Saturday, March 21, 2009

A fond farewell to a great sports writer....David Flores of the San Antonio Express-News

NOTE: Some of you may remember the assignment on Feb. 26 during the class from San Antonio was to listen to long-time San Antonio Express-News sports writer and columnist David Flores. Mr. Flores did not make it to class that day. I had talked to him earlier in the day and he said he had an important meeting to go to at his office downtown. He told me how happy he was that he had been spared by the cuts at the Express-News and how many of his friends had not survived. I could tell, however, by his voice cracking, that he was not sure he was totally safe from the "cuts" and "layoffs." He apologized but said he would love to return another day. Shortly after that talk at 1:45 p.m., Mr. Flores was told he was among the last batch of Express-News employees to be "laid off." Of course, he was devastated, but handled the situation with class and dignity. Today (March 21) his last column appears on the San Antonio Express-News website. It's a tough one, for me, who saw him grow up from a cub reporter at the Kingsville-Bishop Record News to one of the most respected sports writers and columnists in the state and nation. Now his days as a SA Express-News sports journalist are over.....but his legacy will live on. Few San Antonio journalists, in particular Hispanic, have touched as many people as he did with his reporting and his columns. Visit his website (you still have to complete your assignments) and check out his writing. His personal style of writing and ability to convert every thing into a human interest story with poignant personal comments, was singular in Texas sports writing. He will be missed. Buena suerte, senor Flores. And, one final note: It is ironic that our class has experienced the current status of the newspaper industry in the United States first-hand by witnessing the layoffs at the Express-News. While newspaper reporting, and print will survive, the very fact that one of our speakers was impacted with the current state of the economy and news industry serves as a poignant reminder of how fragile our world is nowadays.

This was the original post....
Class, we will have a guest speaker scheduled today. If he does not show up, we will discuss column writing and you will be assigned to read some of his columns. More on this at class. His name is David Flores. He is the senior sports columnist for the San Antonio Express-News. He has a long and varied career in sports writing and has covered every facet of sports, from local high schools to the professional level. An alumnus of Texas A&M-Kingsville, David Flores is known for his crisp, no-nonsense style of writing. His columns are very respected. While his game day reporting is excellent, his column writing is superb. If he shows up (there have been some serious setbacks at SAE-N this week), I will ask him to talk about his columns and how he reaches out to his readers. It's interesting, while he has had many columns of praise for the heroes of sports and life in general, he also is not afraid to write a critical column and ask for change. That is the power of a good column writer. Please be early to class. I will be having class from San Antonio.....bueno, see you soon.
Dr. Manuel Flores

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