• Fri. Mar 24th, 2023

Patrick Kinahan: Former Deseret News sports writer’s death creates substantial void


Mar 16, 2023

Estimated study time: three-four

SALT LAKE CITY — The sports journalism globe in Utah lost a a single-of-a-type character on Wednesday with the passing of Dirk Facer.

Describing the former Deseret News sports writer as a character is likely the most precise description of a man who had no enemies. There are lots of other words that apply — such as funny, loyal, really hard-operating — but every a single only partially reflects the man who poured his heart and soul into his selected profession and loved ones.

Minus the cigar and accompanying hat that stereotypes the old-college version of a sportswriter, Facer match the bill to a T. For some 3 decades, he handled every single assignment thrown his way with the upmost professionalism.

Prior to getting inexplicably laid off about two years ago, Facer adroitly covered University of Utah football and basketball. He was a fixture on the beat, beloved by his peers along with all the players, coaches and administrators.

Fairly actually, no a single ever had something adverse to say about him. Take it from an individual who has endured lots of barbs directed his way, this was no smaller accomplishment. For additional proof of this reality, verify the outpouring of love mixed with grief on Twitter following his son, Austin, went public with announcement of his father’s death.

The profession has changed substantially more than the years, normally straying far from the fundamentals taught in every single journalism college. It really is additional about bombastic opinions and the race to be 1st on social media than it is about basically reporting the news in a timely and precise style.

Facer was a fair-minded journalist, never ever injecting himself into the story. For this cause, amongst other people, he was usually trusted.

Accuracy is the name of the game in sports writing. Facer, who was awaiting a kidney transplant, had the most vital aspect of the enterprise down cold.

To the outdoors globe, he was a byline on best of a story on a newspaper web page along with a voice that sometimes graced sports radio. To business insiders, he was a giant that extended nicely beyond the game. With out exaggeration, no a single lit up a press box in the way Facer did all these years. Generally, with out fail, he was a friendly face prepared to give a type word.

The rivalry fostered by competitors involving the state’s two most renowned newspapers meant absolutely nothing to him. He was far additional interested in the individual, no matter the affiliation.

As the years roll on for veterans in the field, reporting on an endless stream of games season following season often can turn out to be monotonous. This is exactly where Facer shined, offered his unbelievable capability to obtain humor even in the most lopsided of games that would seemingly drag on for hours.

As a peer, covering a game with him on press row was akin to listening to a stand-up comedy routine. If a sense of humor could be a kind of currency, Facer would have been wealthy beyond his wildest dreams. Yes, for genuine, he was that funny.

Sports reporters Dirk Facer, Amy Donaldson, Patrick Kinahan, David James and Josh Furlong pose for a photo in San Diego on Jan. 1, 2019.Sports reporters Dirk Facer, Amy Donaldson, Patrick Kinahan, David James and Josh Furlong pose for a photo in San Diego on Jan. 1, 2019. (Photo: Amy Donaldson, Deseret News)

He was there to lend a assisting hand, also, anytime required. Years ago, when covering a BYU football game at Fresno State, Facer volunteered to be my chauffeur and supply a ride from the airport to the hotel. There was an challenge with the luggage, necessitating a trip back to the airport a number of hours later. No trouble for Facer, who immediately provided a lift to the airport at the appointed time.

As an instance of friendship, of his personal undertaking, he undertook the tedious activity of getting practically all of Brad Rock’s buddies in the media create tribute messages that have been to be presented to the longtime Deseret News sports columnist when he retired a handful of years back.

It really is really hard, practically to the point of not possible, to comprehend that Dirk is gone now. The press box will never ever be the very same.



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Patrick is a radio host for 97.five/1280 The Zone and the Zone Sports Network. He, along with David James, are on the air Monday-Friday from six a.m. to ten a.m.

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