Detroit Sports Journalism Icon Don Shane Passes Away at 70
The world of sports journalism is mourning the loss of one of its legends. Don Shane, a former sports director at WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) and one of the most recognizable faces in Detroit sports, passed away at the age of 70.
A Career that Inspired Many
Shane’s impact on sports journalism was immeasurable. He covered nearly every major sports event in Michigan, from the NBA Finals to the Stanley Cup Final to Rose Bowls, Final Fours, and even top boxing attractions featuring local fighters. But his coverage went beyond just the scores and statistics. His masterful prose told the hidden stories of the athletes and what made watching these games such a magical experience.
Hall of Fame Career Highlights
Shane’s career highlights included hosting “Big Ten Ticket,” a college football pregame show with former Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler. He distinguished himself with his “Dare Don” segments and episodes in the 1990s, where he would answer challenges sent in by viewers, whether it be taking a hit in full football pads from Chris Spielman or even sporting a toupee for a sportscast.
Shane’s Unique Ability to Connect
I remember the first time I met Don Shane briefly when I was in college. It was 2008, and he was being inducted into the Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation Hall of Fame. On a night where there were several impressive award winners in the building, Don Shane’s speech stood out to me. Not the actual information he was sharing, which was certainly thoughtful and inspirational. But it was how he spoke and shared the words with the audience. His storytelling ability was as smooth as he was sharp.
Shane had an aura around him that made people feel good. And, maybe most importantly for a journalist, they learned something. His gift for storytelling and his willingness to take risks made him an excellent role model for those pursuing a career in sports journalism.
Although he retired in 2012 and moved to Arizona, Don Shane’s contributions to sports journalism will never be forgotten. His exuberant personality, gift for storytelling, and willingness to take risks will always inspire a new generation of journalists.
We extend our deepest condolences to Don Shane’s family and friends, as well as his countless fans who are mourning his loss. Shane’s contributions to sports journalism will always be remembered, and his legacy will continue to inspire generations of sports journalists to come.
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