The only other time a man looked less comfortable wearing fabric around his neck was one sent to the gallows while a grateful public rejoiced.
Star-Telegram sports columnist Randy Galloway looked far more at ease “taking it” from those who once were on the receiving end of his many digs than he did in the tie that was around his shirt collar Wednesday evening.
On Wednesday night, Galloway — reluctantly — was honored by the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation at the Worthington Hotel to celebrate his looooooong career in sports media, both on the airwaves and in print.
“They asked me and I said, ‘Hell no,’” Galloway, 70, said before the evening’s events began. “But this was important to Bobby. They said this was a ‘lifetime achievement,’ and I’m short on the achievement.”
He’s right. Not only is he short on achievement, but this foundation meant the world to the late Mr. Bragan, who, like Galloway, did love to tell a good story. And a joke.
“If Bobby Bragan were alive today and he found out we were honoring Randy Galloway he would have died,” WFAA/Channel 8 sports anchor Dale Hansen said.
Randy may never be sainted by the Catholic Church, or any religious organization, but there is a reason he was selected by the Bobby Bragan Foundation — the man has a long career, and positively affected many lives in the process.
(Editor’s note — That’s what the brochure said.)
“Why are we honoring this man?” former American League president Dr. Bobby Brown asked. “Have we really run out of human beings?”
Because Randy is Randy, and few people in this region deserve a chance in the dunk tank as much as this man up to and including Hansen, the festivities opted for a roast rather than a coronation. Wise choice.
Wednesday’s festivities were like a diet version of a Comedy Central Roast … without the swearing.
The only sad part was because so many in attendance at the Worthington Hotel were not “of age” many of the more entertaining stories from Galloway’s long career at the Dallas Morning News, WBAP, ESPN Radio and Star-Telegram had to hit the cutting room floor.
The roasters included: former Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief, former Star-Telegram sports columnist Jim Reeves, Rangers play-by-play voice Eric Nadel, Rangers TV color analyst and former GM Tom Grieve, former Cowboys cornerback Everson Walls, former Cowboys running back Walt Garrison, former Cowboys offensive lineman Nate Newton, former Cowboys receiver Drew Pearson and Hansen.
The only odd absentees from the opportunity to crucify Galloway were Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. And Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. And Rangers GM Jon Daniels.
And former Rangers owner Tom Hicks.
“It’s like asking someone in 1941, ‘How would you like to roast Hitler?’” Nadel asked.
Roasting Randy is indeed batting practice … in slow-pitch softball. Only not quite as hard. There is just so much information.
Randy has aged not necessarily like fine wine but more like a Twinkie. A really, really, really old Twinkie. A Twinkie with a mustache, and a Texas drawl.
“I think I would rather have a sister in a whore house than a brother that looked like you,” Garrison said.
Randy comes from a time when sports writers who covered Major League Baseball games were given free beer during the games (some things should never have ended.)
Most of the stories focused on Randy’s professional time as a beat writer covering the Texas Rangers in the ’70s to his days as a columnist at the Morning News and Star-Telegram.
“I think I was his only black friend on the team,” Walls said. “Drew and Nate are getting paid for this [appearance].”
Drew Pearson had fun with everyone in attendance; “Mike Moncrief — still a politician after that boring speech,” he said.
“This is the original RG — look how old he is,” Pearson added. “We’ll call him RGBC — Before Christ. … Success has not changed you, and that is very unfortunate.”
Randy was the final speaker of the evening, and despite his chance to take aim at all of the roasters, for one of the few times in his career he was humble and took the road he seldom has before — the high one.
“The lifetime of memories are good. I’ve got the lifetime part down good,” he said. “And this event is one achievement I’m proud to having been a part of.”