Woody Paige, the renowned sports columnist, ESPN star and Colorado institution, is coming to The Gazette starting Aug. 7.
After a 35-year run at the Denver Post, Paige will be penning two columns a week for The Gazette in addition to his regular appearances on the ESPN sports talk show, Around the Horn.
There’s no other sports writer quite like Woody. He’s won every award they hand out to sports columnists and has covered more than 10,000 sporting events, including all three of the Broncos Super Bowl wins, two Stanley Cup wins by the Avalanche, the World Series, the NBA Finals, Triple Crown races as well as high school wrestling tournaments. He’ll be doing the same thing for The Gazette, writing about the high and low of sports, the towering figures and the hometown heroes.
Gazette Sports Editor Matt Wiley put it this way: “I tried to think of clever ways to announce that Woody Paige would be joining The Gazette. First, I thought I'd compare our three-headed monster of columnists to the Broncos three-headed quarterback situation. Then, I thought I'd label him as our Peyton Manning or Kevin Durant, and state that Paige would make our already strong Sports team a great team. As I saw Twitter fill with notes of admiration toward Paige, I realized that I don't need a corny introduction. Woody Paige is joining The Gazette to continue his Hall of Fame career. Paige will cover Colorado with his unique sense of humor and will help The Gazette expand its reach within the state and on the national stage.”
Tony Reali, the host of Around the Horn who wrote the foreword to one of Woody’s books, describes Paige as a man of words.
“But Woody’s words are not like yours or mine. They are unique; at one moment face palms of wisdom, at another riddles wrapped in mysteries inside enigmas finished by Mad Libs trying to find Where’s Waldo.”
On Around the Horn, he is best known for his one-sentence koans of goofy wisdom chalked on a blackboard behind him, Twitter-like observations before there was Twitter: “God grant me patience. I want it now.” “Hard work never killed anyone, but why chance it?” “The average person thinks he isn’t.”
But there’s another side to Woody as well. In a memo to the Post staff, Managing Editor Linda Shapley noted that Woody also has covered major news events, “including 9/11, political conventions, and the Columbine and Aurora shootings. His personal stories — his heartfelt words about his struggles with suicidal thoughts, for example — affected many in this community.”
Wherever he goes, Woody is a classic force multiplier. When Paige joined the Rocky Mountain News as a columnist in the 1970s , the paper shot ahead of the rival Denver Post in circulation. When he later moved to the Post, in 1981, the same thing happened there, helping the Post become the dominant Denver paper. He’ll instantly elevate the profile of Gazette sports coverage and columnists -- Paul Klee and David Ramsey -- and bring his huge fan base along with him. Plus, Woody being Woody, he’s just going to make The Gazette a more fun place to be.
Woody’s first column will appear in The Gazette next Sunday, Aug. 7.
“I'm excited to start and become a part of something big. Let’s kick some ass and make some noise,” Woody said.
We can’t wait.