LA Times’ Sam Farmer wins PFWA’s McCann Award

Sam Farmer, now in his 25th year of NFL coverage and his 19th at the Los Angeles Times, has been selected as the 2019 Dick McCann Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America.

Farmer, the 51st McCann Award honoree, is the second member of the LA Times to receive the McCann Award, joining Bob Oates (1974).

The award is given to a reporter who has made a long and distinguished contribution to pro football through coverage. It is named for McCann, the first director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1962-67). McCann was a longtime reporter in New York with several newspapers, the Newspaper Enterprise Association and King Features Syndicate. After a stint in the Navy in World War II, he was a sports columnist for the Washington Times-Herald in 1945. A year later, he joined the Washington Redskins as publicity director and was the club’s general manager from 1947-62 before taking the job with the Hall of Fame before its 1963 opening.

Farmer has been his newspaper’s NFL columnist since 2000, and for the first 16 years he covered the league without a team in the Los Angeles market. He chronicled the long process of the NFL’s return to the city, culminating in the NFL owners’ approval of the Rams‘ move from St. Louis in 2016.

He was selected as the 2016 California Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, and he won first place in beat writing from the Associated Press Sports Editors in 2016.

Farmer has traveled to Israel with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and 18 Hall of Fame players; climbed Mount Rainier with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell; and piloted the Goodyear blimp on assignments.

“Sam is one of the best storytellers in our business, and he has an imagination second to none among football writers,” said NBC Sports’ Peter King, the 2009 McCann Award winner. “So often I read his stories and say to myself, ‘Wish I’d written that.'”