Volume 96, Issue 14
Friday, September 20, 2002

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Big shot Stephen Brunt

Old Guard
Stephen Brunt
Gazette Alumni

Strangely enough, most of my Homecoming memories are a little hazy – surely a function of age and not alcohol. While at The Gazette, I didn't cover sports at all. My short career there was as a music writer, which is the path that eventually led me to The Globe and Mail.

The whole sports writing thing didn't come until much, much later on. It was Steve Simmons who was the sports columnist-in-waiting at Western during my time there. (Shame it didn't work out for him. Don't know whatever became of the guy).

The common ground, though, comes from the fact that just about anyone who had a future in the business did time at their university newspaper. It's no fluke that a long line of Gazette alumni populate newsrooms across the country. There's no better learning experience than actually having to do the work, on deadline, and then to be read by an audience of your oh-so-supportive peers.

I do remember being called upon to do a local cable television broadcast of the Homecoming Parade. My co-hosts that day were Jeanie MacFarlane, now my wife, and a fellow named Kevin Newman, who apparently still pops up on TV every once in awhile.

The highlight was having to fill dead air after half the parade got lost on its way across campus. I also had a very short sports broadcasting career during CHRW's first year on the air (using the nom de radio "Biff" Brunt, just for the heck of it) which included a single Homecoming game. I did sideline interviews on a third-hand cassette recorder and then ran the tapes up to the old press box in J.W. Little Stadium. As you can imagine, the reports were polished, insightful and full of sophisticated analysis.

Too bad that tapes of the old broadcasts aren't around to prove it.

Editor's note: Stephen Brunt was a Gazette writer from 1978-82 and now writes for The Globe and Mail as a sports columnist. Recently, he covered the Mike Tyson/Lennox Lewis fight, as well as the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea. He can also be seen on television, frequenting shows such as That's Hockey and Off the Record. He has written three books on sports and won the Michener award for public service in journalism in 1988.

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2002 THE GAZETTE