Great Falls Tribune’s sports reporter Lee Vernoy says Goodbye

Lee Vernoy, Great Falls Tribune sports reporter, October 1, 2021. RION SANDERS/GREAT FALLS TRIBUNE

I never rehearsed for now.

Oh sure, I have actually tried writing this particular column– my last as well as final column– several times, chock-full of beautiful words to those I’ve dealt with and also the many groups and also events I’ve covered in my 23 years as part of the sports desk at the Great Falls Tribune, only to wipe whatever out with one press of a switch.

I believe the late U.S. Army General Norman Schwarzkopf would certainly have called it “bovine scatology.” But then, he had an entire number of TV cams aimed at him. All I have is the display on this laptop computer as I create.

I could discuss my early days as a “sporting activities staff,” my exhilaration at being chosen to cover the CMR Holiday Classic, and my very first NAIA National Fumbling Event at what is currently Costs Swarthout Fieldhouse– before what was after that the University of Great Falls also had a fumbling group.

Those were the good old days, every one a discovering experience in a budding reporter’s occupation.

Yet, I want to bear in mind several of individuals I have actually needed to terrific lot of money to collaborate with, not just within the walls of the Great Falls Tribune yet outside of those wall surfaces– oftentimes, just plain outside. Nevertheless, there is a factor this terrific state is referred to as “Huge Skies Nation.”

Included in this pick team of people are some superior journalists: George Geise, Scott Mansch, Mike Towne, Scott Thompson, Matt Oschner, Steve Schreck, Mark Robertson, Grady Higgins.

As well as yet, I would be remiss if I did not conjure up the name of Curt Backa.

Those of you that know me know that I have been an energetic bowler within the Great Falls phase of the United States Bowling Congress for almost 20 years, so I had a pretty good knowledge of bowling language and also terminology, as well as I knew the difference in between striking my board as well as getting burnt out.

I understood that Curt had actually been undertaking chemotherapy, I simply didn’t understand what sort of cancer he had, nor did I recognize just how significant it was … up until completion came.

It was at his funeral when a number of in the bowling community who recognized I was at the Tribune asked if I was mosting likely to take control of Curt’s column. Honestly, I had not offered it much thought prior to then, nor had I provided it much thought given that. I asked Scott about writing the column, as well as he stated, “Sure; why not?”

I had taken control of Curt’s workdesk (which implied I inherited his office phone number), as well as in my initial TPT column, I stated there were a pair of footwear under his workdesk that had been left behind– much too huge for my dimension 10 feet.

That will certainly constantly be my tribute to Curt Backa. There are some individuals in this world– and also this industry– who you can pick up from by asking concerns, keeping in mind as well as learning off their understanding.

And then, there are those you can study merely by shutting your mouth and also opening your eyes and also ears. Luckily, I had the ability to discover a great deal concerning this business from Curt, not just by asking, however by enjoying.

And also by not trying on his footwear.

I have had the great lot of money of understanding numerous great athletes– high school, college as well as expert. And I have actually uncovered that, for every single Tom LaSorda, there’s an Alex Lowry, or a Tony Forster. For every Tom Brady, there’s a Reed Harris. For Each Allie Olsen, there’s a Lauren Lindseth prepared to stand out onto the scene. And also for every Webcam McNamee headed to Cal Technology, there’s an 11-year-old discovering the basics of the setting.

And also for every single Byron Boyd and Val Scheevel, there’s some young person that just obtained their first serve throughout the internet saying to themselves: “I can play for them.”

To the coaches and also gamers of the teams that have thrilled us, whether you completed 31-0 or 1-15, continue playing the right way. There’s lots of young eyes following your every action.

To those of you who have actually blessed me with your kind words as well as support, particularly complying with the events of March 13, 2020, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

As well as good friends, that coatings my unfinished business.

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