Thursday night was an emotional night at Cardinals Stadium as family, friends, former colleagues, and the Cardinals Football Club gathered to honor the late Steve Schoenfeld, with the dedication of the "Steve Schoenfeld Press Box."
Schoenfeld, who covered the "Big Red" and the NFL from 1988 until 2000, when he was killed by a hit-and-run driver. He was best known for being a tough, but fair, reporter and writer as he covered the Cardinals for the Arizona Republic as well as serving as President of the Pro Football Writers Association from 1997-99.
As people stepped off the elevators they were all greeted by an unbelievable site. A special section of the press box was covered by articles that Schoenfeld had written throughout the years showcasing his savvy journalism skills. Many of his colleagues remembered him for not only being a good journalist, but a great role model.
"This whole display is stunning and I think Steve would be humbled by it," stated Kent Somers who worked with Schoenfeld at the Arizona Republic. "He was a great friend to all of us and he moved here because of the Cardinals move in 1988. He set the standard for all of us. He taught us how to cover the NFL and he taught us all how to be a good friend to people."
After opening remarks from Cardinals Vice President and General Counsel Michael Bidwill, Schoenfeld's wife Robin, followed with a very touching speech.
"It is totally overwhelming and I can't thank the Cardinals enough," explained Robin Schoenfeld. "It is quite an honor that they respected Steve so much and the work he did. It is truly amazing."
Also being remembered on Thursday were Bill Denney, Lloyd Herberg and Steve Pascente. Each of these individuals were recognized on a mural near the entrance to the press box.
Denney was considered the "Dean" of Arizona sportscasters. He was a fixture on Valley airwaves for 29 years (10 years with Fox 10, 19 years with Channel 12) until he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in August of 2000.
Herberg was the Cardinals beat writer for the Arizona Republic from the day the team arrived in Arizona in 1988 until his death from cancer in May of 1994.
Pascente, a respected sports reporter/anchor for KPNX-TV in Phoenix for 17 years, was killed in an automobile accident in Washington, D.C. in 1994 while he accompanied the Cardinals to the nation's capital to cover their game against the Redskins.
With the Cardinals finally having their own nest, Vice President and General Counsel Michael Bidwill had no question in his mind that it was the perfect time to honor these great men.
"I think it was important because Steve Schoenfeld was part of the Cardinals culture and he covered us and was important to our fans," explained Bidwill. " When we got our own stadium we could do things like naming the press box and I couldn't think of a more fitting person to name the press box after then Steve Schoenfeld. Also to include the memory of Bill Denney, Lloyd Herberg and Steve Pascente, all four were great guys who died to early in their lives."