By BOB McGINN
If you’re one of the many fortunate reporters that have had the opportunity to interview Dick Bennett, you can understand what I’m about to say.
Dick Bennett probably is my favorite interview of all time.
In the early 1980s, Bennett was in the midst of making Wisconsin-Stevens Point a small-college basketball power. At the time basketball in Wisconsin was one of my many assignments, and I had occasion to phone Bennett now and then to discuss his teams and his career.
Bennett remained coaching the Pointers for nine seasons before moving up to the NCAA Division I ranks at three different schools, including two in the state where he spent his high-school days in Clintonville. Bennett couldn’t go anywhere without someone asking how could he possibly be content coaching in the Wisconsin State University Conference.
We discussed that several times, and in Bennett’s inimitable, penetrating and revealing style I remember him stressing that excellence had nothing to do with size.
Those words have stayed with me for almost four decades.
I thought reminiscing about Dick Bennett’s credo might be apropos as we at BobMcGinnFootball.com wrap up our second season. I’m not sure we have ever achieved excellence but as a four-man staff we’ve remained true to our mission during our growth as a fledgling journalistic enterprise.
My son, Charlie, and I are proud of our two years. Obviously, I would never have been able to start something like this without Charlie, whose financial acumen and lessons learned in the business world allowed me to just write. Working side-by-side with my kid for these two years made for one of the most rewarding periods in my life.
Just as obvious is the fact we couldn’t have done this without Rob Reischel and Mark Eckel.
Veteran reporters are fond of saying to one another in the press box, “Make it sing.” Rob does that with remarkable consistency whenever he sits down in front of a keyboard. He can write news, he can write analysis, he can write features, he can write opinion, he can write anything. And it’s always punchy, topical and worthy of a reader’s precious time.
Mark, our hard-bitten copy chief, had the toughest job of all. He had a boss, me, who adored not being tethered to newspaper deadlines anymore. That meant Mark either had to wait up into the wee hours to edit my stuff and create the headline, or set his alarm at the crack of dawn to do the same. Either way, he didn’t get much sleep, but it seldom prevented him from keeping the ship on course.
We all were cheered by the response from you, our members, the most important part of this venture. For a second year, the comments section beneath our stories was both voluminous and vigorous. The members that offered their two cents on anything and everything by and large did so in a civil, respectful manner. We thank them for that, and I’m sure the silent majority of our membership that never comments does as well.
Similar to last year, this column will complete our work year. There will be no more new content.
BobMcGinnFootball.com will remain on hold and unchanged for the foreseeable future. Members should feel free to navigate anywhere on the site and read stories you might have missed over the last 8 ½ months. Everything we wrote should be easily accessible.
Over the next two months Charlie and I will make the decision whether to come back for a third year. Then we’ll announce our plans on the website.
On behalf of Charlie, Rob and Mark, I thank you all for your trust and support.