonough) than any other entity. And, it was one of the first newspapers to allow its writers to appear regularly on radio and television, a move that led to the proliferation of beat reporter experts in broadcast media.”

Ryan, the NSMA Board’s national chair, still contributes columns to The Globe. Visser appears regularly on CBS Sports Network and at CBSSports.com. Montville recently finished a second stint as a Globe columnist. And Doria retired last year, after 23 years as Senior Vice President and Director of News at ESPN.

Arledge climbed his way to become both the President of ABC Sports and ABC News. Along the way, he created or developed many of the sports television institutions we know today. Among them: Monday Night Football, Wide World of Sports, slow motion, instant replay and the hand-held camera. He won 37 Emmys and trained many of the top executives working in sports television today. Arledge died in 2002 at the age of 71.

Ryan, Visser and Montville are also among the contributors to the NSMA’s website, nationalsportsmedia.org.

On Sunday, the day gets started with a NSMA board meeting, followed by the NATA Awards brunch and seminars at Lee Street Theatre (11 a.m. thru 1 p.m.).

A bus tour of Salisbury leaves from the theatre and arrives at the Literary Bookpost, downtown, for the Sports Book Festival.

The authors for the book festival are:

  • NSMA Hall of Famer Bob Ryan is regarded as one of the country’s premier sports columnists. Retired fromThe Boston Globe (though he still contributes columns), Ryan has covered sports for nearly 50 years, and also appears regularly on The Sports Reporters on ESPN. Ryan’s book, Scribe: My Life in Sports, is about his life and journey from growing up in New Jersey to his life as a sports journalist for the Globe.
  • NSMA Hall of Famer Hal McCoy is a 15-time NSSA Ohio Sportswriter of the Year. He will sign his book, The Real McCoy: My Half-Century with the Cincinnati Reds. McCoy’s book is about his career as a sportswriter, covering the Cincinnati Reds for the Dayton Daily News and FOX Sports Ohio.
  • Mike Sielski was voted by his peers as the 2015 Pennsylvania Sportswriter of the Year. He will be signing his book, Fading Echoes: A True Story of Rivalry and Brotherhood from the Football Field to the Fields of Honor. The book tells the true story of hometown heroes from Doylestown, Pennsylvania who start as rivals on the playing field, but end up as devoted servicemen serving their country during conflict in the Middle East. Sielski is also known for his lyrical, provocative, and well-reported columns in The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he has worked since September of 2013.
  • A Spartan Game: The Life and Loss of Don Holleder, is the first authoritative biography of Don Holleder. Former sportscaster Terry Tibbetts shares the inspirational story of how Holleder overcame limited academic skills to attend West Point; grew to be an All-America football end; volunteered to become quarterback when the coach needed leadership; and sacrificed his football career to serve his country in Vietnam. The inspiring story is a model for anyone willing to work hard to achieve, win, and most of all, place the team above self.

Sunday’s activities conclude with a barbecue at the Salisbury Depot and an after party at New Sarum Brewery.

On Monday, there are golf and tennis tournaments for award winners, guests and hosts at the Country Club of Salisbury.

There is also a lunch scheduled at Go Burrito (11:00-2:00), before the major event — the awards program at Goodman Gym.

 

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