Saturday, June 18, 2005

(no subject)


Byline:    Max DelSignore
Times Sportswriter

It's been eight months since Bob Cowser's memoir, "Dream Season," chronicling a year with the Watertown Red and Black, was published. Now he's attracted the attention of a major sports publication.
A photographer from Sports Illustrated visited the St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers practice on June 7 to take a team photo for an upcoming magazine photo essay centered on athletes who play "for the love of the game," which will be published in the fall.

The magazine did a full-page review of Cowser's book last November and contacted him once the photo-essay project was under way.

"They remembered reviewing my book ..." Cowser said. "They wanted to pick guys driven by sports."

After playing for the Red and Black in 2001, Cowser, now playing for the Trailblazers, wanted the book to bring attention to an overlooked Empire Football League.

"There's some great players and coaches in this league who've been involved with the sport for years," Cowser said. "These guys play practically in obscurity. It's an arduous schedule with a lot of traveling. I wanted to celebrate the commitment of these guys because people across the country don't know about it."

"It's exciting for Bobby and especially for the league," said Trailblazers head coach Mike Britton. "All of these guys play because they love football. It's a complete lift for the league."

Red and Black head coach George Ashcraft agreed that the recognition is a positive.

"It's nice to be recognized by any major publication," Ashcraft said. "Bob's making great leaps with what he's done. It's great for semipro football and the Trailblazers."

Cowser, a Canton resident, said all of the players were excited about the photo opportunity. Each player attending practice took home a Polariod of the team photo.

"We were all on cloud nine," Britton said.

The night of the shoot was important to Cowser in another fashion. Upon taking the photo, he decided that he would play his fifth season in the EFL, the fourth with the Trailblazers, who play a preseason game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday against Glove Cities at Sandstoner Park in Potsdam.

"I wasn't sure at first," Cowser said. "But once I got back into my pads and took the photo with the guys, I wanted to return and play again."

As far as what position he'll play, Cowser doesn't have a preference.

"I played mostly defensive end, but I may play offensive guard," Cowser said. "Who knows though. We'll see where coach (Britton) wants me."

While Cowser doesn't plan on writing another sports book, he is in the early stages of writing his next book.

"It's a true crime piece about a murder and execution that takes place in Tennessee in 1979," said Cowser. "I'm just getting started conducting interviews. It's going to take several years of work to finish."

The paperback edition of "Dream Season" will be released in November.

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