By Craig Haley, FCS Executive Director
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - There's a framed photo across the office of the late Walter Payton lined up behind his fullback during a Chicago Bears training camp. Oh, there's a play about to be snapped. What's the Hall of Famer Payton doing? He's tugging on the bottom of the fullback's shorts. The fullback is reaching back to his shorts with one hand, still looking ahead, still in a three-point stance. You can almost hear him saying to himself, "What in the world?"
Of course, Walter Payton is so near and dear to people at The Sports Network, as the FCS national player of the year award that we sponsor has been named for him since its creation in 1987. What's great about the photo on the wall is that it shows the human side of this graceful man, who played at the current FCS institution Jackson State, even during the middle of competition.
The human side of the FCS is what I hope to touch on as the new FCS executive director at The Sports Network. Not only will I try to reflect the significance of the games, but also the significance of the people - coaches, players and others - through "In the FCS Huddle" notebooks, a new weekly playoff "bracketology" feature, weekly FCS poll, players of the week, and All-American teams, and of course The Sports Network awards and season-ending banquet that represent the annual culmination of our services to the subclassification. The FCS gets it right by playing to a national champion, but there are many winners across the nation.
I arrive at TSN with over 22 years of experience in newspaper, magazine and internet journalism. I was a beat reporter for Princeton University and Ivy League football for 11 seasons, and have selected and written preseason FCS Top 25 and All-American teams for national magazines.
A graduate of the College of New Jersey, I've been married for 12 years with a 7-year-old daughter, and we make our home in central New Jersey.
I look forward to serving the huge masses of FCS followers around the country, and plan on giving visitors to sportsnetwork.com plenty to read and talk about. Feel free to drop me a line anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know how I'm doing.