This is a podcast/audio story. Listen to “Bammers” above.
Cecil Hurt, who died tuesday, has written about sports in Alabama for The Tuscaloosa News for nearly 40 years. He was 62 years old. Hurt joined the Tuscaloosa News staff as a winning writer in Alabama in 1982, during Paul “Bear” Bryant’s final season. He became a sports editor in 1989, and was the paper’s primary sports columnist for nearly three decades.
This loss is devastating.
Like Cecil, I was born in Tuscaloosa, two years after joining Tuscaloosa News, my hometown newspaper I grew up reading on my kitchen table every morning.
Cecil played a huge role in my introduction and relationship with football in Alabama. It was an introduction to sports journalism – and journalism really.
Paul Feinbaum put it better on his show soon after he learned of his death on Tuesday, “I will argue, in modern times, no one in the media has been more influential or influential in what he has said and written than Cecil. His words have had tremendous weight.”
This hits him on the head. People paid attention to what he said. It was influential in the way people understood and felt about Alabama sports. No matter how close you are to watching the game, even if you’ve been there, you may not really know how to express your feelings about it until you read Cecil’s Sunday Column.
Every fan or journalist who has read or met his work has learned from Cecil Hurt. It was brilliant. His talent was to understand the real story before, during and after each game, what it actually means, and how it affected the big picture and larger narrative of the season.
What he said is important. He was The Authority. Away from the Sunday column, if I’ve been reading the gameday preview in the Tuscaloosa News, I’ve looked at the predictions to get to what Cecil thought might happen. If I missed the live stream, I went out of my way to download She cut it during “The Paul Finebaum Show”. He was the Outstanding Media Guest on Nick Saban’s Weekly Radio Show. Saban and everyone else was respected.
I didn’t know Cecil personally. I might have had two or three conversations with him. But I have spent most of my life reading and admiring his work. I think the main thing I learned from Cecil is that you can see something, gather your thoughts, take your time and share a thoughtful and thoughtful response fueled by substance and perspective rather than just blurting out the first thing that comes to your mind just because you can. This certainly does not only apply to football.
He was the best at what he did, and we left very soon. will there Start Be another Cecil Hurt.
I’ve been sharing my conversation with him since September 2018. For the “Bammers” podcast, we talked about a range of topics related to football in Alabama, from his relationship with the fans to his own background and connection to the show. If I want to better understand Crimson Tide culture, I He was To speak to Cecil Hurt. He was generous enough to save time.
I hope you’ll listen and learn more about Cecil in the twenty minutes above. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones. We will miss him.
Follow Ben Flanagan on Twitter. Subscribe to “Bammers” on team workAnd Apple PodcastAnd spotifyAnd Stitcher Or wherever else you get your podcasts.
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