Gene Harrington, a longtime sports radio fixture covering myriad Minnesota events over the years, died Tuesday at age 86. He was an exceedingly nice man — and a guy who was never afraid to ask the first question at a news conference, no matter the circumstance.
The best Gene story: In what I believe was the first Vikings media access session after the Love Boat Scandal in 2005 — yes, that was almost 10 years ago now, happening during the Vikings’ bye week that season before playing Chicago — Gene led off with this question for Daunte Culpepper: “Do you want to talk about the Bears or the Boat?”
Daunte chose the Bears.
It was a classic moment, and a slice of Harrington that shows why so many members of the local media and local teams had tributes to him on Twitter on Wednesday after his obituary appeared. Here are some of the best tributes and a link to Jim Souhan’s 2011 column on Harrington (who also has ties to Vince Lombardi’s Packers):
Very sorry to hear about Gene Harrington. Lots of pregame chats during my first few years w/ Vikings. Good man. http://t.co/mKsr0jPROM
— Jeff Anderson (@andersonj) August 5, 2015
Everyone in our business has someone that really helps them out along the way. To me that was Gene Harrington. I’ll miss that guy. RIP Geno.
— Jacob Blaeser (@J_Blaze15) August 5, 2015
One of the nicest men I met while working in baseball was Gene Harrington. Always had a smile on his face. RIP, Gene. http://t.co/8pyEAPzSKH
— Kelly ThesierSchultz (@KThesierLPGA) August 5, 2015
Sorry to hear of the passing of Gene Harrington – one of the nicest media members in town. Our condolences to his family.
— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) August 5, 2015
So sad to hear Gene Harrington – a fixture in Twin Cities media/locker rooms – died. Such a nice man, I think KG even kinda liked him
— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) August 5, 2015