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TVWeek.com welcomes a sports newscasting legend to its ranks of bloggers with the introduction of George Michael, who is providing ground-level access to the sights and sounds of the Super Bowl. Mr. Michael has established himself as master of the sports journalism craft, and his blog will provide insights on how to cover athletics that readers won't find anywhere else.

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Meeting the NASCAR Pros at Daytona 500

February 12, 2007 6:40 PM

I’m here in Daytona getting ready for the NASCAR’s biggest event.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down on our show with Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb while at the Super Bowl, now I’ve had the chance to speak with Jaguars QB Byron Leftwich. He’s a terrific guy with a long history of success and inspiring people both at Marshall and in professional football. However, I think he’s become disillusioned with the NFL -- one day he’s the team’s unquestioned leader guiding his team toward the playoffs, now there’s talk that the Jaguars are looking to trade him. We managed to get from him the one team he would not play for should he be traded to them.

That’s what we at the “Sports Machine” are all about. We get these guys to trust us with their stories.

Yesterday at Daytona, our crew was focusing on the big race. I had a terrific meeting with Tony Stewart for the show. For people who don’t follow NASCAR, Tony, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon and Jimmy Johnson are the four heavyweights in that sport. Anyway, Tony is one of my dearest friends and it was clear that it was so important for him to win this race. He would give up everything he’s done down here just to win the Daytona 500.

We are also interviewing James Hylton, who is 72 years old and about to become the oldest driver to ever participate in this race. This comes 41 years after his first race at Daytona and a guy who hasn’t even been in a race in 20 years. He’ll be participating Thursday in the qualifying races and hopefully will get in the big one if he does well.

Byron, Tony, James Hylton. That’s the epitome of what we’re all about, getting great stories with people like them.

A lot of people have been upset that Art Monk wasn’t elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He’s a guy that I believe should be in there, but Art didn’t have the spectacular catches in the post-season that voters love to see. I really thought this would be his year, I could make some great arguments for him being in.

I was also surprised to see (former NFL commissioner) Paul Tagliabue not get in this year. However, I think maybe he has alienated some members of the media over the years through some of his policies and that may have hurt his chances.

A lot of people don’t like the voting procedures for the Hall of Fame because they are upset at their guys not getting in. I think the voting procedures are fine. There are very good conscientious people who cover football all the time, know the history of the game, and make some tough decisions for the Hall of Fame. That’s a rough job for anyone.

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Comments (3)

George, I'm going to sound like a silly kid with this but here goes. You said one of you dear friends was Tony Stewart. One of the greatest ambitions of my life is to meet with Tony, even just to say hi and get an autograph or something. Do you know his itinerary with Home Depot appearances, or any other way I could meet him. He is the best driver in Nascar by far, and I love to watch that Orange and Black cross the finish line. Take a look at my blog!

Hey, George!

Great to find your blog. I just wanted to refer you to site with a video I put together designed to refute the arguments against Monk's induction. Every voter was sent a copy (many of them watched it, some didn't) and Len Shapiro and David Elfin used portions of it for their presentation. You might enjoy it:

http://www.monk4thehall.com

Thanks for all your great Redskins coverage over the years. One of my fondest memories is "The Skins Dirt Band" from the early 80's. Would LOVE to see some of those again....

mark bubba white:

hey george is that a hair piece on your head??
if so watch out when you are by the track it might get blown off!
how come you won't profess your love for me!!!!!
drive fast , change lanes , use your turn signals.......

go bubba white!!!!

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