Saturday, August 24, 2019

The Competitor In Me

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

The closest sport I ever had a chance to pursue was baseball.

During my youth in Southfield, MI., I played six years of baseball, one in hockey and basketball apiece.

My father coached me in five of six years playing on the diamond.  I played catcher for three years and I enjoyed the position because it was for thinkers.

Through the years in the media some of my favorite interviews were with catchers because you can relate to those that played the same position.

If you put me in the outfield, I'd lose my focus and balls could get past me if I lost concentration. Those singles would turn into extra base hits. I could only hope that one of my fellow outfielders would back me up.

When I played third base, some of my throws were so wild you'd need a seven-foot player because my throws usually sailed therefore, the first baseman would be drawn off the bag. Then again, I was just a Little Leaguer and these wild throws are common at every level.

I always had the desire to play for Southfield Lathrup High School in Metro Detroit, but when my family uprooted us to Highland, MI, that became impossible because Lakeland High School wasn't within walking distance.

I had no other way to get to practice since there was no other family in the area to take me. Both of my parents worked full-time.

Nowadays, as I continue my journey to rebuild my passion in the Media Full-Time, I enjoy the challenge of building a Multi-Media venture from scratch.

At the weinetwork.com, Peter Wein has been a joy to work with as a co-host.

He gives me my space and I produce The Sports Exchange which airs on Tuesday's and Thursday's from 5-7 pm.

We have great chemistry on the air and we're accumulating a good foundation of guests.

My guests are the backbone to the radio side. I enjoy interacting with them especially those that I followed as a child. 

I have many good ones, but former MLB Pitcher Mark Littell is awesome!

Our audience on a nightly basis exceeds 3,000 per show when you factor the network and Facebook Live. Between the first showing, the replay the following day and archives, we're between 10-12,000. Our one year anniversary is coming up in October.

Early in my radio days, I worked with George Eichorn on the Sports Exchange in Metro Detroit. When I told Wein about name possibilities, there was only one and the Sports Exchange was it with my past history.

Thus, it's back in circulation, but in a big way.

But My real baby is the South Florida Tribune.

When I purchased the domain name two years ago, I was looking to build a media company where there would be a few writers and build a press release business.

South Florida is the area that I live in so this was a no brainer.

Back in the 1980's, I had a nice run with the Tampa Tribune when I went to college at the University of South Florida. I have a lot of great friends that I'm in touch with today.

Unfortunately that while the Tampa Tribune went out of business, I was lucky enough to land the domain name then turned it into an LLC through Sunbiz.

So here we are, The spirit of The Tampa Tampa Tribune is very much alive with my Online Publication.

Now my goal is to develop writers and allow business owners promote their business. This is an outlet that provides freedom of speech as long as it's not abused. I don't limit the Tribune to sports. It's wide-open for the most part, but I won't allow politics or religion. These two subjects are discretionary.

We have a good young baseball/music writer named Louis Addeo-Weiss, who is developing nicely. Hopefully he continues to progress and he's been told there will be more opportunities down the line.

My wife Candy does a super job behind the scenes helping me put all of this together.

This gives me an opportunity to find Media Distribution Partners to provide content to promote their organizations.

I have quite a few now, but most notably, The Jacksonville Jaguars, Florida Atlantic University Owls, University of South Florida, Lynn University are some of the ones. If you want to see the rest, go to www.southfloridatribune.com and then use the drop down Sporting News.

As I continue this journey, the excitement of this challenge is to find more Media Distribution Partners. Stay tuned for more updates as time progresses.

I want all of my followers to read Real News and be updated regularly.

Another resource is Reuters who supplies our National News and Sports.

There are plans down the road to add a You Tube Channel and South Florida Tribune Podcast.

But only when I feel the traffic reaches much higher levels.

I'm too old school to deal with Fake News and won't tolerate such garbage.

But the key to any business is to reach as many people as possible.

As I continue to build this, My goal is to maximize the exposure of the weinetwork.com and other partners that join our team.

One of the things I like about the Sports Exchange is I've been able to find young charismatic talent who have desires to use us as a stepping stone to further their careers.

Last August, I met a young guy named Xavier McKnight. He was the Sports Information Director for Savannah State University. The Miami Hurricanes won this game 77-0. But I got to know Xavier McKnight real well and he would be one of our first core pieces with The Sports Exchange.

These photos were taken with McKnight at his new favorite restaurant in Bradenton, FL.

He's received praise from former College Basketball Coach Mike Jarvis, established broadcaster and longtime colleague Mark Wilson. Most recently, Los Angeles iconic broadcaster Chris Roberts was impressed.

Xavier is one of those guys that can work in any sport and is so prepared that he's so credible on the air. At 23-years old, McKnight is a name that you'll hear plenty about as time progresses.

Another favorite is 23-year old Anthony Wood. I found him on LinkedIn early this year.

On the radio show, we call him UK. No, this doesn't stand for any university with these letters. But it's a short version for United Kingdom.

What impressed me about Wood is he's so knowledgeable about the NFL.

Once upon a time there was NFL Europe. The league has a tremendous following in the UK and much of this is attributed to the Jacksonville Jaguars playing there annually, in addition to the growing amount of games each season.

Guys like Wood are a product of such growth. He podcasts regularly and when things were slow during the summer, he had updates on Formula One Racing, Wimbledon, Sports Movies, etc...

But his tenacity in doing research excites me because those are the qualities that it takes to become good at any occupation, let alone being in the news business.

In my eyes, Wood will always be known for producing an outline then sending it to me so I can follow it on the show.

Now I require the outline from a lot of my young insiders. Wood is another guy where the sky is the limit.

When I look at McKnight and Wood, I see a lot of what I was like when I was young. I was hungry, determined and I would work 24 hours to get what I needed to get the job done. That's how we're wired mentally.

That's the Competitor in Me.

I may not have had the ability on the athletic field.

But off the field, I'm just excited as to where this journey ultimately leads me.

When you have these young studs around, it's impossible to not learn from these guys. They bring out The Fountain Of Youth!

Back in the day when there was terrestrial radio and network television, only the fortunate could get involved. It was a privilege to be in the industry.

Now with tons of channels to watch on television, internet-satellite radio taking over, this is a different overwhelming animal more tenacious that a grizzly bear. It will eat you up alive if you're not on top of things, therefore you have to make every second count.

I'm learning how to promote in Social Media like I've never done before and this digital experience with internet radio, podcasts is one of those situations where all of you just have to is relationships with honest intentions.

It's necessary to make Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc... your best friend because nowadays you can't exist without it.

Years ago, the Associated Press, United Press International (UPI) and the Sports Ticker was your best friend. Not anymore.

But the key is to make it a win-win situation.

Take care of  your Media Distribution Partners by making as many appearances as possible because they're the ones who treat you with the respect to keep things going. Whatever people decide to write for you to gain exposure is just icing on the cake.

The industrious individuals realize that the more your name is out there the more opportunities you have in expanding your business to create the endless possibilities available to you which could lead to financial gain.

Word Of Mouth is everything!

This is an era where Google Rules!

It doesn't take much to find individuals these days by browsing.

Exposure is the key!

The financial part will eventually work itself out.

As I conclude this story, I'll say that regardless of how much talent you have, there is nothing more greater in life then having a tenacious work ethic.

I learned this at a young age and will take it with me until the day I die.

You don't last in the Media 40 years by accident.

At 56-years old, I still have the fire and 26 operations in addition to a myriad of other health issues, this won't slow me down.

That's what brings out The Competitor In Me.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at www.scottsports33.com. He is the Founder and CEO of The South Florida Tribune.

Friday, August 23, 2019

What City Deserves MLB?

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
PHOTO BY CANDICE EBLING

During the course of the baseball season, former Sports Exchange Contributor Rick Curti has been making a strong case on our show, and in Social Media, as to why his home area Charlotte, NC., deserves a Major League Baseball franchise.

My Co-Host Peter Wein and I have enjoyed giving Curti the platform to make his case.

Curti has been an excellent contributor to the show, plus has done a nice job writing stories for the South Florida Tribune.

Curti has been on this crusade for a long time.

He’s generated attention in the Carolinas by creating A Facebook Page, talking to local officials to promoting the Charlotte Bats. He's also been interviewed by the local media.

I came in contact with him last year on LinkedIn and Facebook.

We finally met in person in June in Charlotte, NC as I was on my way to the National Sports Media Association Convention in Winston Salem, NC.

I have admired Curti’s efforts to try to pull this off.

He’s made himself visible working for an Arena Football League lower level team called the Carolina Energy working in the PR Department.

His energy has been contagious as his enthusiasm is felt amongst those he’s around. You can never have enough visibility.

It’s no secret that the Tampa Bay Rays should be in the news for their impressive 75-54 record. If the playoffs started tomorrow, the franchise which is based out of St. Petersburg, FL., would reach them via the Wildcard.

This organization continues to remain competitive because of their emphasis on player development and keeping salaries down to a minimal.

They supplement the roster with affordable veteran castoffs from other teams. They have an outstanding young skipper in Kevin Cash, who has to pilot one of the lowest payrolls in baseball.

Yet, what impresses me the most, the Rays play in the toughest division in baseball with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox thus have. Even the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles have the ability to spend lots of money on players.

Cash’s predecessor Joe Maddon won a World Championship with The Chicago Cubs with great young talent and had the resources to pay for star players a few years ago.

Yet, there is a chance by the end of this season, the question remains, will Maddon be retained as skipper at the end of the season if the Cubs fail to go deep into the postseason?

We’ll find out in a few short months.

But back to the Rays.

Here is a team which is trapped into a bad lease at Tropicana Field which runs through the 2027 season. No progress has been made on getting a new stadium in either Pinellas or Hillsborough Counties.

Ownership has even discussed the possibility about playing some games in the future in Montreal. Time will tell if this is even legally possible.

The Rays have reduced the capacity to 25,000 to avoid embarrassment of empty seats, thus Tropicana Field is the smallest MLB Ballpark.

The team is drawing fewer than 12,000 fans.

The team is being ridiculed in the National Media and the Tampa Bay Area has become a laughing stock that it can't support MLB.

When a club can't sell out in the post-season, there are problems.

But as we look ahead, what cities would be logical candidates to get a team either through expansion or relocation?

Sorry to burst your bubble Rick, but Charlotte wouldn't make my list!

Your best bet to watch MLB Baseball is to drive down I-85-South and travel four hours to see the Atlanta Braves.

As you know Mr. Curti, the AAA Charlotte Knights, a Chicago White Sox affiliate, have a beautiful stadium downtown and it's a hot ticket. Is the stadium expandable to house an MLB team or will another venue have to be built?

Speaking of the Rays, Durham, NC., is their AAA affiliate and there is an excellent baseball history in the area.

Montreal is at top of my list because this is one of Canada's largest cities and before the 1994 Baseball Strike doomed the area, the Expos were a sound franchise. As long as there is a new ballpark, I see the Expos rebirth.

Moreover, if the Rays move there, they'll be in the American League East which would be huge.

With the Yankees and Red Sox and rival Blue Jays, we have an NHL Division on the diamond. Need I say much about those cities rivals on frozen pond.

Las Vegas seems to be slowly shaking it's gambling reputation and is turning into a sports town.

The NHL's Vegas Golden Knights are entering their third season and have a great following.

The Oakland Raiders are arriving in 2020.

The Oakland A's have a AAA team in Las Vegas.

I see the market always being used as leverage if a team can't get a stadium build. It might be far fetched, but if the Oakland A's don't get a new stadium built, they could follow the Raiders. But don't hold your breath.

It appears that the City Of Oakland is working on a deal to get the A's a new stadium built and MLB wouldn't be excited to lose a Bay Area Market, though Las Vegas area is one of the fastest growing cites in the USA.

I could see Portland, OR., as a possibility because this would be a great rivalry for the Seattle Mariners. It's a small market, but because of the rain the area gets, a domed stadium or retractable roof would be necessary.

Finally, Nashville, TN., is a consideration.

The state has an NBA team in Memphis.

Nashville has the NHL's Predators and the NFL's Titans.

The only question is if their AAA Stadium could be expandable to accommodate an MLB team.

The area has a great history with the Nashville Sounds.

Despite a small media market, the Nashville area is growing in leaps and bounds.

The one constant throughout this story in the growth in potential markets.

Do these have sufficient stadiums to land a team? I doubt any city would spend any more money to build another stadium.

In the end Rick, lobby all you want for Charlotte and get all the publicity you can handle for your efforts. But in the end, the Carolinas aren't getting MLB!

You still have the NHL's Hurricanes in Raleigh, a sport you don't follow.

There is always NASCAR which is another sport you don't care about.

And of course, you have the NFL's Carolina Panthers and NBA's Hornets who are tight-fisted under NBA Hall Of Famer Michael Jordan.

But keep trying Rick. In life there is nothing wrong with dreaming.

I've been wrong before and if they get an MLB team, I would welcome the opportunity to do play-by-play broadcasting for your Charlotte Bats.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at www.scottsports33.com and is the CEO and Founder of The South Florida Tribune.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Sunshine State Pre-season Week 3 Style National TV Tour

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
PHOTOS BY CANDICE EBLING

I've seen a lot of football in the Sunshine State.

I've covered high school, college and pro football in Florida.

Pro football even includes the USFL back in the 1980's when I wrote on the Tampa Bay Bandits and covered a USFL Championship in 1984 at the old Tampa Stadium.

I've covered four Super Bowls in Florida, two in Miami and one apiece in Jacksonville and Tampa.

I've seen my fair share of Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Bucs and Jacksonville Jaguars contests.

Tonight's game featuring the Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins will mark a unique situation here at Joe Robbie Stadium.

Now I've covered each Florida team during the third pre-season game on National TV on a Thursday night in a span of five seasons.

The first one occurred on a rainy night on August 28, 2015 when the Detroit Lions played in North Florida and defeated the Jaguars 22-17.

Lions QB Matthew Stafford threw for 173 yards and two touchdowns.

WR Golden Tate amassed 91 yards and a touchdown.

The next game occurred at Raymond James Stadium as the Detroit Lions defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday August 23, 2018.

This game was delayed by heavy rain and lightening. When it was all said and done, the Detroit Lions emerged as 33-30 winners and a University of Florida Gators product named Brandon Powell, a wide receiver, was an undrafted free agent made the team as a result of incredible play on special teams.

Tonight, at a venue for which I've seen many football games, most notably Detroit Lions/Miami Dolphins contest and Dolphins vs Jaguars clashes, in addition to two Super Bowls, Mother Nature appears to be cooperating with us.

For Candy Ebling, who has had to brave these rainstorms, I prayed that she got a dry evening to work.

Meanwhile, this game was televised on FOX as Joe Buck and Troy Aikman were on the call featuring a game with two AFC teams normally not on their network.

Howie Long and Terry Bradshaw also made the trip from Los Angeles, CA. Erin Andrews reported on the sidelines while Michael Strahan made the trek from New York to South Florida.

Former Dolphins Coach Jimmy Johnson in the photo above on the sidelines, got to sleep in his own bed as he lives south in Key Largo, FL.

Jags Owner Shad Khan, below, made the trip down I-95 to see this pivotal pre-season game which he hopes will provide enough answers that will hopefully lead to a playoff season.


One thing is clear for Jacksonville is there will be no more QB Blake Bortles speculation as to how long he'll stay with the club or is he the trigger man of the future.

The last time these two teams met was on December 23, 2018 as Jacksonville, led by Bortles defeated Miami 17-7.

The win gave Jacksonville a 5-4 lead in their overall series history.
During the off-season, Bortles signed with the Los Angeles Rams.

The QB for Jacksonville is a guy that owns a Super Bowl Ring, Nick Foles (#7 pictured below looking for a receiver to throw to).

As for Miami, which is in the midst of a rebuilding season.

What should be decided here?



Will the Dolphins signal caller be veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick or second year-man Josh Rosen, acquired in an off-season trade with the Arizona Cardinals?

It will be interesting to see how this plays out during the first year of the Brian Flores era.

But if you're going to go to or cover a pre-season game, then the best one is the third one as a good portion of these decisions are expected to be made, plus there are many scouts in the Press Box.

As for the players that stood out in this game, Foles was 6-10, 48 yards with one TD and one INT. His touchdown pass was for 10 yards to DeDe Westbrook that gave Jacksonville a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

 As for the rest of Jacksonville's regulars, RB Leonard Fournette had seven carries for 27 yards including a 12-yard run. As a receiver, he was targeted three times and had two catches for 19 yards.

Westbrook finished with four receptions for 29 yards and a touchdown.

One guy trying to make the roster is WR Terrelle Pryor. He had three catches for 26 yards with an 8.6 average.

Fitzpatrick's night was done with 4:56 left in the third quarter and Rosen took over. 

Fitzpatrick is in the photo handing the ball off to his running back.

The Harvard graduate was 12-18 for 126 yards and a touchdown to go along with a passer rating of 105.3.

The contest ended with a Miami Dolphins 22-7 win.

This was anything but a nail biter but then again, are there many of those in August?

Candy did stay dry as Mother Nature stayed away.

The tickets distributed 49,317 for their home dress rehearsal.

The Jaguars (0-3) face the Atlanta Falcons at home on Thursday August 29, 2019.

Meanwhile the Miami Dolphins (2-1) also conclude the pre-season on the road Thursday Night against New Orleans.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottbm33@gmail.com and is the CEO and Founder of The South Florida Tribune.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Just Like Old Times

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
WASHINGTOWN, TOWNSHIP, MI

As much as I've always enjoyed watching the movie "Back To The Future," on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, it was neat revisiting an old, but new show.

This seemed like a movie "Back To The Past."

This radio show took place at the Old Stone Bar And Grill, in Washington Township, a suburb of Metro Detroit.

There was an old face in the past who shared center stage with me and his name is George Eichorn.

Back in the early 1980's, Eichorn and I used to have a Radio Talk Show called The Sports Exchange.

We did a show in Garden City, MI at WCAR AM that aired from 7-9 PM Sunday Nights. Back then, there were no primetime NFL Football Games.

We moved to Mount Clemens, MI., and shifted to WBRB AM.

The Sports Exchange became a six hour show on Saturday Night from 6-12 Midnight.

We did segments on trainers, sports movies and much, much more.

In those days, we relied on The Associated Press and United Press International, plus the sports ticker which gave us score updates.

Both shows were a blast in their own ways as we took call ins and did live and pre-recorded interviews.

We enjoyed the Magazine Style Format which I've implemented here.

We spent 12 hours in the studio preparing the show then doing it.

We had lots of carry out meals and ordered pizza frequently for the Saturday broadcast.

As we move the clock forward, I took the lessons I learned back then and last year worked out a deal with Peter Wein of the weinetwork.com in September of 2019.

I'm the Founder and CEO of The South Florida Tribune.

We created the relationship with the intent to grow both brands.

We've done just that. Our show hits between 10-12,000 listeners.

The South Florida Tribune has been growing steadily.

Wein has been a tremendous partner.

I write the show and I enjoy the challenge of booking guests and then we have fun entertaining our followers.

It's great to have young talent and the veteran athletes, media members, etc... work together and bring fresh ideas to the program.

Over the years, I've been accustomed to terrestrial radio.

I have to admit that Wein's network on internet radio appears to be the new trend. Plus, it's not regulated by The Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

There is a lot more promoting on Social Media and many more news sources to get your information.

For this broadcast, Wein produced the broadcast from our Delray Beach, FL., Studio. The show was also seen on Facebook Live.

For Eichorn and I, it was like old times telling stories of our early years working together.

Eichorn is a frequent guest on this show and serves as the Sports Editor of The South Florida Tribune.

For this show, the guest line-up consisted of Rick Curti, Anthony Wood, Xavier McKnight and Chris Roberts.

When Eichorn and I were working together, Wood and McKnight weren't alive. These guys are 23-years old. These youngsters have promising careers ahead of them.

Roberts at 70-years old, is an iconic broadcaster in Los Angeles calling UCLA Basketball, Football and Baseball.

He is currently the President of The Southern California Sports Broadcasters, an organization for which I'm a part of.

Chris has become a new mentor for me and a great friend that I met this year on Linkedin.

He's always there when I need advice or a guest.

You talk about a great addition to my life, Roberts is it! I'm looking forward to eventually meeting Roberts in person in LA, and am proud to be the first East Coast Member of his organization.

Eichorn is Executive Director of Detroit Sports Media. I belong to this group as well. It was great introducing these two guys.

The comradery on this show amongst us was excellent as you had three guys that have over 130 years in Sports Media together.

We all admitted that perhaps this industry has passed us by to some extent considering how much it's influenced by Social Media and Technology.

Yet, each of us kind of laughed about it.

When it was all said and done, and the show was over, the feedback I received from friends and family was incredible!

But this night was about reminiscing about old memories then creating new ones.

This remote will be the beginning of more and Candy Ebling did an outstanding job with the technical side at the restaurant.

All the people that participated were MVP's.

I'm just thankful that Eichorn and I had a chance to relive this experience one more time, 40 years later.

But this was one night that will go down as completely unforgettable!

We learned a lot and created lots of new memories.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at www.scottsports33.com.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Pure Ley The Best

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

In late June, I attended The National Sports Media Association (NSMA) Awards Banquet and Seminar in Winston Salem, NC.

I met a lot of great people during the course of those few days.

But there was one that stood out.

He's an individual that represents everything that I stand for when I think of great media colleagues.

He was an original sports anchor in 1979 at ESPN when the network was a pioneer in becoming a specialized programming entity.

His name is Bob Ley.

Our paths crossed when Ley was inducted into the NSMA Hall of Fame Monday, June 24th.

I met Ley the night before in the banquet hall of BB&T Field, the home of Wake Forest University Football.

Bob and I spoke for 15 minutes before dinner.

I told him how much I respected his professionalism on the air.

He's an old school person that never sensationalized and believed in getting the facts right.

He's a person of high integrity that was great with every assignment he had.

Whether it was Sports Center, Outside The Lines, E-60, etc..., he delivered with professional poise.

We talked about the changes in this industry compared to when we began many years ago.

Bob has adapted to the changes as his network has grown from being a small one to the mega empire it's become.

Back in 1979, podcasts and digital technology wasn't imaginable.

I told Bob that I only watch a few shows at ESPN and that I get turned off by the loud debate shows, and I repeat loud ones, that some of their on-air talent demonstrates.

I mentioned to him that you don't have to mention any of the names that I'm talking about. I'll do it for you.

I told him the only shows I watch are those that I can learn from to not only make myself better, but to enhance the projects I'm working on.

We saw eye to eye on many things but I told him "that the day I stop learning will be the day I stop breathing." He definitely agreed with me and felt the same way.

I told him that he should enjoy the ride at ESPN for however long it may be, just like I'm doing.

We never know when it will end.

We'll collect the stories and memories to relate to others.

On this night, the 64-year old Ley and the 56-year old Morganroth would shake hands, exchange hugs and take a memorable photo.

NCAA legend Bucky Waters introduced us.

The following night, I congratulated him again and he thanked me. I told him, "thank-you for making me a better professional."

Thirty-six hours later, Ley announced his retirement from ESPN.

He decided that his NSMA Hall Of Fame Honor was his way of going out on top.

We happened to be at DeMara's Pizza Restaurant near Georgetown, SC.

Candy and I actually watched a special edition of Outside The Lines with Ley and Jeremy Schaap in the restuarant.

For some reason, I wasn't surprised by this announcement because of our time together.

For me to share this photo on Facebook for friends to see was special.

Although Ley's iconic career at ESPN is over, I see him spending more time with his family and eventually moving into a professor's role to mentor the next generation.

It wouldn't surprise me to see him get a call from another major network.

In my mind, his timing was perfect.

On that Monday Night, he had three ESPN colleagues to see his incredible honor.

His induction speech was excellent and emotional.

Who knows if our paths will ever cross again.

But the memories with Ley this weekend were Pure Ley The Best!

Scott Morganroth can be reached at www.scottsports33.com.

He's the Founder and CEO of The South Florida Tribune.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Wild Bill Winters-Tribune Profile

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

Sometimes fate works in mysterious ways.

This time it worked well in landing one of The Sports Exchange's Best Guests.

I got a Facebook Friend Request from Bill Winters and accepted it.

We started chatting and then we started talking on the phone.

I practically burned out my battery on the first conversation and enjoyed every minute of it.

The 64-year old offensive lineman was born in Asbury Park, NJ on July 22, 1954.

Winters had an interesting rise into Pro Football.

He's played in the NFL, CFL and the USFL.

His stops include the Washington Redskins, NY Giants, Montreal Alouettes, BC Lions, Tampa Bay Bandits, San Antonio Gunslingers and Portland Breakers.

With Montreal, Winters played in the 66th Grey Cup.

His Pro Football career spanned from 1976-1985

Winters was an undrafted free agent who played at Princeton in the Ivy League.

On Thursday's edition of The Sports Exchange on https://www.weinetwork.com/, I had one of my occasional rants.

I was furious that with all of the indigent announcers that are on network television, why is Winters not on National TV?

Bill deserves to be on these broadcasts.

If I were a play-by-play announcer, Winters would be my color analyst!

My mouth when it comes to promoting makes me admire the work of Boxing Promoter Don King, who was brilliant when it came to talking about his fighters.

Nevertheless, from our standpoint, the local business guests that are in the studio rave about Winters Football knowledge.

My aspiring journalists are ecstatic when they can learn from Bill and are thrilled to be on the line with him asking questions.

In addition to his experience on the field, he has an eye when it comes to judging talent and more importantly, when he comes on the air, Winters is extremely prepared by doing his homework.

As I create the foundation for the Sports Exchange, I'm working diligently to find dependable experts in every sport.

Thus far, Winters has risen to the occasion and is willing to grow with us. He understands what he has to gain right now is exposure and I've guaranteed him, he'll get plenty of it!

When I need a guest on short notice, I generally turn to Winters. He also does his best to promote on social media.

If you're looking for an Old School Football Mind, Winters is it!

What I have created is an excellent friendship with him and I was adamant that if he's loyal to me, I expect to add him on all my media platforms.

The only thing left for Bill and I is the eventual face-to-face meeting as we'll take our fair share of photos together, talk football, future broadcasting plans and about life.

We'll continue to enjoy the ride we're going to have with each other for years to come.

Meanwhile, thanks to Social Media and in this case Facebook, this friendship is a blessing!

Scott Morganroth can be reached at Scottbm33@gmail.com.

Twitter: Scoop33333
Instagram: southfloridatribune

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Jacksonville's Hidden Gems?

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
JACKSONVILLE, FL

If common logic had anything to do with the draft process, there would be no such thing as busts in any draft, especially the NFL Draft.

But that's not the case and I'm not going in that direction.

In the last article, I summarized all of the Jaguars draft choices.

Top pick DE Josh Allen seems like a good prospect.

Jacksonville traded up with the Oakland Raiders in the second round, 35th overall, to select Jawaan Taylor, who played for the Florida Gators.

This seems like an excellent move as the tackle should be able to protect free agent QB Nick Foles.

At 312 pounds, Taylor could be my body guard.

After these two picks, the intrigue starts.

As I took the five hour trek back home on I-95 South, the three picks which standout in my mind are TE Josh Oliver (San Jose State) who was selected in round three.

Fifth rounder RB RyQuell Armstead (Temple), should bolster Jacksonville's running back position.



QB Gardner Minshew III (Washington State) was selected in the sixth round, 178th overall.

Instead of throwing out zillions of statistics and attempting to convince you this prospect is good, I'll let the key individuals explain the thought process behind the selection.

Let's start with Oliver, who played with multiple QB's last season at San Jose State. For the Spartans, he caught 56 passes for 709 yards, and four TD's. He averaged 12.7 yards per catch and his longest reception was 70 yards.

Oliver was third nationally among FBS tight ends and led the team with 56 receptions.

Thirty eight of his 56 receptions resulted in a first down.

His 709 receiving yards was fifth nationally among FBS tight ends.

At 6-5, 249 pounds, he's a tall target for Foles.

General Manager Dave Caldwell said that Oliver "is an extremely athletic guy with a lot of production. I know it was really frustrating for him because he really wanted to win. I think he made the most of it, but it was impressive how he kept his head up and kept playing hard and playing at a high level."

Executive VP of Football Operations Tom Coughlin was also pleased with Oliver.

"We've been talking about a tight end forever and not done anything about it," Coughlin said. "Josh Oliver is a guy that can run. He's a run after the catch guy. People knock him a little bit for blocking, but I think as a move guy and as a detached guy, motion guy in the backfield, I think he can handle all of those types of runs. The screen blocking, etc. He can reach (block) and put his hat on the outside and make people run with him and that kind of thing."

In the 2017 Draft, Jacksonville selected RB Leonard Fournette in the first round, fourth overall out of LSU.

In an effort to shore up their running game, the Jags added Alfred Blue (formerly of the Houston Texans) then drafted RyQuell Armstead in the fifth round, 140th overall. Now the Jags have a solid running back room.

He's 5-11, 220 pounds.

These are the types of selections that make scouting and personnel departments look like geniuses. As I found out during these two days, the evaluation process of a player can have as many as 10 people involved.

There are coaches, scouts, player personnel as well as the executive brass looking at film, attending the scouting combine, College All-Star Games, etc...

I also found out that the wonderlic timed test which determines IQ is somewhat important, but during the evaluation process, talent evaluators acknowledge that players learn visually as well.

These individuals admit that they'd be nervous about taking such a test. Yet, as I mentioned, it's still part of this process.

Nonetheless, the deeper into the draft, this is what leads to Super Bowl contenders.

I left Jacksonville turning my head on a few players and Armstead could cause defensive coordinators tons of headaches.

Armstead had 210 carries for 1,098 yards and 13 touchdowns.

He became the 11th player in Temple History to eclipse that plateau.

He was 10th in the nation in rushing TD's with 13 and averaged 115.8 per-game.

Jaguars Assistant Director of Player Personnel Andy Dengler talked about the guy who played up I-95 North in Philadelphia.

"He's really fast, you can see it on tape," Dengler said. "He ran a 4.45, 22 reps on the bench. He's been a really productive player at Temple. He'll provide a lot of good depth for us. Explosive and he's good in pass protection as well."

Coughlin said he received positive vibes from former Temple Coach Matt Rhule who is now the head man at Baylor University.

"Matt Rhule texted me right away when we took him and said, 'Yes, sir. He's a winner.' We're excited about that. A guy who is tough and has the ability to make that one cut and get to the goal line. He will be 222-223 pounds when he gets here. Runs very well."

In the 2000 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots drafted Michigan QB Tom Brady in the sixth round, 199th overall. Brady is 6-4, 225 pounds and he's a classic example that you don't need to draft a franchise QB in the first round.

I want to make one thing very clear.

I'm not putting the pressure on Minshew III to live up to what Brady accomplished.

But Minshew was selected 178th overall and in the sixth round.

Period.

In 2018, he threw for 4,779 yards, 38 touchdowns and just nine interceptions for Washington State Head Coach Mike Leach, an offensive mastermind.

He finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

While I won't put too much pressure on Minshew III, that didn't stop Coughlin from gleaming about this guy especially his intelligence.

"When we interviewed him in Indianapolis, he came in and said, 'Yeah, I know I'm too short, too slow and my arm is not good enough. But I just went to Washington State and won 11 games.' Not bad. As a matter of fact, he probably should have won 12 because they got beat by USC along the first part of the year, and had a chance to drive the ball at the end of the game and win, and they weren't able to do that. He is a really interesting kid."

Coughlin continued to rave about Minshew III as he talked about the impressiveness to process information.

"Wow. Can you imagine that? He is headed for Alabama and as you guys have noted, he's thinking of his first step into coaching," Coughlin said. He goes out to Washington State in the summer. He has nothing else going for him, he doesn't know anything about anything. He studies, he's in the weight room.

"What he is, is a gym rat. He's hanging around, he's doing this and that. You watch him play and it looks like he's been there forever. As I said, the real thing about this guy is the competitiveness. He's very smart, he's very sharp. He loves the game, he loves the study part of the game. He'll be a great guy in the classroom with the coaches. He will suck up all that information up and then based on what we have seen, he will go onto the practice field and carry it with him.

"Some guys can't do that, or don't do it as fast. They don't process. They're not as quick. I think this guy will be quick. Now does he have to learn some things? Yeah, because he's going to be up under center. He's not going to stand back there in the shotgun the whole time. If you were to tell me that you don't think the guy can throw play-action passes from the tackle box, I don't believe that.

"I think he can do that and do it well. We're excited about the competition that will now take place with those three young guys that play behind Nick (Foles). It will be a great situation for us."

For a guy that has two Super Bowl Championships with the New York Giants pairing with Eli Manning, Coughlin knows what he's talking about.

On Friday Night, Caldwell was pleased with what the Jaguars accomplished with his first three picks.

"We wanted to come out of our first three picks with a pass rusher, an offensive tackle and a tight end and then a linebacker with our next one," he said. "So we felt like we checked the box on all four of those and we're happy with how that happened. Our last pick was Quincy Williams out of Murray State."

I asked Coughlin if there were any guys they drafted that he was surprised that they fell to the team. "The first guy. Then we took the first guy, the second guy (laughs)."

As for Coach Doug Marrone, the evaluation process really begins.

After the seven players were drafted, Jacksonville went on to sign 21 undrafted free agents on Sunday.

The parking lot at TIAA Stadium will be busy over the next several months as rookie mini-camps, mini-camps, off-season training activities, training camp and pre-season games will take place.

Jacksonville finished the 2018 season with a 5-11 mark and failed to reach the playoffs, amid high expectations following an AFC Championship Appearance which left them short of making the Super Bowl.

To say that the 2019 season is pivotal would be mildly stating the obvious.

Owner Shad Khan has been patient and has invested money to put a winner on the field.

The NFL Draft reminds me of Spring Training as everybody is happy that they have a new season and lease on life.

I'm glad this is over because now it's time to evaluate players and get to the nitty gritty.

During my 40 years of covering sports, I've covered them on all levels.

From collegiate sports, to the minor leagues, etc...I've always been intrigued by the process.

But it doesn't take a genius to figure out that you can't teach hard work and gauge or measure what's in a person's heart.

Yes, players better be talented as well but don't overlook the other intangibles.

We'll find out in time whether this cat will prowl it's way back into the playoffs with a newly revamped roster.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottbm33@gmail.com.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Old And New Draft Memories

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
JACKSONVILLE, FL

The first drafts I covered were back in 1982-83 when I was a writer for the Hallandale Digest.

As a young student learning on the job, I have to admit that working with Miami Dolphins Coach Don Shula was quite intimidating.

But as I got to know Shula, especially during training camp, I became more comfortable and he eventually warmed up to me.

I also used to cover the NFL Draft on a regular basis at the Pontiac Silverdome as a writer for the Detroit Monitor covering the Lions during the 1990's.

I'd spend all day Saturday and Sunday going through tons of player notes on paper, talking to assistant coaches and of course the head coach had his meeting with us after each pick.

I learned a lot about football talking to these coaches.

My work bag was filled when I left the stadium and I didn't even own a laptop computer at that time.

The Lions PR People Bill Keenist, Mike Murray, James Petrylka Sr. (whose is picture with me on the right) made sure we had everything we needed.


These three guys were like a Dream Team and I've maintained these friendships throughout the years!

The two head coaches I worked with were Wayne Fontes and Bobby Ross.

The one draft that stood out was in 1993.

The Lions traded their first round pick, to the New Orleans Saints for Pro Bowl Pass Rusher Pat Swilling. This pick was the eighth overall.

On the surface, the trade looked good for the Lions as Fontes raved about how happy he was that he could give opposing QB's nightmares.

Fontes was smoking his cigar because he had his marquee pass rusher.

Detroit would go to the playoffs in both of Swilling's two seasons only to lose to the Green Bay Packers twice. He went to one Pro Bowl for the Lions.

But the Saints would make out like bandits.

They selected offensive tackle Willie Roaf out of Louisiana Tech.

Roaf would play for the Saints from 1993-2001.

During his nine seasons, he made seven Pro Bowls. He was inducted into the Saints Hall Of Fame and Ring Of Honor.

After Roaf left New Orleans, he played for the Kansas City Chiefs and added four more Pro Bowls from 2002-2005.

Roaf was elected to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame on February 4, 2012.

There were 12 rounds over two days.

Teams had 15 minutes in the first round and 10 minutes in the second and third then five minutes for the rest of the draft.

I would spend an average of about 15-18 hours at the Pontiac Silverdome on Saturday and Sunday.

The Lions fed us real well!

As I cover my first draft in 2000's, so many things have changed.

The Draft is in PrimeTime on Thursday and Friday then it wraps up on Saturday. The draft is only seven rounds.

It also rotates to a different city each year and draws hundreds of thousands of people which is a boon for the local economy. This year's host Nashville had over 600,000 people attend the event.

This year's draft was watched by a record 47.5 Million viewers.

ABC aired the coverage for the first time in primetime.

The ratings increased by 5% from 2018.

Ironically, the Lions had the eighth overall pick in this draft, but this time they kept it.

It turned out to be Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson.

But now I'm in a new stadium. It's called TIAA Bank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Once upon a time, it was called The Gator Bowl, the home of the Florida/Georgia Football Game border war as well an annual Bowl Games.

It's changed names a couple times since I've covered games writing about the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The main PR People are Dan Edwards, Tad Dickman, Amanda Holt and Andy Esworthy.

There are no completed round-by-round draft sheets or bios of every player.

This place is practically paperless and everything is found online, just a finger click away.

If you want up to the minute updates then go to the internet where you can find anything you want, who, what, when, where and why, all within minutes.

Everything is always on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc... not the case in the 1990's.

There were no sign of assistant coaches.

The main individuals handling the press conferences were Coach Doug Marrone and GM David Caldwell.

Tom Coughlin had a press conference at the end of the draft.

I didn't know a single beat writer by name although I recognized the faces when I saw them covering the team during previous regular seasons.

Yet, they and all the other media members were all pleasant to work with.

I feel like I'm one of the elder statesmen in the room which is kind of neat.

I was unable to cover the First Night on Thursday because Peter Wein and I were broadcasting 'The Sports Exchange' on the https://www.weinetwork.com/.

But I've always believed that Super Bowls are won beyond the first round.

Days Two and Three dictate more as teams attempt to find their hidden gems.


On Friday, the Jags introduced Defensive End Josh Allen, their first round pick to the media.

Allen was selected out of Kentucky with the seventh overall selection.

I asked Allen did his selection bolster Kentucky's credibility when Kentucky is considered a basketball school?

"I did everything I could to change the program," Allen said. "I just did my part. This just came with the success. Kentucky is on the right track. We won 10 games. Hopefully we will win the same or more next year. I wish them nothing but the best, but I left my footprint on my teammates.

"Hopefully, they understood what I did, what I sacrificed and hopefully they can do the same thing and become a great team."

Allen is only the second Wildcat ever drafted by the Jaguars, and the first since Jacksonville selected safety Marlon McCree in 2001 in the seventh round.





The Jags struck again by nabbing another SEC player. This one was two hours down the road and played in Gainesville, FL.

Jacksonville traded up with the Oakland Raiders in the second round to land offensive lineman Jawaan Taylor from the Florida Gators.

He declared for the NFL Draft following the season.

He played in all 13 games and started 12 at right tackle. Florida's offensive line allowed just 18 sacks over the course of the entire season, which ranked 20th in the country and third among SEC teams.

As for Caldwell, since he began his tenure as the Jaguars GM in 2013, Jacksonville has selected a player from the SEC in the first round in five of his seven drafts.

After Taylor, Jacksonville landed TE Josh Oliver in the third round out of San Jose State.
Jacksonville's final pick in the third round was linebacker Quincy Williams out of Murray State.

The small schools finished out the second night.

On day three, Jacksonville didn't have a selection in the fourth round.

But with the second pick overall in the fifth round, running back Ryquell Armstead gets to make the trek down I-95 South as the Temple product will start his career in Northern Florida.

Last year QB Nick Foles played in Philadelphia for the Eagles and now Armstead will follow Foles to town.

Armstead is 5-11, 215 pounds that could be a good combination back as a receiver and a runner.

The later the draft the more interesting it became.

Round No.6 enabled Jacksonville to land QB Gardner Minshew II of Washington State.

The 6-2, 220 pound signal caller finished fifth in 2018 Heisman Trophy voting....won 2018 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (nation's top senior or fourth year junior QB). He was named finalist for Walter Camp Player of the Year and Davey O'Brien Award (nation's top quarterback).

He was set up for success by playing for Washington State Head Coach and offensive mastermind Mike Leach.

In 2018, he was second in the country in passing yards (4,779), and total offense (376.8), fourth in TD Passes (38) and third in completion percentage (70.7%), each are Pac 12 bests.

He also set Pac-12 Conference and WSU single season records in passing yards (4,779) and completions (468). Add to the fact that he amassed 38 TD's and was the only player in the country with six 400-yard games and 11 300-yard games and you have a potential steal at the end of the draft! He only threw nine interceptions.

Jacksonville's seventh round and final selection in the draft produced defensive tackle Dontavius Russell out of Auburn.

When it was all said and done, Jacksonville selected four players from Power Five Conference Schools. Three came elsewhere.

Before this weekend, the team made changes to upgrade their roster and went into the draft looking for ways to give newly acquired QB Nick Foles some help to get themselves back into the playoff picture.


Time will tell which of these players make an impact.

But of these picks, I will admit, the ones that intrigue me the most are Armstead and Minshew II.

It doesn't matter when you're covering a draft, the theme is consistent.

These guys are just prospects!

Nobody knows how they're going to turn out until you see them on the field, study film and actually find out how much talent they really have.

Throughout the weekend, I continued to learn more from the individuals made available at the press conferences.

They all bring something to the table.

But when I turn back the clock back to the 1990's and work in this millennium, I'm amazed at how much the news cycle has indeed changed.

Therefore, in the end, it was an opportunity to think about the old and now new memories.

As always, the Jaguars PR Staff treated me great this weekend! I can't ask for much more than that.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottbm33@gmail.com.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Detroit Sports Perspective

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
PHOTOS BY CANDICE EBLING

I'll never forget the time when my longtime colleague and close friend George Eichorn asked me to write a few paragraphs about all of the Detroit teams when they were struggling in the late 1970's for the Detroit Monitor.

This happened to be the first time that I was published.

I impressed My Lakeland High School English Teacher Mrs. Ann Nozewski, who wanted every student to make an attempt to do this.

Fortunately, my second time getting published was a short story on the US Not Boycotting The 1980 Olympics, which President Jimmy Carter wanted us to Boycott The Olympics.

That would later backfire as the Soviet Union Boycotted the Olympics in 1984 at Los Angeles which I attended.

Nevertheless, lets move the clock forward to 2019 and while Nozewski certainly provided the impetus for me to get published, 40 years later, I'm still going strong!

Back in the 1970's all of the Detroit Teams were struggling.

Here in 2019, they are once again.

But at least during that time period there have been some championships along the way.

The Tigers 1984 Season produced a World Series Championship along with three Hall Of Famers. Those include Manager Sparky Anderson, Shortstop Alan Trammell and Pitcher Jack Morris.

The Pistons won three World Championships which has produced Hall of Famers and retired jerseys in the rafters. In the Bad Boys era of the late 1980's, those included Coach Chuck Daly, Guards Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars and forward Dennis Rodman. Dumars was an executive when the Pistons won another title in 2004.

The Detroit Red Wings made it to the playoffs 25-straight years and won four Stanley Cup Titles.

The rafters are getting crowded with more retired numbers in addition to the championship banners. Two Hall of Famers and former Captains are Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom.

And the Lions....they've won one playoff game and Barry Sanders made it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

I enjoyed covering Barry from my Pontiac Silverdome Press Box vantage point watching him rise to being the third leading rusher in NFL History.

There was a period of time that I covered all 16 games at home and on the road.

To this day, I'm convinced that if Fontes was not fired and replaced by Bobby Ross, Sanders would be the all-time leading rusher as Barry viewed Wayne as a father figure.

Whether Calvin Johnson gets there remains to be seen.

The fans are waiting for QB Matthew Stafford to be surrounded by a good supporting cast that will at least get him a playoff win.

It's an eyesore when Sanders and Johnson retire in their prime because of the losing culture.

Unfortunately for Lions fans, they're one of two members in the 0-16 club and haven't won a championship since 1957.

Time will tell whether the Patriot Midwest Way anchored by Coach Matt Patricia and President/GM Bob Quinn can duplicate itself in a football starved town which is looking for any kind of success it can get.

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Now the present:

1. The Detroit Red Wings--living in South Florida, the Panthers made a coaching hire I hoped the Red Wings would have made in the Motor City by landing veteran coach Joel Queeneville.

The former Windsor Spitfires coach is second all-time in regular season wins with 890 and 118 more in the playoffs, plus three Stanley Cup Championships with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Red Wings future just became much brighter when they hired Steve Yzerman as Executive Vice President and General Manager on 4-19-2019, Good Friday. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets made the obvious happen by sweeping Tampa Bay 4-0 in their opening round series.

Yzerman had successful stints as being an Executive Director for Team Canada and The Tampa Bay Lightning. 

There is no reason to think he won't be able to get the Red Wings on the right track in time.

Yzerman will have former GM Ken Holland by his side as he was named Senior Vice President as a major resource.

Holland does has a proven track record guiding the club to Stanley Cup Championships.
I hope his patience is rewarded as he extended Coach Jeff Blashill by two additional seasons.

I think it's smart that Yzerman will honor the Blashill extension.

He worked well with another young coach in Tampa Bay. That being Jon Cooper who led the Lightning to the President's Trophy.

There is no reason to think Yzerman won't work well with Blashill.

But the key to any turnaround while Detroit is in a massive rebuild, the Red Wings must continue to hit on their draft choices.

I respect them for not tanking in an effort to get the No.1 pick in the NHL Draft as they ended up sixth.

I'll continue to invest in the Center Ice Package hoping the younger players ultimately start maturing. But let's face reality, the 2019-2020 season will be the most pivotal one in the direction of this proud Original Six Franchise which owns 11 Stanley Cup Championships.

2. The Detroit Tigers--also owned by the Illitch family are also in rebuild mode.

We get the MLB Package and while the Tigers are trying to develop from within, they're slowly freeing up money from undesirable contracts.

For a team that has made it to the World Series twice under retired Skipper Jim Leyland only to come up short, can another veteran Manager Ron Gardenhire see this project through and reap from the benefits in the next couple of years?

Time will tell as to what comes up from the farm.

But like the Red Wings, patience is something Owner Chris Illitch doesn't seem to lack as he remains loyal to his key front office people.

The one thing about baseball is teams can turn their losing fortunes around in three years and go from worst to first quite quickly as we've found out from the success of the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs that ultimately led them to World Series Championships.

Just build a good young core of players and lock them up to long term contracts. Then keep building their farm systems.

The Tampa Bay Rays seem to make a lot out of nothing because of strong player development then find solid veterans to blend in.

3. The Detroit Pistons--had the distinction as the first team to play a playoff game in Little Caesars Arena (LCA).

During the regular season, the Pistons were swept 4-0 to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The same held true in the playoffs as Milwaukee won all four contests in the playoffs, all by double digits.

As a result, Detroit now owns the longest playoff losing streak in NBA History with 14.

Despite Griffin playing in two games, it never mattered, and after the season was over he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

Milwaukee is considered favorites to win their first NBA Title since 1974.

But getting rid of Stan Van Gundy was a positive step last season. He trades the team's top draft choice to the LA Clippers who had a 48-34 mark in the Western Conference. Like the Clippers, the Pistons are the eight seed but compile a 41-41 mark.

Had Blake Griffin been healthy towards the end of the regular season, they wouldn't have drawn the match-up they ended up with.

Nevertheless, I do believe that Dwane Casey was a coaching upgrade over Van Gundy.

But until the Pistons get financial flexibility and start hitting on their draft choices, it wouldn't matter if they are playing downtown at LCA or the Palace Of Auburn Hills, the fans won't fill the stadium until they're convinced they're a legitimate entertainment option.

4. The Detroit Lions--There isn't much to say about this franchise except that I hope they don't waste away the career of another star player.



Contrary to what people say about Stafford, I do believe he's the best QB the Lions have had since Bobby Layne. He's the all-time leading passer in franchise history with 38,526 yards and 237 TD passes.

The team was relevant when Wayne Fontes was the head coach.

Does anybody remember the last QB to win a playoff game?

Erik Kramer.

He eventually left to play for the Chicago Bears.

In 1987, Jerry Vainisi was the Vice President of Player Personnel and when he departed to create and head the football operations of the World League of American Football (NFL Europe), the Lions haven't been relevant since in the front office.

He was a key contributor in the Lions success which produced a 38-6 win over the Dallas Cowboys as Detroit reached it's lone NFC Championship Game only to get clobbered on the road to the Washington Redskins 41-10.

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Unfortunately, I can't offer a guess as to who will break through and will create Metro Detroit's next championship wave of success.

If I was so smart, I would be working in the front offices of these teams.

So I'll hang out at the beach in sunny Florida and still cover these squads when they come here, when I'm in Metro Detroit, or if they play in a place I travel to get answers like the rest of us.

I do watch the Lions at Duffy's Sports Bar in South Florida.

In the meantime, I'll pull out my Rubik's Cube and try to conquer that puzzle.

But in the spirit of Mrs Anne Nozewski wherever you are, at least more people have heard about me because of my lengthy tenure in the media, my additional platforms, along with people trying to google my name.

Once upon a time at the beginning there was the Detroit Monitor. Now I've created an online publication, https://southfloridatribune.com/.

Now, I still have Eichorn around and there is Cyber Space which enables me to write on numerous platforms.

Stay Tuned.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com.

My Social Media:
Twitter--Scoop33333
Instagram--southfloridatribune
Facebook--Sports Exchange and South Florida Tribune Pages.

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My Super Passion: In 40-years in the Sports Media Business, I’ve been fortunate enough to experience some Great Moments with Championship People. I look forward to any feedback you readers have. I encourage you to look at the MOTOR CITY MAD MOUTH HALL OF FAME ON August 8, 2012 because these people have made the Journey in Sports Media as fun as it's been.

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