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Greg Johns - Veteran Sports Columnist

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We continue our tribute to the Seattle PI sports writers who have been covering Washington Husky sports with Greg Johns who has been covering Seattle area sports for over twenty years.
I have been reading Greg since he was the lead sports columnist over at the old Bellevue Journal-American. That paper morphed into something called the King County Journal and died of natural causes in January of 2007 following a Canadian takeover of the chain it was part of.

If you are the type of sports addict who regularly reads all the regional sports sections on the Internet each day Johns was probably one of your favorite columnists. Chris Fetters of Dawgman is a big fan and felt he was one of the best in the Northwest.

The thing I liked about Johns at the old Journal American was he wasn't above taking risks and airing his own opinions. A great example of that was an article he wrote about Steve Largent doing a commercial for the NRA. He let us know he wasn't a big fan of guns or the NRA. Kind of a bold stance to take in conservative Bellevue with a local favorite son like Largent. I imagine that column picked up more than a few phone calls to the editor.

I can't find an archive of King County Journal articles which is a shame because in ten years at that paper he wrote some gems. When the Journal closed he landed over at the Seattle PI and has been performing a variety of writing assignments ever since then.

The last feature article that Greg Johns wrote for the PI was on UW Athletic Director Scott Woodward. He took the interesting angle of interviewing political strategist James Carville who is a life long friend of Woodward for insight on this piece. This article was a gem and shows the outstanding talent  and unique style Johns has developed as a journalist.

"He's just always been a natural leader and hard worker," said Carville, now teaching at Tulane University in New Orleans. "I'm not surprised he's done as well as he has. You can't work around the Louisiana Legis- lature and not have a good understanding of people and how to get stuff done."

Woodward's relationship with Carville is revealing. He has Carville's number on speed dial, their long-held friendship dating to when Woodward was born.

"His daddy was my dentist," Carville said. "Our families were very close and always hanging out together. He was almost like my nephew more than anything."

He wrote a touching article on "A little guy with a big heart" last month. The story was about Kyle Roger who passed away early in February and was befriended by Husky QB Jake Locker during his illness.

Eight-year-old boys should never die. They should be forever running, chasing, playing, laughing.

They should be doing everything Kyle Roger did every day of his life, until the cancer in his brain finally overcame the spirit that pushed him to the very end Saturday morning.

As you can tell from this too short sampling of his writing Greg Johns possesses a unique style and has stood out among his peers for the last twenty years of covering sports in the Seattle area.

Like so many at the Seattle Post Intelligencer his unique voice will be silenced in a couple of weeks and that is bad news for local sports fans. Greg has already survived the closing of one newspaper perhaps he will pop up somewhere else in the Puget Sound area.