Fridays’ ‘Stump on Sports’ will be missed
Stump Martin left us back in May, and I kind of knew then that the loss would be felt for much longer than the few days following his funeral. Now that fall Friday nights are here, it’s hard to imagine not having Stump and his cable-access show, “Stump on Sports,” to keep us up-to-date, but the show is no more.
Stump’s wife, Deb, announced on Facebook a few days ago that the show will not return. Taking its place is “Friday Night Sports” with Eddie Upshaw from 11 p.m. to midnight on UCTV in North Georgia and online at uctv265.com.
I first met Marvin “Stump” Martin in 1968 when my family moved from LaFayette, Indiana, to Mountain View, Georgia. We lived two houses down from the Martins on Greenhill Drive for two years. I was 5 and he was 15, so we didn’t interact a whole lot, but he made a lasting impression. I didn’t see him at all after we moved to Brainerd in 1970 until 20 years later when he started working here at the paper in the Sports department.
I say all of that only to point out that I knew him for a long time. But what is on my mind today is that the local youth sports world has a pretty big hole in it right now. Especially the young people. For 36 years, Stump, Deb and a cast of characters including his brother, Michael “Chig” Martin, Ron “Red Zone” Hall, Rusty Parkhill, Scott Herpst and Rob Covington covered the local high-school sports scene on “Stump on Sports.”
In many ways, it Barry Courter was cable television at its small-time best. It was silly sometimes and downright goofy or cringe-worthy at others, but it could also be poignant, powerful, timely, newsy and just plain fun to watch.
It was something Stump took very seriously because he knew how much it meant to the kids who got to be on TV and to their parents who got to watch them. From cheerleader challenges to post-game interviews to the in-studio ones, it was all about highlighting young athletes.
Stump understood that learning how to handle yourself in such a public forum was as much a part of the development of young people as learning to hit a curveball with two outs and your team down one.
He loved watching young boys and girls grow into young men and women through sports. Few people have done more in this area to not only help them, but to put them on a big stage for all to see. Thanks to all who put so much time and effort into making the show for all of those years.