Press Box Access

A Front-Row Seat with the Sportswriters Who Sat There

Sit down with host Todd Jones and other sportswriters who knew the greatest athletes and coaches, and experienced first-hand some of the biggest sports moments in the past 50 years. They’ll share stories behind the stories -- some they’ve only told to each other.

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Latest Episode

Bill Koch: “Well, There’s My Second Source.”

Bill Koch knows Cincinnati sports as well as any journalist after covering his hometown for more than 40 years. He goes deep into his story vault about Hall of Fame coach Bob Huggins, the subject of Bill’s new book. Hear about the time they played each other in basketball, what Huggins was like to cover as a daily beat reporter, and why players have such strong allegiance to their former coach. Oh, and Bill tells the classic DMFHF story. He recalls chronicling University of Cincinnati moments such as the 1992 Final Four, Kenyon Martin’s broken leg, and the No Handshake Game against Xavier. Bill also recounts being outside the courthouse in Los Angeles when the O.J. Simpson verdict came down, talking hair (or lack of) with Andre Agassi, and interviewing the reclusive Sandy Koufax one-on-one. Hear about a good screaming match between writers on the night that Pete Rose set baseball’s record for career hits. Scribe battles are the best. And there’s the time Marty Brennaman had a question for Bill the young reporter.

Koch is the author of five books, the latest out now: “Huggs: Former Players Talk About What it was Like to Play for Hall of Fame Coach Bob Huggins.” Bill covered five Final Fours, two World Series, five baseball All-Star Games, a Super Bowl and the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. He worked at the Cincinnati Post from 1978 to 2001 and served as sports columnist for nearly his last five years there. Bill worked for the Cincinnati Enquirer from 2002 until Dec. 26, 2014, and then wrote for the University of Cincinnati’s sports website for five years until retiring in 2019. His journalism career began in 1976 with stops at the Chillicothe Gazette and at Cincinnati’s Community Press before spending three-plus decades – including 23 years as UC beat reporter on football and basketball – at the Queen City’s two main newspapers.

You can follow Bill on Twitter: @bkoch

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Mark Whicker: “We Turn to Athletes to Reaffirm Who We Are.”

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Our 40th guest on Press Box Access is the esteemed Mark Whicker, one of my all-time favorite writers and people in the sports media business....
Listen to Mark Whicker: “We Turn to Athletes to Reaffirm Who We Are.”

Jerry Tipton – “Every Once in a While, You Feel Like You’re Witnessing History.”

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Jerry Tipton knows where all the bones are buried when it comes to University of Kentucky basketball after covering the Wildcats for 41 years....
Listen to Jerry Tipton – “Every Once in a While, You Feel Like You’re Witnessing History.”

Melissa Isaacson – “Michael Never Saw Us as the Enemy.”

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Melissa Isaacson takes us into old Chicago Stadium, where smoke rose to the ceiling while Michael Jordan soared into history....
Listen to Melissa Isaacson – “Michael Never Saw Us as the Enemy.”

Bud Shaw: “He’s Three Inches from my Face, and his Eyes are Bulging.”

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Take a spin around the Cleveland sports scene with Bud Shaw, who spent nearly 27 years there as a columnist with a keen and irreverent eye....
Listen to Bud Shaw: “He’s Three Inches from my Face, and his Eyes are Bulging.”

The Team

Todd Jones

Host
Todd Jones is senior writer for the Ohio State Alumni Magazine and host of the Ohio State University podcast, One Degree Greater.

Bill Huffman

Producer
A veteran podcast host and journalists with a penchant for true crime and breaking news.