George Riba looks back at his 37-year TV career

Veteran WFAA sports reporter George Riba condenses almost four decades of his career into three minutes.

DALLAS — When I first started in TV news, we shot lots of film. We didn't have live capabilities or digital video.

There was no Internet, and certainly no social media.

Yes there was color TV, but beyond that, we shot 16 millimeter film.

After film came ¾-inch tape cassettes. From that, we went to half-inch tape and now we use 64 gigabyte memory cards that hold up to three-and-half hours of high definition video.

Live capabilities didn't arrive until Sony unveiled the single tube cameras in the mid 70s. And, of course, the biggest change came when we went from film to videotape. Now we could go live anywhere we wanted at any time, and as a part-time photographer, the days of shooting the first three innings of a baseball game were gone. Now we could show the last inning.

In 1973, the Texas Rangers were only in their second year of existence in Arlington. Home plate of the original Arlington Stadium is now a parking lot. That's where we saw Nolan Ryan pitch his seventh — and last — no-hitter in 1991.

Now they play at the Ballpark in Arlington, where in 2010, we finally got to the World Series.

Now that was a long time coming.

When I got into this business, the Dallas Cowboys were in their second year at Texas Stadium, better known as the home of the Dallas Cowboys. Today it's a construction site. All of their Super Bowl appearances began here. It's also where Emmitt Smith became the NFL's all-time leading rusher in 2002.

The stadium was demolished in 2010.

Now the Cowboys play at AT&T Stadium, the most glamorous venue of its type anywhere in the world... but so far, there have been no trips to the Super Bowl for the Cowboys. Their stadium did, however, host Super Bowl XLV.

The Mavericks and Stars played at Reunion Arena, which had a shelf life from 1980 until 2009. The Final Four was held here in 1986. It's also where Derek Harper dribbled out the clock in the 1984 Western Conference semifinals. That's a moment Mavericks fans have never forgotten.

Now, of course, the Mavericks play at the American Airlines Center, where the Mavericks celebrated their first NBA title in 2011.

In 1977, the only hockey in Dallas was being played at Fair Park Coliseum, home of the minor league Dallas Blackhawks. The Stars didn't arrive until 1993, winning the Stanley Cup in 1999.

Since I started in TV in 1973, the Texas Rangers have had 20 different managers; the Cowboys have had eight head coaches; the Mavericks have had nine; and the Stars have had seven. Those 44 coaches and managers produced six league championships and two pennants.

That's a lot of titles and a lot of faces in more than 37 years, and it all ends here.

It has been an incredible ride.


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