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At HMA, we are all about chatting people up.

So much so, that each week we devote one blog to chatting up a member of the media. Rather than seek out tips on how to best work with their outlet, we want to really get to know them – and this week is not different. Aptly titled #MediaMonday, today we are pleased to chat up Peter Madrid from AZ Big Media. Sports-obsessed Alison is a big fan – all you have to do is read the first few paragraphs to see why.

Peter – take it away!

I recently ran into a former colleague from The Arizona Republic sports department at a Diamondbacks game at Chase Field.

Our paths crossed in the press box. We chatted about old times, laughed, shook hands, then went on our way.

It was then that a flood of memories hit me as I thought about my 30-year newspaper career as a sportswriter and sports editor.

There’s still no bigger thrill than covering a sporting event – whether it’s the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Fiesta Bowl, a spring training baseball game or a high school football game on a Friday night.

My first full-time job out of college was covering "community sports" for the Kansas City Star. That included everything from Little League baseball to demolition derbies to slo-pitch softball leagues.

I was in Kansas City for about three years before getting the call to the “big leagues.” In 1982 I was an original staff member at USA Today in Washington, D.C. And from day one, we pretty much covered everything. We wanted to get the name out there.

One weekend I was in Akron, Ohio, covering the Pro Bowlers Association Tournament of Champions at lovely Riviera Lanes, and the next weekend I was in Newport, Rhode Island, watching our best skippers compete in a series of regattas prior to the America's Cup.

We also covered every NFL game … one weekend I'd be in Miami, the next I'd be in Green Bay … Cincinnati … Atlanta. I was a big sports fan as a kid (and loved the Packers), so you can imagine how cool it was that now as an adult, I was sitting in the press box at Lambeau Field.

Along the way, I also worked two World Series, two Super Bowls, the national college football championship, the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, and the 1997 NCAA Final Four, which the Arizona Wildcats won. For notoriety's sake, I even interviewed O.J. Simpson a few years before his infamous ride in a white Ford Bronco along the freeway in L.A.

My days as a newspaper man in the sports department are now behind me. But there are too many memories to forget. … The way the old brick building which housed the Kansas City Star & Times shook when the presses were running … Being on a staff that won a Pulitzer Prize. … Meeting sports legends such as pro bowler Earl Anthony, football coach Tom Landry and some guy named Michael Jordan.

But what I miss the most are the Friday nights I spent sitting in a cramped, makeshift press box or pacing the sidelines at a high school football game. That's where most sportswriters got their start in the business. And that's where most memories begin.

 Peter Madrid is Editor at AzBigMedia in charge of AZRE Magazine (Arizona Commercial Real Estate), People to Know (in commercial real estate) and Ranking Arizona. Prior to working in the magazine field, Peter was a sports editor and sportswriter at the Kansas City Star, USA Today, Tucson Citizen, Arizona Republic, and East Valley Tribune. During his 30 years in sports, he covered numerous major sporting events including the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NCAA Final Four and the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. He was on staff at the Kansas City Star & Times when it won the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Local Spot News Reporting.

Alison Bailin
Alison Bailin
Senior Account Executive Alison has a lot to say…about pretty much everything...all the time. From the current state of public relations to the social media impact on Shark Week to crisis communications in the sports world, Alison’s blogs are focused on “amusing through her PR musings,” and then some. Check out Alison's full bio

2 Comments

  1. Alison Bailin says:

    So – who was the former colleague from AZ Republic?

  2. Susan Lahey says:

    Memories are wierd. I have this vivid memory of being a college kid copy clerk in Kansas City bringing young reporter Peter Madrid the news that a fax was coming in for him. A fax! This crazy new technology. What was next, flying cars?

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