We’ve been hoping, for a couple weeks, that he would change his mind for some reason, but George Foulsham, our assistant managing editor, will be leaving the paper after today. It’s a sad day for us in the newsroom, because George is not only a fun and steadying presence, he’s also a journalist of the highest caliber.
And, in the most relevant sense here, George has been a huge supporter of this blog and my efforts to cover the Kings. He has provided invaluable feedback and advice and, in our dark days a couple months ago, he stepped up and helped me by blogging and covering a Kings game on his own time. George is a big Kings fan and a hockey fan in general, so I asked him to write something for the blog, to talk about his intertwined experiences of being a fan and a journalist all these years. Best of luck, George!
By George Foulsham
Assistant Managing Editor
I’ve been a newspaper journalist for 35 years. And a Kings fan for 24 years. Both have been rewarding and maddening experiences.
I’m leaving newspapers for a great job in the public affairs office at UC Santa Barbara. The Daily News is my ninth paper, with stops along the way at the Herald Examiner and the Los Angeles Times (where they still don’t think hockey is a sport).
I’ve been in the Rose Garden for a Reagan press conference, in Texas Stadium for the Clint Longley miracle win over the Redskins and I’ve worked with some of the best journalists in the country. I leave the business with mixed emotions.
While my career has provided plenty of highlights (and too many lowlights), one of the biggest thrills came in April when Rich Hammond asked if I’d be interested in covering a Kings game. Against the Canadiens. It took about 5 minutes to realize that it was an opportunity I couldn’t resist. The biggest challenge: Could I be objective?
Some of you may argue that sportswriters aren’t unbiased, but most journalists adhere to a code of ethics that mandates our objectivity. Still, when you’ve been a Kings fan since Dave “Tiger” Williams was throwing his weight around the Forum, it’s not easy being nonpartisan. I love the Kings. And I hate the Kings.
So, in that respect, I’m a lot like most of you who follow this blog. We hang on every post by Rich (who might be the best blogger in town, by the way) and can’t wait for the next juicy morsel about anything from the World Championships to whom the Kings will draft with that No. 2 pick.
We’ve been thrilled by Gretzky, had our hearts broken by McSorley’s stick, and cried when Robitaille hung ’em up. And we watched in anger as the Kings’ owner refused to part with enough cash to bring a front-line, 40-goal sniper to Staples Center. But, deep down, we love the Kings. Yes, it’s disappointing when the same owner ponies up big bucks for a Beckham, or invests in an aging boxer. But we still love the Kings.
So, like the rest of you, I will stick with this team, maybe even invest a few (more) bucks for some tickets, and follow this team that has underachieved, but seems to have the potential to do great things. Brown, Kopitar, O’Sullivan and Johnson are the foundation of a team that will either thrill us or break our hearts, again.
Through it all, Rich will be our tour guide. And, please don’t tell my new boss at UCSB, but I’ll be a frequent visitor to Inside the Kings.
So now, after being an objective journalist for 35 years, I can finally say, in print:
(George with his great-niece, Allison.)