The Fifth Down

Executive Director's column: Welcome to the season

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Steve Richardson

With the 2012 football season underway, greetings from the FWAA!

By this time, if you have paid your dues, you should have received your 2012- 13 Print Directory through the regular mail.

Once again a tip of the hat to Ted Gangi for producing the directory, which to most insiders is known as "The Bible" for college football information. You will find all the contact information you will need in the directory and what is on-line at collegepressbox.com (available to FWAA members).

In addition, there are several member benefits that are listed on the back of your membership card and on-line at the Membership Center at our website http://fwaa.memberclicks.net. To access go to that site and click on FWAA at the top of the page and a menu will drop down. It is your responsibility to access and activate the benefits that are provided for you if you want them.

In this issue of The Fifth Down:
Richardson: Welcome to the season
Best Writing Contest winners

With your e-mail (username) and the password you received when you joined or paid your dues, you can access your benefits at the website above. Hopefully, you customized the password and have it grouped with other usernames and passwords you use. If you did not do so, and have lost the password provided, I can retrieve it for you.

We have basically become an online world at the FWAA. So that is why it is important for YOU, an FWAA member, to keep your information updated on-line so we can reach you. Especially critical is the right e-mail. If we do not have a working e-mail for you, then you will not receive releases about what is going on in the organization. You will be lost in cy berspace.

In the directory, we also have provided an FWAA Awards Calendar (Page 23) that can help you navigate the timeline of our awards during and after the 2012 regular season. All members are eligible to send in ballots to our All-America Committee in November. You will receive those via e-mail. All members will also be urged to vote electronically for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award in December.

On the same Page 23, we highlight the weekly award programs we currently are running: Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week (Mondays), the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski Player of the Week (Tuesdays) and, starting later in September, the Discover Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominee (Wednesdays).

For the first time this season, an FWAA member appears on College Sports Today on SiriusXM Radio on Monday mornings for 5-10 minutes to announce and talk about the winner of Team of the Week.

And finally, the FWAA has the pleasure of teaming with the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl to launch the Armed Forces Merit Award (Page 24 of the Members Directory). It will be presented to "an individual and/or a group who have created, developed and produced a program within the realm of the sport of football that provides care, concern and support for past or present members of the United States Armed Forces and/or their families."

The FWAA has appointed a five-person committee to assist in choosing the honoree for this award, which will be announced on Nov. 12.

Meanwhile, in this issue of The Fifth Down, we highlight the winners and placers of the Best Writing Contest for the 20th straight year. Christopher Walsh of BamaOnline.com is a rare double winner. Dave Matter of the Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune placed first in one category and second in another.

Enjoy the season!

NCAA Football is starting a new digital magazine for college football fans and is looking for contributions from FWAA members. Contact Tiffany Greco of IMG for more information at tiffany.greco@imgworld.com. ... FWAA member Drew Boylhart has a new book out: "The Draftnik: A Story about the Pro Football Draft and its Impact on a Dyslectic." Check it out online.

Thayer Evans left Fox Sports Interactive and Pete Thamel has jumped from The New York Times both to Sports Illustrated. ... Brett McMurphy left CBS Interactive for ESPN.com. ... George Schroeder jumped from the Eugene Register-Guard to USA TODAY. ... Mark Blaudschun retired from the Boston Globe and now is breaking stories at ajerseyguy.com. ... Andy Seeley left Minnesota for Central Florida. ... David Bassity left Oklahoma for Houston. ... Gina Chappin has recently launched a new business, Dolce Sports Media, but continues to serve as the media coordinator for the Rose Bowl Game.

KEY FWAA CONTACTS

Bert McGrane Award nominees: Mark Blaudshun (blauds@aol.com)
Volney Meece Scholarship nominees: Dave Sittler (davesitt@aol.com)
Website, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week: Ted Gangi (webmaster@sportswriters.net)
Membership Directory: Charlie Fiss, AT&T Cotton Bowl (charlie@attcottonbowl.com)
Ethics/Press Relations Committee: Kirk Bohls (kbohls@statesman.com)
College Football Playoff Liaison: Gina Lehe, College Football Playoff (glehe@collegefootballplayoff.com)
Eddie Robinson Award: Steve Richardson (tiger@fwaa.com)
Fifth Down Blog/FWAA Best Writing Contest: Ken Stephens (ken.stephens@sbcglobal.net)
Bronko Nagurski Award: John Rocco, Charlotte Touchdown Club (jrocco@touchdownclub.com)
Outland Trophy, All-America Team: Steve Richardson (tiger@fwaa.com)
Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll: Phil Marwill, National Football Foundation (pmarwill@footballfoundation.org)
Discover Orange Bowl/FWAA Courage Award: George Schroeder, USA TODAY (gschroeder@aol.com), Ron Higgins, Nola.com (rhigg@aol.com)
Freshman All-America Team: Mike Griffith, MLive Media Group (mgrif32@aol.com)

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