Dale on the Passing of
On Sunday, January 26, 2020, we read in our news feed that Kobe Bryant died in a plane crash, and that his daughter and several others died with him.
There was what is commonly termed a "media frenzy" regarding this horrendous tragedy. The following night, Mr. Hansen posted an editorial concerning that "frenzy."
His words were so objective, and so "spot on," as our friends in the Commonwealth like to say, that we just had to include them here.
You can read his initial essay, dated January 27th, at this link, and his follow up posted January 28th here.
In these, Dale challenged the consciences of both the press itself, and of those who view it. He deftly pointed out the need for kindness, and warned of an over-zealous quest for attention.
And, close to my own heart (as a former minister), he even gave a nod to Faith. I hope you agree that these principles mentioned by him are sorely needed in the way that we speak and learn, be it through our own social media, or by the fourth estate at large.
Below you will find our original tribute on "Mr. Dale."
Back several years ago, Mr. Hansen wrote an essay for broadcast on WFAA-TV, a television station here in Dallas, Texas. At the very end of his articles, during that time, he’d list his email address. I saw that, and said “how tempting!”
I was enamored with WFAA-TV because it had as its chief meteorologist Troy Dungan. When I lived in Michigan, in the early 1970s, Troy was a meteorologist there, at a Detroit station. And he attended a church I helped pastor. I moved to the Dallas area in 1989, after living in Houston and Tulsa, and was stunned to find him now here, and attending a church I also visited.
Well, there was that Email address! I drummed my fingers against my chin, decided to take the plunge, and sent a comment. I figured he’d never have time to write back.
But he did! And so began a kind of correspondence between us…he does provocative essays, and I respond from my old-fashioned perspective.
I’ve found him to have a tremendous sense of humor, and to be as self-effacing as anyone I’ve ever met. And yet, he has opinions! There is nothing wishy-washy or overly diluted about him. He speaks boldly, and from the heart.
He can be tender, as with his series of articles entitled “Thank God for Kids.” Or he can be vigorous in supporting fairness, as he was regarding Michael Sam’s desire to play football. He provides for us all the challenge to develop a conscience, and make its norms and standards just, and full of kind generosity.
Oh, in these days of “pacify,”
And “keep the waters still,”
In Journalism’s path do I
Seek one who shares the bitter swill
Of Truth when it just needs to be,
Refusing to back down;
Refusing to retrieve from me
A “there you go, Sir’s” crown.
Instead, he makes me think, and mull
Opinions far from mine.
Instead, I’m led to ponder, cull
Mistakes from when I oft opine.
Mistakes I’ve made, and plenteous, too!
But still, I’m settled in my soul…
For list’ning to expanded view
Does clear my sight, and make me whole!
© Paul L. White
I consider Dale Hansen a friend, even though we’ve never met, and our hands have never clasped. I took Journalism for a semester in my last senior term at high school, and wrote sports articles for the school paper over a period of two years. It was more than fun, and sometimes challenging (as in learning not to interview a football player after our team had just lost!). When we exchange emails with one another, I sense his respect for me in return for mine for him.
My dabbling in sports writing gave me a foundation from which to appreciate his genius, and truly he has that. He uses an economy of words, and knows how to say things in a way that will penetrate one’s wall of intolerance or indifference.
I call him “Mr. Dale” because it’s the only way I know to show respect, and, at the same time, personal appreciation.
He claims to not be religious, and I have to smile. The faith-based movie “Facing the Giants” has a character named after him. He is a color analyst for the radio station which broadcasts the football games played in the film. According to Google, “longtime WFAA-TV sports anchor Dale Hansen was the [Dallas] Cowboys' color analyst with Brad Sham as the play-by-play announcer from 1985-94.” Clearly, people of faith identify with “Mr. Dale” and his presence in the arena of noble thought.
One of the funniest videos regarding Dale Hansen can be found at this link. It is a roast of him, probably dated around 2003.
To show Mr. Dale's more tender side, here is an essay, with video, concerning his beloved pet, Miss Hailey…as he put it “never your typical dog.”
I’ve collected more links to impressive videos and/or articles by Dale, but this will get you introduced. Truly he belongs to a website entitled “HeroesWest.”
Paul L. White