They did it again! Villanova University’s men’s basketball team is celebrating its second national championship in three years.
â€œIn 2016, it had been 31 years since our last national championship for basketball, and now, just two years later, Villanova is once again the national champion! What a remarkable accomplishment for the players and for Coach (Jay) Wright and his staff, and what a wonderful time to be a Villanovan!â€
It was around this time, two years ago, I was waiting for WTXF-Fox 29 to officially hire me. Of course, when youâ€™re dealing with corporations, everything gets in the way.
I got this email from the news director, the day after the game.
Of course, the first line didnâ€™t end with a question mark or exclamation point. Different people are held to different standards.
Of course, he didnâ€™t let me know â€œeither way by Friday,â€ as he said. Villanova won on Monday, April 4, 2016. You can see he emailed this the next day, April 5. That Friday wouldâ€™ve been April 8. Instead, I did not find out until Tuesday, April 12.
That same Tuesday, I gave my two weeks at WCYB, leaving there after April 26, and starting at Fox less than a week later, on May 2. I had been given the option of starting May 9 but knew there was a ratings period and wanted to be as much help as possible, as soon as possible. So I quickly got mover and cleaner estimates, and my friend Scott found a temporary place for me to stay. The good folks at WCYB made sure to honor me with a cake. Lots of people involved with my departure and arrival!
Iâ€™m sure Fox management appreciated that move I rushed â€“ just like I appreciated the imaginary transportation, hotel and lunch they provided during my interview! (Whatâ€™s the best emoji for sarcasm that covers everything about them in that last, long sentence?)
My time at Fox was not pleasant because they seemed to care more about nonsense social media that would pull at peopleâ€™s heartstrings, rather than real, relevant news. They also did not take the 11-page critique they had asked me for into consideration. (Click here to see it.)
They did take my advice to use Facebook more often, but never thanked or acknowledged me in any way. I remember being told during my one face-to-face interview (Feb. 29, 2016) that one Facebook post an hour may be too much! In other words, exactly the opposite. Some people can never be satisfied. Maybe theyâ€™re too insecure.
Note: I think Iâ€™ve kept every emailed promise, accusation, etc. Some people wonâ€™t look very good if-when it all comes out. That’ll be up to our representatives. Same thing when all the witnesses start talking about their experiences. I left that place in the middle of nothing short of an exodus.
I must make public I hope Iâ€™m not infringing on the NCAAâ€™s trademark nastiness by using words like Villanova and phrases like national championship.
I also don’t think certain lawyers would agree there are â€œinformalâ€ uses, either!
Click here for the article on the NCAA’s rules and what it’ll do to you if you break them!
Of course, letâ€™s not forget what Villanova did to the school that the Miami Dolphins used as its training facility from 1970 to 1993.
The Main Lineâ€™s Villanova University was named after Saint Thomas of Villanova. It was founded in 1842 by the Order of Saint Augustine. The other school
â€œtraces its roots to the Universidad de Santo Tomas de Villanueva (Saint Thomas of Villanova), founded in 1946 in Havana, Cuba, by American Augustinians with assistance from European Augustinians. When the Castro government expelled the Augustinians from Cuba in 1961, several of the American Augustinians came to Miami where they founded Biscayne College. â€¦ When University status was attained (in 1984), the name of the institution was changed to St. Thomas University to reflect its Cuban heritage.â€
Another thing, friends, is you know I have a long memory.
That last line I quoted isnâ€™t exactly true. Biscayne College didnâ€™t become St. Thomas University; it became St. Thomas of Villanova University, but folks on the Main Line didnâ€™t like that competition, so the name â€“ How did they put it? â€“ was shortened. I found it didn’t take more than a few months, and the second change wasn’t even mentioned in The Voice, Miami’s Catholic newspaper. I checked the 1984 issues. Seems they went through a lot of trouble for nothing.
The shortened name used for such a short time even has an unofficial Facebook page, but not much is on it, as you probably would’ve expected!
As for me, Iâ€™ve never been a college basketball fan. Growing up in Miami, the University of Miami didnâ€™t even have a team from around the time I was born until I was in 9th grade (you look the dates up!), so I didnâ€™t grow up with it. Also, if you blink, the players are gone â€“ either graduating, dropping out, or a few going professional. Thereâ€™s no chance to remember more than a few individual players, unless youâ€™re a die-hard fan or journalist (or live in Connecticut, where any high school stars are remembered forever).
But I loved when somebody I consider a mentor â€“ Miami news legend Eliott Rodriguez â€“ put his live shot from Vilanovaâ€™s 1985 championship up on Facebook, this morning. It happened while he worked for WPVIâ€™s Channel 6 Action News, during a break from the Miami market.
You’ll have to watch. I commented jokingly, â€œFull of information! But other things never change.â€
He responded, â€œThe pictures tell the story,â€ but couldnâ€™t remember whether he or his photographer suggested doing the live shot from the top of the van. Turns out, maybe they shouldâ€™ve! And Jim Gardner always had the perfect response.
Jim is still there today and still in first place, even against the Super Bowl and Olympics on NBC in February. Says something about stability and being true to yourself, and what you stand for.
See who was referred to as a â€œdistant fourthâ€ twice in the above article! Letâ€™s just agree it was well-deserved. Heck, they changed their Facebook policy between the time of my interview and the time I started. That wasn’t much more than two months!
And to leave you on a much more pleasant note, hereâ€™s a much more recent picture Eliott posted: Two former Philadelphia folks, including one who worked at KYW-TV3. It was taken in March. Glad to see Eliott and Marc Howard looking happy! Goes to show there is life after TV news!
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