Sunday Mornings Won’t Be the Same

As you all know by now, Tim Russert of NBC News and possibly Buffalo’s favorite son died last Friday from a massive heart attack.  I read about it online right before leaving work for the day on Friday. I was shocked. I don’t watch every Sunday but any Sunday morning that I have free and am in shape to get in front of the tv, Meet the Press is part of my Sunday routine. In the fall, its Meet the Press at 10, Mass at 11, Pregame football shows at 12, more or less like clockwork. 

I grew up in a house, I won’t say it was political but it was very current event aware.  Everyone in the house read the paper daily. We received a subscription to Time magazine which was well worn by the end of the week. The nightly news was not to be disturbed unless it was for a sporting event involving one of the kids.  Dad leaned Republican and Mom was a typical Massachusetts Catholic Kennedy loving Democrat.  There was alot of debate on any current event in my house, especially was there a political tone to it.

My Mom was a huge Tim Russert fan as was my Dad. I think I read in the articles that he had been on Meet the Press for 17 years, which would have put me in college and after college I would have been watching with them. I loved how he used politicians words against them and asked them if that is still how they felt.  I felt he beat up on both sides equally and was fair in his style. The best part though was his sense of humor and his passion for politics. You could tell he loved to talk about it and share information and views.  There never seemed to be any hard feelings at the end of the show either.

I don’t follow current events and politics as much as I used to. I have become quite jaded on them. I don’t feel like there is alot of difference between the two sides. They both take money from the same folks and few politicians have the welfare of their middle or lower class constituents at the front of their agendas.  Even feeling like that, I could still watch Tim Russert and Meet the Press. I’d love to see his enthusiasm and if he could cut thru the bs out there.

On my annual football runs to Buffalo, I have grown to have a fondness for the good people of Buffalo.  Despite living in an area with hellacious weather and tough economic times, I have found the majority of them to be friendly and good folks.  Tim Russert could not have been prouder of his Buffalo roots. At one game I went to they had a half time ceremony to retire the number of a former Bills player. Tim Russert hosted the ceremony, I think he got as a big ovation from the crowd as the former player, it was great to get to see that the love for his city was returned by the city.

Another thing that drew me to Mr. Russert was his relationship with his father and his son. He wrote a book called Big Russ and Me, which was about his father. I have read portions of it in the book store and it always makes me laugh or choke up.  One of these days I will get around to reading the whole thing. The point being I was fortunate enough to have a great relationship with my Dad and love to hear of such stories. From the way he talked about his own son, Tim was continuing the close father-son relationship.

On this past Sunday’s Meet the Press, they more or less had an Irish wake for Tim. It was hosted by Tom Brokaw and they had probably eight guests and they just swapped stories and showed video clips from over the years.  Two of his regular guests were the husband and wife team James Carville and Marty Matalin. James Carville was too shaken up to talk at most points. He had the line of the show though. He said people always asked him if Tim Russert was as good a guy as he seemed to be on tv and Carville said “No, he is better.”




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