Texas Football magazine is as unique as they come

When Waco Tribune- Herald sports editor Dave Campbell began his little football preview magazine 50 years ago, he could have hardly imagined that, 1) it would last this long and 2) that it would transform into an entity within itself.

The 50th addition of Dave Campbell's Texas Football dropped last Monday and for a lot of people (football nuts) that signals the start of football season, despite the fact that kickoff is 75 days away.

Therein, lies my problem with all football magazines. By the time football season actually starts in the first week of September, the information in the tabloid is five months old. That's almost half a year.

You could have fired and hired a new head coach and gone through four starting quarterbacks by that time.

(Warning: shameless plug coming.) When The Reporter's Gridiron comes out in the last week of August, it will have the most up-to-date information possible.

Texas Football begins sending out questionnaires and composing team capsules in March. I know this because I used to be one of the capsule authors, contributing editors and features writers—until TF hired a data processing firm to take the place of the writers they hired to do it and took all the personality out of it.

Campbell Campbell Also, Houston Chronicle staffer David Barron, who ran the magazine for years, was given a lesser hand in the production of the magazine, so we all lost a sympathetic ear.

Campbell, who is now 84, of course, no longer edits or evens owns Texas Football, but is still associated with it on a public relations level.

I am proud to be included in the group of great unwashed that have contributed to the magazine over the past halfcentury, going way back to 1982 when I subbed for the legendary George Breazeale in my rookie year.

Most writers romanticize Friday night football, so it was a privilege to be asked to contribute to the football bible.

The first edition of Texas Football was compiled by four writers, Campbell and his three-man staff at the Tribune- Herald.

By my count, there are at least 50 writers who contributed to the 2009 edition. That does not include executive staff, graphic design staff, marketing and advertising.

That first year, Campbell lost $5,000. It cost $1.

The publishers print 20,000 copies of the magazine annually, which is tiny compared to most tabloids you will find on your news rack and at $10 bucks a pop, you can figure out the profit margin even without the massive advertising inside the magazine.

There is also a 50th anniversary commemorative edition scheduled for publication in the fall of 2009 and it will list all the contributors over the years.

Above all, Dave Campbell was one of us—a sportswriter— and we all pulled for him. Still do. Congrats, Dave.

The 5ive

Here is a list of the five worst football movies of all time:

1. The Replacements (2000)— Keanu Reeves as a professional quarterback?

2. The Longest Yard (2005)— Adam Sandler as a professional quarterback?

3. All The Ri (1983)—Tom Cruise as a football player?

4 . Nece ssar y Roughne ss (1991)—Kathy Ireland is the team's kicker?

5. The Waterboy (1998)— Again, Adam Sandler???


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2009-06-25 digital edition



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