Sam Farmer Named Winner of Prestigious Dick McCann Award

Sam Farmer Named Winner of Prestigious Dick McCann Award

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Sam Farmer, who is in his 25th year of covering the National Football League and 19th for the Los Angeles Times, has been named the winner of the 2019 Dick McCann Award. The prestigious honored is given by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) to a reporter who has made a long and distinguished contribution to pro football through coverage.

Farmer will be honored during the 2019 Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls that kicks off the NFL’s 100th season. He will be recognized at the Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner in downtown Canton on Friday, Aug. 2 and presented with the award at the 2019 Enshrinement Ceremony on Saturday, August 3 in Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

“Sam Farmer’s reporting and writing on this great Game has provided fans with a unique insight into what makes the NFL the country’s most popular sport. We look forward to celebrating Sam’s excellence during this year’s Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls,” Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker commented.

Farmer has been with the L.A. Times since 2000 as the paper’s NFL columnist, and for the first 16 years, he covered the league without a team in the Los Angeles market and chronicled the long process of the NFL’s return to L.A., culminating in the NFL owners’ approval of the Rams’ move from St. Louis in 2016.

He was selected as the 2016 California Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, and he won first place in beat writing by the Associated Press Sports Editors in 2016 and was a top-10 finisher in the category in 2019.

Farmer has had a wide variety of assignments during his career, such as traveling to Israel with 18 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame on a trip called “Touchdown in Israel II.” The 10-day journey, made possible through the generosity of New England Patriots Chairman & CEO Robert Kraft, provided the football greats an opportunity to witness the growth of the game in Israel, experience a journey through the historic country, and provide inspiration through the focus on values learned from the game.

He also climbed Mt. Rainier with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, sat alongside Al Michaels and John Madden in the “Monday Night Football” booth, traveled with an officiating crew and piloted the Goodyear blimp.

Born in Madison, Wisconsin, Farmer is a 1988 graduate of Occidental College in Los Angeles. After working at the Times for two years after college, Farmer covered the University of Washington football and basketball programs at the Bellevue (Wash.) Journal-American, then the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics at the Valley Daily News in Kent, Wash.

He moved on to the San Jose Mercury News, where he was an Oakland Raiders beat writer for five seasons (1995-99), before he returned to the Times in 2000.

“This is truly a deserving honor for a man whose name has become synonymous with the NFL in Los Angeles,” said Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times columnist. “For more than two decades, Sam Farmer’s incisive reporting and brilliant writing kept football alive in a city that had no pro teams. An entire generation of young fans remained invested in the absentee league through his smart and colorful prose. Through years of failed ownership groups and broken promises, Farmer continually pushed for the league’s return. Appropriately, when the Rams and Chargers finally moved here, it was Farmer’s investigative instincts that chronicled their journey and his words that paved their way. Having cemented his name in Los Angeles NFL history, Sam Farmer has truly earned his place in Canton.”

Peter King, the 2009 McCann Award winner who is the NFL Insider for the NBC Sports Group added, "Sam is one of the best storytellers in our business, and he has an imagination second to none among football writers. So often I read his stories and say to myself, ‘Wish I'd written that.’”

Farmer, the 51st McCann Award honoree, is the second member of the Los Angeles Times to receive the McCann Award, joining Bob Oates (1974). Other 2019 nominees for the McCann Award were Jarrett Bell (USA Today), Vinny DiTrani (Bergen Record-retired), Clark Judge (Talk of Fame Network), Jeff Legwold (ESPN.com) and Gary Myers (The Athletic).


2018 - Charean Williams, Pro Football Talk
2017 - Ed Werder
2016 - Chris Mortensen, ESPN
2015 - Dave Goldberg, Associated Press
2014 - Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
2013 - Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune
2012 - Tom Kowalski, MLive.com
2011 - Bob McGinn, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
2010 - Peter Finney, New Orleans Times-Picayune
2009 - Peter King, Sports Illustrated
2008 - Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com
2007 - John Clayton, ESPN/ESPN.com
2006 - John McClain, Houston Chronicle
2005 - Jerry Green, Detroit News
2004 - Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News
2003 - Joel Buchsbaum, Pro Football Weekly
2002 - Edwin Pope, Miami Herald
2001 - Len Shapiro, Washington Post
2000 - Tom McEwen, Tampa Tribune
1999 - Art Spander, Oakland Tribune
1998 - Dave Anderson, New York Times
1997 - Bob Roesler, New Orleans Times-Picayune
1996 - Paul Zimmerman, Sports Illustrated
1995 - Ray Didinger, Philadelphia Daily News
1994 - Don Pierson, Chicago Tribune
1993 - Ira Miller, San Francisco Chronicle
1992 - Frank Luksa, Dallas Morning News
1991 - Dick Connor, Denver Post
1990 - Will McDonough, Boston Globe
1989 - Vito Stellino, Baltimore Sun
1988 - Gordon Forbes, USA Today
1987 - Jerry Magee, San Diego Union
1986 - Bill Wallace, New York Times
1985 - Cooper Rollow - Chicago Tribune
1984 - Larry Felser, Buffalo News
1983 - Hugh Brown, Philadelphia Bulletin
1982 - Cameron Snyder, Baltimore Morning Sun
1981 - Norm Miller, New York Daily News
1980 - Chuck Heaton, Cleveland Plain Dealer
1979 - Pat Livingston, Pittsburgh Press
1978 - Murray Olderman, Newspaper Enterprise Assoc.
1977 - Art Daley, Green Bay Press-Gazette
1976 - Jack Hand, Associated Press
1975 - John Steadman, Baltimore News-American
1974 - Bob Oates, Los Angeles Times
1973 - Dave Brady, Washington Post
1972 - Lewis Atchison, Washington Star
1971 - Joe King, New York World-Telegram and Sun
1970 - Arthur Daley, New York Times
1969 - George Strickler, Chicago Tribune

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