Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Friday, December 22, 2017

A Short Guru Tale of Irony: Recalling an Incident Involving Dick Enberg Without Him Being Around

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru 

The passing of legendary broadcaster Dick Enberg has a sense of irony that the sad event occurs the same day that one of your Guru’s lifelong working colleagues Mike Jensen became the latest to do a Boswell on your Guru.

This is a tale given people who have interviewed yours truly for its entertainment aspects and perhaps a good thing that Mike didn’t make it part of his tale though maybe he did and hit the cutting room floor.

But the Guru believes the Guru can still tell it here without being out of place.

The Guru never met Dick Enberg but in 2005 when CoSIDA, the college sports information directors, met, their convention was in Philadelphia.

And as you have read and seen, Mr. Enberg had a long relationship with the organization to reward academic achievement in college athletics.

So in this particular year on a day Mr. Enberg was inbound to be part of the convention activities 24 hours later, CoSIDA was presenting your Guru with the Jake Wade Award that goes to a member of the media with a positive impact on college athletics.

The list of winners is quite humbling and the Guru was actually the first with a connection to women’s basketball to get the award.

Afterwards, being interviewed by his own newspaper the Guru was asked if the award was a long time coming?

The Guru said not really, because the long friendships and relationships we had with each other and still do was its own reward.

But the Guru then noted that a cadre of women’s SIDs several years in the past had attempted to mount a campaign on the Guru’s behalf.

And then the Guru said, but perhaps too quickly, “But Dick Enberg won it that year and I can’t bitch about Dick Enberg winning the award over me.”

Later that night, in curiosity with the paper coming off the press, the Guru jetted over to the office to see what the story looked like.

And there were a share of humorous quips about things.

Then the narrative turns to the question and instead of the sentence the Guru has posted here several paragraphs above, it said, “But Dick Enberg won it that year and I can’t really picture Dick Enberg winning the award over me.”

Well, knowing that Mr. Enberg was about to be on the scene and likely to open his paper in the morning, you can imagine the mortification.

But in giving a second read, and with someone agreeing, your Guru decided there were enough quips that the remark was part of the shtick.

However, it did give rise to these lines as part of the Guru’s acceptance speech two years later during the 2007 induction to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn., in part to counter a special section the paper sent to Knoxville that while having nice things to say and note, also had fake lines quoting Mechelle Voepel, saying “I was thrilled to finally meet him and he immediately took me to the concession stand and bought me a hot dog.”

And so the passage in the speech said, “I’m sure you were humored by that special section my employer sent down here for distribution.

“Well let me tell you about these people.” (And remembering the Jake Wade faux pa, then said,) “Have you no idea what it feels like when you get misquoted in your own newspaper?”


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