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Racing Around: Collar part of paper’s history

November 6, 2012
By JAMES A. ELLIS ( , The Leader Herald

In my two decades of covering local sports for The Leader-Herald, I have worked with many reporters and editors.

Each one brought a different style and personality to the sports department, and I always tried to adopt something from each of them.

From Mike Collar, I adopted his trait to keep the coverage positive.

Sometimes you have to write from a negative point, it cannot be helped, but weigh each situation to its relevance to the game.

Mike died last Monday at the age of 62, and though he had not been associated with The Leader-Herald for more than 10 years, I often was asked, "How's Mike doing?"

That is the kind of impact he left on the coaches and players during his time as a reporter or editor at the Leader and at the Recorder in?Amsterdam.

During his career, he received a United Press International Award and a Sports Coverage Award of Excellence and First Place Distinguished Sports Coverage from the New York Newspaper Publishers Association.

His efforts were recognized locally by the Glove Cities Colonials semi-pro football team, which saluted "Scoop" (their nickname for him) for his efforts on the sidelines as a reporter by inducting him into their hall of fame as a non-player.

Mike also served the youth of the area by being involved in a sport that he said was his favorite, baseball.

He umpired many games at Parkhurst Field and served as adviser on the Gloversville Little League Board of Directors.

Mike and I also shared another angle on local sports as our kids grew up together and often played on the same youth traveling teams and were teammates throughout their high school careers.

Obviously, this led to some difficult decisions when it came to game coverage as he had to decide whether to go watch his children, Lindsay and Chris, play or go watch someone else's kids play as a sports reporter.

Often it was the latter.

Sometimes it also led to tough decisions in laying out the sports pages when a photo would feature one of our kids and it often would be passed over in favor of another player, or a performance deserved a headline but was changed because he did not want to show bias.

Even after his time at the Leader, Mike continued to stay in touch with his local sporting roots and was often greeted warmly by the local coaches when their paths crossed.

Though Mike fell on some hard times over the past decade, he kept moving forward with his passion for sports by landing reporting positions with The Recorder in Amsterdam, the Post Star in Glens Falls and the Daily Gazette, where he worked at the time of his death.

A memorial service will be conducted in Mike's honor Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Gloversville Funeral Home.

Rest in peace, Mike.



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