"As Sam Sees It" will have one less reader from now on, and Winslow High School athletics will have one less super fan in the stands for their home contests.
Al Graff was at virtually every home sporting event played by Winslow High School teams in recent years. He was in the stands bundled against the cold when this baseball season began in early March. He was there again in late April when heat had become the problem.
If you were searching for a model fan for high school sports, you couldn't do better than Al Graff. A few discussions were all it took to realize that the man knew and understood the game, whether it was football, baseball or basketball.
Al was a partisan in favor of his beloved Bulldogs, no doubt about it. But he was no fanatic. He had respect for the opposition and appreciated their efforts and accomplishments, too. He was, to put it simply, a good sportsman.
Winslow lost one of its finest and most beloved citizens with the passing of Al Graff last week. He and his wife Virginia have been active in many worthy endeavors in the community for longer than most of us can remember.
He was one of those wonderful people who made you feel better by just being around. Most of us took it for granted that he would be there in the stands at every high school game. He will be sorely missed.
The Arizona Republic and The Arizona Daily Sun both ran articles on six Winslow school employees resigning and tied the "news" to the hazing incidents so much in the news recently. A check with school officials revealed that there was no reason to suspect that any of the resignations were related to those incidents. Indeed, the six resignations was said to be a smaller than normal number and most were for reasons that were known and had nothing to do with the incidents.
These incidents were serious matters and deserve to be treated as such by the media. However, linking those happenings to unrelated events and using them as an excuse to repeat ugly allegations one more time is not responsible journalism in my opinion.