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A role model departs

Long-time Buffalo sports journalist served as my role model

Whether in the News, or on the wonderful radio shows on stations like WBEN where Felser’s voice – calm, concise, thorough and never condescending – he taught me that one need not be loud, or brash, to have something meaningful to offer.

The credibility Felser carried with Buffalo’s incredibly passionate fan base came from the fact that he was born and raised there, lived his entire life in a place so many others escape from.

As such, he shared, with his readers, the city’s few triumphs and more frequent defeats, reflecting the pure joy that came with the Bills’ four Super Bowl triumphs and the acute pain of those subsequent defeats.

Add to that the respect he earned from players, coaches and executives not just in Buffalo, but around the country, and it was a point of pride having Felser as part of our daily lives. He attended each of the first 35 Super Bowls and was a key figure in Pro Football Hall of Fame votes, too.

And he did all this while maintaining a strong family life with a wife of 47 years, two daughters and four grandchildren. He carried a strong work ethic, too, but it didn’t deter him from keeping his priorities in life exactly where they should be.

In short, he had the job, and the reputation, and the respect of his peers that, as an impressionable child and then as a young man, I wanted more than anything else.

This is what makes Felser’s passing such a dear loss, one that hits harder than others. In so many ways, what I do now is so similar to Felser’s NFL beat, gathering as much information as possible and covering the scene as thoroughly as I can, using multiple media outlets (including radio, of course) to share whatever small gifts I possess.

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