Mick McCabe retired in December after almost five full decades at the Detroit Free Press.
When Mick agreed with me, he did so boldly. When he disagreed, he sometimes did so brutally.
He was at his best, and did most for school sports in Michigan, when he told the stories of coaches and athletes in the cities, suburbs and small towns all across our state. Especially when he told the stories of those who would never coach or play a game beyond the high school level. Especially when he found and focused on an unknown person in a low-profile sport who raised our spirits by reminding us of how good educational athletics can be.
Mick may have written more words about high school sports in Michigan than any person ever. And that's saying a lot when one remembers Jack Moss and Bob Gross and Bob Becker and Jane Bos and Del Newell and Cindy Fairfield and a dozen other retired sports writers in our state whose substantial bodies of work promoted prep sports.
School sports usually has been well-served by such media professionals who were allowed by their industry to take the time necessary to know the people and the policies that served school sports, and were allowed the space to develop stories that went beyond headlines, tweets and texts, with fuller facts and closer truth than is the norm today.