This banquet celebrated it’s 45th year last night. Traditionally, some pretty big names come in and speak and entertain a crowd of around 2,000 local sports enthusiasts. The proceeds benefit youth sports in the Fox Valley.
Each year, the Red Smith committee hires a main speaker, which this year was ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas. And Bilas didn’t disappoint.
The Red Smith award was given to Packers wide receiver Donald Driver and the “Nice Guy” award was given to former Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog, who just happens to be going into the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer.
Prior to the banquet every year, there’s a little party that’s put on for all of the sports dignitaries that are in attendance. Some free drinks and snacks before the actual banquet. A co-worker of mine is doing a live 30-minute broadcast and many of the guests are herded his way to fill the time. Whitey Herzog finishes his on air interview and then a local newspaper writer steps in. He begins to ask him a few questions. After awhile, he says two more questions and gets through them. Then he says, one more thing and Whitey interrupts him, reminds him that he said just two more, throws an F-bomb at the reporter and angrily walks away.
Perhaps somebody should have stepped in and reminded Whitey that he was at the banquet to receive the “Nice Guy” Award.