At 12:06 a.m. on June 14, our youngest daughter, Meredith, text me the following:
“Dad, I think I should be the first to tell you, Chuck Noll died.”
Meredith was born in 1997 – six years after Noll coached his final game. She never watched him coach. But she sees his face plastered on pictures in my basement and hears me tell many stories of The Emperor Chaz.
I wrote about one of those stories for The Clarion Call back on November 12, 1992, when I was a graduate student at Clarion University.
The following is the actual opinion piece (with just a few edits) I wrote for the student newspaper. It was entitled, “An Interview with The Emperor.”
My editor stressed one point over and over when I started as a sports reporter right out of college at The Beaver County Times.
“Always remember one thing, Nick,” he would say in a deep, gravelly voice. “Keep your professionalism regardless of the assignment.” Read the rest of this entry »