About the Author
Alan Goforth has written dozens of articles for local, national, and regional publications and recently authored the University of Missouri Mens Basketball Media Guide for the 2000-2001 season and Tales from the Missouri Tigers for Sports Publishing L.L.C.
Goforth earned a masters degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, and after working for several newspapers, magazines, and advertising agencies, started Veritas Communications in 2000. He writes and edits for a variety of publications and corporate clients and now lives in Lees Summit, Missouri, with his wife, Sheri, and their two children.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
AN AMAZING JOURNEY
"The Pro Football Hall of Fame is proud to award the Daniel F. Reeves Pioneer Award to
George P. Toma!"
Hearing those words in Canton, Ohio, on August 3, 2001, took my breath away. The award, named in honor of the late owner of the Los Angeles Rams, is presented periodically to nonplayers who have made significant contributions to the sport. And now, my name was beside names such as the legendary voice of the NFL, John Facenda, who won the award in 1986.
I have a basement full of awards and plaques of all shapes and sizes. I have worked in two Olympic Games, one World Cup soccer tournament, baseballs All-Star game and World Series and every Super Bowl game ever played. I have maintained fields from Tokyo to Mexico City to Barcelona. But for this 74-year-old man, nothing compares with being honored where my boyhood heroes and the stars of today are enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame.
Its been a remarkable journey for a kid from the coal mines of Pennsylvania, who had to go to work at age 10 when his father passed away. Although that plaque in Canton, Ohio, reads George Toma, I guarantee you that the fingerprints of countless owners, coaches, players, groundskeepers, sports journalists and fans are on it as well. Without them, there would be no Nitty Gritty Dirt Man.