When I did the sponsored weekly “Friday Night Lights Preview” segment for WXTX on Tuesday evening, a couple of guests stopped by at the recording studio – Mark Rice and Mike Haskey of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

Mark called me last week and said he wanted to do a story on my return to TV in Columbus to try to explain to the public exactly what is going on and update everybody on what’s happening in my life, since in Columbus I’m semi-public property. I agreed to the interview because I know Mark and trust him to tell the story fairly. Having Mike along as a photographer only made things more comfortable, because I’ve known both of those guys for decades.

Mark started as a sports reporter at the paper back in the ’90’s, and Mike’s been a photog for the Ledger forever – you know, when my hair was still brown. We’ve spent a lot time together on football sidelines and at baseball games and I know their professionalism and their dedication to reporting the truth.

When I do media interviews, I’m not looking for the reporter to be my advocate. What I want is accuracy. I’ve been there, and I have always strived to have the final product reflect the true story, and I like to think I’ve had a pretty good track record for that over the years.

The conversation lasted nearly an hour, and it was a wide-ranging discussion. Both guys did their jobs properly and did some digging with their questions. It made me consider things I hadn’t thought about in depth before, and I hope I gave good answers, because I’m still not used to being the guy being interviewed. For the record, that was the first question Mark asked me – about being on the other side of the story, a really good opening question.

I’m curious to see their take on things, since an outside perspective on what I’m doing and what I’m going through will be valuable to me on a personal level. I’ve been too wrapped up in trying to keep things going to really understand my place in the big picture here.

I don’t know when the story will be posted, but I’ll link to it when it happens.


No, you’re not imagining things. That really is me popping up on Fox 54 in Columbus talking about high school football. The whole situation is, as those personal status reports say on social media, complicated.

When I was hired by Tires First a year and a half ago, there was an understanding that if Mark and Wes decided to revive their dormant TV and radio ad campaigns, I would be the face/voice of the store. I started doing radio spots a few months ago, and there was a good response.

WXTX Sales came along and proposed that I do a three-minute weekly high school football preview that would air during Fox 54 newscasts. Mark liked the idea, and co-sponsored the reports along with Glynn Smith Chevy/GMC from Opelika. I also did a 30-second commercial for Tires First as well as promo spots for the reports.

WXTX isn’t a Gray TV station. Fox 54 is owned by American Spirit Media, a company based out of Charlotte that owns or operates stations in six TV markets. American Spirit supplies a general manager and sales staff, while Gray supplies the rest through what’s known as a shared services agreement (SSA).

That’s where it gets complicated. My lawsuit against Gray TV makes producing the reports a little more interesting. WTVM is providing video they shot from football games for the report, but we’re recording at an area production studio since I’m not allowed in WTVM’s building for obvious reasons.

The response has been great. There’s buzz around town about me appearing on TV in Columbus again, and that’s really gratifying. A lot of folks come into the store and tell me how great it is to see me on TV again doing sports stuff. It’s nice to be remembered, and it’s fun to get back in front of the camera.

I suspect it makes the folks at Gray TV a little uncomfortable, especially considering the viewer response, but that’s not my concern. I’m just trying to do a good job and promote the store properly. If it makes Gray ponder about what they did to me and to so many others, all the better.

I have plenty going on media-wise. I’m still doing play-by-play for Pacelli football webcasts, DJ Jones and I will co-host a fundraiser for the Anne Elizabeth Shepherd Home on Thursday night, and I’ll be talking about high school football with Richard Holdridge on his podcast next week.

Huge Day at the Chattahoochee Valley Sports Hall of Fame!

Saturday was a big day for me and my family. Being inducted into the Chattahoochee Valley Sports Hall of Fame was quite an honor. 

I spent 36 years doing my best to cover sports in Columbus and the surrounding area, and the outpouring of love and support this past weekend was absolutely amazing. There were a lot of old friends there to thank me for the work I did, but honestly I feel more like I should thank them for all the good they’ve done. 

Having to give a speech to a live audience was certainly a little intimidating. I’m used to talking to inanimate objects like cameras, to be honest. I tried to have a little fun with the presentation, treating it like it was a sportscast. 

The best part was getting to do the goodbye speech I never got to give on air. That made the day extra special. To everyone involved, I can’t thank you enough.