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Jeff Vorva's Editor's Notebook: St. Xavier University loses its voice

 

jeff columnWe probably haven’t heard the last from Robert Maszak.
  A few minutes before he called his last St. Xavier University contest as the school’s official public address announcer for football and basketball, he was already saying that he was willing to sub next year if needed. He will miss this gig.

  Maszak, 69, has been announcing at various schools and sporting events for 52 years including more than a decade of service at the Chicago campus, where he was also a supervisor of student teachers.
  The Homewood resident called his last game — an 84-61 men’s basketball victory over the University of St. Francis last Wednesday in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference quarterfinals. Both the men and women’s teams are nationally ranked in the top 10 and will begin play in their respective NAIA national tournaments Wednesday. His final season was historic with the success of the two squads and men’s basketball star Brad Karp breaking the all-time scoring record at the school.
  He has loved what he has done but said he needs to step away.
  “Driving at night was getting to me,” the Homewood resident said. “I can still do it but it’s starting to get tough. I don’t want to endanger anybody. So that’s enough.’’
  He said he has announced for more than a half decade at Joliet Junior College, Illinois State University and Bloom High School as well as various little leaguePage-3-2-col-announcer-for-jv-colRobert Maszak, top photo, calls out the starting lineup for St. Xavier University’s men’s basketball team for the final time as the school’s official announcer last Wednesday. In the right photo, Mark Anzilotti, left, and Lance Barrows of Regional Publishing check out copies of a newspaper Monday minutes after the company’s press was repaired. Photos by Jeff Vorva.Page-3-3-col-press-with-jvcol baseball organizations in the south suburbs.
  “I really like doing the little leagues because the kids love to hear their names,” he said.
  Maszak said that a 2010 Gatorade Replay Game between Bloom and Brother Rice’s boys basketball team 10 years after the two teams battled in a controversial supersectional finish to a battle in Aurora as one of his favorites. This time the game was played at SXU and Brother Rice avenged the loss.
  “That game was just fantastic,” Maszak said. “We were right there and Dwyane Wade [an honorary coach] and his body guard with a gun were standing right next to me. I also did a Harlem Globetrotters game at Bloom. I got hit with a bucket of water. They told me I wasn’t going to be but I stepped away from the mic and they got me.’’
  Now he’s stepping away from the mic again — but likely not for good.

Pressing issue
  There is nothing like hearing the humming of the press when you work for a newspaper and it’s an even sweeter sound when the press has been broken for a few days.
  The press was rolling again Monday morning after last week’s nightmarish breakdown that caused the Reporter and Regional to come out a day later than usual. The company publishes several other newspapers and magazines in the Chicago area and a lot of that had to be outsourced. It was a bad, bad week for boss Pat Beedie and his crew.
  Nothing much good comes out of something like this but it was good to hear from our readers who got in touch with us last week.
  We received a flood of phone calls on Thursday and Friday morning with people wondering what the heck happened. We also had a few people stop by the office to visit. Most of them were great about it and talked about how this is the first time the paper didn’t get to their homes on time.
  It’s nice to hear from that we’re still a part of their lives and routines. That’s what community journalism is about and it’s touching that they missed us for 24 hours.

Chickens are clucking
  A great source of comedy comes from the Oak Lawn Cowardly Blog.
  The chickens are madder than wet hens because they found out about “three disturbing mass e-mails sent by apparently fictitious senders that were apparently designed to attack the business relationship the [Cowardly Blog] enjoys with its readers have been labeled ‘libelous’ and direct violations of the Illinois Electronic Mail Act.’’
  Apparently, this other group of anonymous cowards is providing fake headlines that credit “actual newspapers’’ including your favorite newspaper, the Reporter. The cowards are thinking of getting a lawsuit together against the other cowards.
  The good news to come out of this is that the Cowardly Blog said that its lawyer is Dennis Brennan, so now we have an actual name associated with the Cowardly Blog.
  So we wish Mr. Brennan all the luck in the world in exposing those anonymous bad guys that…well…kind of do what the blog that he represents does.