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The Denver Post
The Denver Post
Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Paige, Jr. is a sports columnist for The Denver Post, author, and a regular panelist on the ESPN sports-talk program Around the Horn. He was also a co-host of Cold Pizza and its spin-off show 1st and 10 until November 4, 2006, when it was announced that Paige would return to the Post. Paige is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee and is a Baseball Hall of Fame voter.
Paige attended the University of Tennessee and joined Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity in 1964. After leaving UT, he began his career with the Whitehaven Press in 1963, and went on to write for the Knoxville Journal, The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, and the Rocky Mountain News of Denver.
Paige joined the Denver Post in 1981. As of 2007, he writes four columns per week.
In 2001 there was a controversy over one of Paige's articles. He reported that an employee at Invesco, which had the naming rights to the Denver Broncos stadium, Invesco Field at Mile High, claimed that the nickname for the stadium inside the company was "The Diaphragm," after its shape (which slightly resembles a contraceptive device with the same name). The CEO of the company threatened Paige and the Post with legal action over the allegations, but had to retract the lawsuit when it was discovered that the story was true.
After the suicide of Denver Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley in 2010, Paige wrote a column in the Post where he detailed his attempt to take his own life in 2002, and the intervention that prevented it.
As a panelist on Around The Horn, Paige is well known for his goofy opening jokes, including a blackboard behind him on which he writes intentionally silly comments. He had a bantering relationship and friendly rivalry with Jay Mariotti. The two have appeared in and won the most episodes of Around The Horn. Paige has won the most consecutive shows (five) as well as 404 wins as of April 6, 2012. For April Fool's Day 2009, the show began with Paige pretending to subdue Reali with fake chloroform and taking over as host as the show, with Reali taking his place as a panelist. He proceeded to award and deduct points erratically, and at the end of the first cut announced that the panelist with the most points would be cut. The showdown ended up being with Reali and Mariotti, and Woody surprisingly awarding the win to Mariotti after the two ended with -3 points in the showdown. However, Woody quickly muted Mariotti's "face time" speech and proceeded to talk to himself.
On September 8, 2009, Paige won his 300th show, becoming the first panelist to reach 300 victories.
For Halloween 2009, Paige dressed as the Wicked Witch of the West, and won the show. After his "face time," he slouched out of his chair (and out of view of the camera) while announcing that he was "melting!"
On January 9, 2012, Woody scored 71 points which is the most points for any panelist to date. In addition, Paige scored 15 points in the Showdown.
On February 8, 2012, Woody became the first to reach 400 wins. His win total stands at 468, the most of all time, as of March 25, 2014.
In July 2004, Paige announced that he was taking a one-year leave from the Post to join ESPN2's then-debuting Cold Pizza (originally conceptualized as a daytime-TV "morning show"-style program that was only loosely grounded in sports, intended to attract female viewers alienated by SportsCenter's heavy sports- and "guy"-centered focus). On the show, he was featured in the 1st and 10 segment, where he lightheartedly debated sports writer Skip Bayless on ten sports-related topics. Paige continued to contribute to Around the Horn during this time, and debuted his blackboard gags while he was in New York.
In his farewell appearance on Cold Pizza, which aired November 28, 2006, Paige cited declining health in his family as a reason for leaving the show, and New York City, to return to Denver.