Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dave Fay, 1940-2007

Dave Fay passed away today at the age of 67 after a long bout with cancer. There are a lot of tributes to him in the blogosphere and from various media sites. I cannot improve on the remarks of those who knew and worked with him, especially those of Mike Vogel over at Dump and Chase.

Dave has taken a lot of grief in recent months for his perceived "glass-half-empty" take on the Caps. I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Fay, but he impresses me as the sort who really didn't much care, and that is to his credit. He is of the "old school" of journalism, I suppose, a reporter who toils diligently in pursuit of a story and reports it in a straight-forward manner. No embellishment of the sort one sees often in the "new" media would or could ever do his reporting justice. His was of the "meat and potatoes" sort of journalism that seems less and less prevalent these days.

Dave might not have had his "A" game in recent years. That's for others to judge. But given his dogged fight against his health problems, his devotion to his craft commands respect. It is a pity that there are a lot of folks who haven't had the pleasure of following his reporting since he joined the Washington Times in 1982 and took over the Caps beat because, as he put it, "nobody else wanted to do it." His body of work, at least in my recollection of it since I moved here in 1984, was of the "must read" quality.

Last May, the Hockey Hall of Fame announced that Dave would be the recipient of this year's Elmer Ferguson Award for distinguished hockey writing. He joins a distinguished group of recipients. Those who have had the pleasure of reading Dave over their morning coffee on cold winter mornings realize that the recognition is well deserved, and that his passing leaves a void in hockey reporting that will not soon be filled.

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