It's the Ides

Sometimes bad news brings good memories.

I learned yesterday of the death of Buz Webb. Buz was the sports photog for ch.11 and ch. 13. Not at the same time. To say that Buz was cranky from time to time is putting it mildly. However, he was a good shooter and a friend to many of us. In 1986 I had a day that most don't get to experience. We were in New York covering the Astros and Mets playoff series. It was the fall of 1986. It would soon be the fall of the Astros. All the Houston TV stations were at the airport waiting for a flight back to Houston. Due to a rainout early that week, the Astros had lost the make up game the night before and had to play a day game in Houston the next day. In other words, back to back games thousands of miles and several aspirin later.

While waiting to check in, Buz set his camera down. A guy swept in out of nowhere, grabbed the camera, and took off running. In close pursuit was myself, Buz, Rick Mcfarland of ch. 2,  and ch. 13's Tim Melton. We got the camera back when the guy stealing it realized he was about to be beaten to a pulp. We later boarded and I told the story to the guy sitting next to me on the plane. It was John Feinstein, the author and TV sports type. He had just finished a book about Indiana basketball and coach Bob Knight. I told John I was a friend of the coach. He had one copy with him. The only copy. I read it flying to Houston. I told John he should sell a few . He sold over 2 million of "On The Brink". He had exclusive access to the 1985-86 Hoosiers team. The NCAA didn't like that and made up a rule that if "one reporter got exclusive access, all would have to have it". No coach in his or her right mind would go along with that.

Much later that day the Astros blew a 3-0 9th inning lead and lost the National League pennant in extra innings. Buz shot the interviews with his almost stolen camera. it was a very long day.