Friday, December 28, 2007

'Harold' had passion for football, life

When I covered Clemson for the Anderson Independent-Mail and The (Columbia) State in South Carolina, I could always count on a visit from Dr. Harold Vigodsky when I arrived at the press box before a game.

"Harold," as we called him, kept statistics for the Clemson Tiger Sports Network and just completed his 13th year as the Carolina Panthers’ statistician. Although Dr. Vigodsky crunched numbers at games on Saturdays and Sundays, his interest in football extended beyond the college and pro games.

Dr. Vigodsky, an optometrist who lived in Spartanburg, looked for me every Saturday to bring him up to date on the important high school scores in my area, and we’d talk about high schools, Clemson and the Panthers. Dr. Vigodsky died suddenly Thursday from a virus that led to internal bleeding. He was 62, and his loss will leave heavy hearts among media members and sports information employees throughout the Carolinas.

In a remembrance on Clemson’s official web site, school sports information director Tim Bourret wrote that by the end of his second year with the Panthers Dr. Vigodsky was regarded as one of the top experts on NFL statistics interpretations and was regularly consulted by others for his opinion on how a play should be scored.

Professionally, media types will miss his keen eye for statistical accuracy. Personally, the next time I cover a game at Clemson I will miss talking about football and life with a kind man who had a passion for both.

- Ken Tysiac