The phone call always starts with, “Whatru doin’?”
The problem is when the voice on the other end is Randy Galloway there is no way to accurately type his Kentucky-born, Texas-raised accent that has no equal.
Artificial intelligence needs to create a “Galloway” font, and Apple should make a Siri-Galloway voice for all iPhones.
The lord of Texas sports media rang the other week with a simple request, “You gotta do something on Charean. First woman ever to go in.”
It was on my list because he is correct.
That list includes Galloway, too.
On Saturday night in Waco, Mr. Galloway and Charean “Mother Football” Williams were both scheduled to be inducted into the media wing of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame; Galloway and Williams each worked at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for over 15 years.
Randy retired years ago, while Charean now writes for ProFootballTalk.com.
They will be joined by, among others, Dallas Cowboys radio voice Brad Sham, recently retired Houston Chronicle football czar John McClain, and Texas Rangers radio voice Eric Nadel.
This induction ceremony was supposed to be two years ago, but our friend COVID made a visit and never left.
As you will note, Williams is the only female on the list. By now, she is used to this sort of thing. Almost numb to it.
She was the first female voter for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and she was also the first woman to be inducted in the media wing to that Hall a few years ago.
For different reasons, both are more than worthy of induction into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, as they created their own mark on the industry, and the entire landscape of sports journalism, both in Texas and across the country.
They are both better people than pros, and each was exceptional at their chosen profession.
You would need a team or archaeologists to find someone who could say a negative word about either one, and that includes Texas Rangers team president of baseball operations Jon Daniels.
The same for Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Even when people wanted Galloway’s head on some Texas toast, their anger lasted but a few minutes.
Longtime ESPN reporter Ed Werder was to present Galloway at the induction.
“Randy was Randy, and so he got access that we never could,” Werder said of the time the two worked together at the Dallas Morning News. “And oftentimes he was told something that he either couldn’t use or was provided information just for contextual purposes. But he would always share that with his beat writers. Sometimes he just gave you a news story.
“One example I can think of was Randy came out to Cowboys practice one day for material for a planned Sunday column and found out Leon Lett had failed a drug test and was going to be suspended following that Sunday’s game in Atlanta.
“So Sunday, I asked Leon in the locker room and wrote the news story that nobody else had. It was a scoop under my byline that totally belonged to Randy. And he took zero credit publicly, or inside the newsroom.”
People who worked with Randy either at the Morning News or the Fort Worth Star-Telegram all have similar experiences.
Charean fits the same profile.
She would give you anything to help you out.
And while she is often recognized, and now celebrated, as the “first woman” this or the “first female” that, you would never hear her utter a word asking for anything other than to be treated like a pro.
In her mind, and in reality, she is a pro doing a job just like Randy, or any other male in a press room.
“It’s crazy to see, looking back on it, everything you went through to get where you are now, and you see what wasn’t equal then,” she said. “I didn’t see it then. When I was in the second grade, this is all I wanted to do, and I was going to do whatever it took to get there.
“Times have changed, and people accept more women in sports now. A good example, I had covered the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and they were playing a preseason game at the University of Oklahoma against the Kansas City Chiefs; this was back in the ‘80s.
“We were told the locker room was small, and it was going to be tight. I walked in after the game, and one of the rookies looked at me and said, ‘What the?!’ And one of his teammates said, ‘Welcome to the NFL.’
“No one thinks about any of that now.”
The distinction was her work, her effort, her professionalism - never her gender.
No different than Galloway.
Both Randy and Charean deserve their spot in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.