unfortunately, the passing of jim "hoss" brock will mean nothing to this generation of college football fans. so i guess hoss indeed belongs in the history category.
then at tcu, hoss was one of the first sports information directors i met when i came into this business. he was one of a long line of guys who at the time not only did their jobs, but did them with enthusiasm and good cheer. his was a day when sid's were facillitators, not barriers to media coverage. guys who opened doors, rather than stood in front of them. to whom friday night was just as important as saturday afternoon. who were characters in their own right. men like the immortal jones ramsey at texas, ralph carpenter at texas tech (the originator of 'it aint over until the fat lady sings') and later successor joe hornaday, spec gammon at texas a&m, johnny keith at oklahoma. guys who were more concerned about relationships than statistics. they delegated statistics. they worked relationships.
i remember one late night in a hotel room, i think in college station some 35 years or so ago, where after a few beverages i boldly informed hoss that i doubted he would give a hoot about me personally if i didn't work for who i did. hoss looked at me with suddenly sad puppy eyes, immediately making me wish i could retract the statement. after a moment, he woundedly replied, "well hoss, if that's the way you feel, then i'm not doing my job." now, i knew then and it was proven to me later that hoss really did care, but his point will be lost on most of the new generation of guys in his business. hoss could spot a jerk as well as the next guy, but he more than likely would try and talk him out of being one.
for many years (1979-92) hoss was the face of the cotton bowl. an unmatched ambassador, as well known as anyone in the world of college football. who was welcomed enthusiastically in press boxes, receptions & watering holes all over the country.
hoss called everybody hoss. many thought it was because he could not remember names. sometimes i'm sure it provided great cover for just that. but i came to learn that hoss' memory was exceptional, for people and places and thousands of filed-away anecdotes he could summon to fit an occasion. tell hoss where you were going to cover a game--anywhere in the country--and he could tell you the best place to eat or get an honest drink.hoss like all of us had his own demons. but he was good person.
most of the people i came to know when i broke in are gone now. none of them were great humanitarians i suppose, but they made the world a happier place. see you guys in the hospitality suite. i'll bet hoss is already telling the one about. . .