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A very special night
Posted by Phillip Marshall, The Huntsville Times April 30, 2007 11:50 PM
SALISBURY, N.C. - It was a special night for a lot of reasons at the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association convention Monday.
This town just north of Charlotte rolls out the hospitality once a year for sports journalists from around the country. James and Margaret Faust, hosts for my wife, Teresa, and me, made us feel welcome from the start. I'm going to have to starve for the next two weeks to make up for all the good food I ate over the past three days.
At Monday night's awards banquet, it was good to share a happy time with Rod Bramblett, the talented play-by-play man for Auburn football, basketball and baseball, and his wife, Paula. He received the well-deserved honor of Alabama Sportscaster of the Year. It was good to share it with Huntsville Times sports editor John Pruett, my good and treasured friend who has been named Alabama Sportswriter of the Year a remarkable 17 times and would probably win the award every year had they not made a rule that no one can win it two consecutive years, and his wife, Barbara.
I'm not sure this old sports hack deserved the plaque I received as Alabama Sportswriter of the Year. More than anything, it probably just means I've been around for a long time. But I was proud to get it anyway.
The NSSA has been coming to Salisbury to conduct its business and hand out awards since 1959. The first Alabama Sportswriter of the Year plaque ever given hangs in my little office at home. It bears the name of my father, Benny Marshall. He won nine more after that and would have won a lot more had he not left us far too soon in 1969 at the age of 49.
There was a time in my career when I found it difficult to deal with my father's shadow. I knew I could never equal his talent or his accomplishments. But I long ago came to appreciate the honor of carrying on his name in our profession.
I thought of him Monday night as my name was called. And that is why it was a night that will be with me always.
Scottish by Blood, Southerner by Birth, War Eagle by Choice
Thanks for sharing.
My memory can still see your father making his way in the wheel chair up to the press box in Legion Field. As a kid, he was the first sports writer I read.
You, by the way, have done him proud.
Congratulations to you, Phillip. I know your father is proud, as are we.
Phillip, I am not one that tosses compliments around cheaply, but I want you to know that you are a class act. Your love for family, respect for what's right, and sincerity in reporting not only the facts, but allowing us incite to the man behind the pen is inspiring and appreciated. I am very confident that you have made your father proud. Congrats on your well deserved award.
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