I was saddened to hear of the passing of Larry Felser. I was aware that Larry was in poor health, but still, to hear the news was a shock.

I have known Larry Felser since 1983 and was a reader of his column long before that. Larry was great friends with my former boss Rick Azar at Ch 7 and more than once took a young TV reporter under his wing on the road.

When I was at the Empire Sports Network I hired Larry to do regular appearances and made him part of the program “Pros & Cons” with Ed Kilgore and Art Wander. Larry was respected throughout the NFL and in the newspaper world, landing him as a regular on Empire Sports brought great credibility to the Network.

I had the honor of serving as Master of Ceremonies for Larry retirement party, attended by Ralph Wilson no less. I was also the MC at the 2000 Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame when Larry was inducted by another great colleague of his, Jim Kelley. Those were great nights for a great guy and honors he richly deserved.

Ralph Wilson expressed his respect in this quote released by the Buffalo Bills:

“I am deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing of Larry Felser. Larry was there at the beginning of the American Football League and along with fellow reporters such as Will McDonough and others, played an important role in the growth of our league. He was the consummate professional—tough, but fair, and never one to shy away from clearly stating his opinion. I had tremendous respect for Larry and we developed a deep friendship that lasted throughout our lifetimes. We shared some great laughs over the years and that’s what I am remembering most today about Larry. I will truly miss him. My deepest sympathies and condolences go out to his lovely wife, Beverly, and their family.”

Larry Felser was also close pals with Al Davis, Pete Rosell, OJ Simpson, Joe Namath and countless other big names in the NFL. Larry earned their respect and admiration not because he bought them meals on the road, but because he was a master at his craft, a superb writer and journalist. If Larry Felser wrote it, you could take it to the bank.

One of Larry’s greatest joys was his wife of 47 years, Beverly. Larry always and I mean always told Beverly stories. I know she lost her best friend when Larry joined the angels.

Larry’s passing marks the end of an era in western New York and throughout the world of sports. I consider it a privilege to have been in the company of a giant in his profession, the late, great Larry Felser.

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