Irv Moss became an institution for Colorado sports reporting during a 60-year reporting career with The Denver Post, but even legends sometimes need help navigating the Twitter-verse.
That’s where current Denver Press Club President Dan Petty came in. Moss was introduced to Twitter in March 2012 and often had to ask Petty — who was then working in the sports department at The Post — for his help.
“I loved that about him,” Petty said of his years working alongside Moss. “Even after 60 years, he wanted to make sure that he was tweeting correctly.”
Petty’s story was one of many that friends, family, readers and former co-workers told during a gathering at the Press Club on Friday night to remember Moss, who died Jan. 8 at the age of 85. Moss is survived by his wife Barbara, and two children: Andy Moss and Karen Mitsch.
Moss, who was inducted in the Press Club Hall of Fame in 2017, began his tenure with The Post as a copy boy in 1953 and eventually covered a wide range of Colorado sports. He began his reporting career covering dog racing, high school sports and city-league softball. He went on to write about Air Force Academy football and the Colorado Rockies once the team came to Denver in 1993.
In addition to his time as a reporter at The Post, he also actively fought for newspaper workers’ rights with the Denver Newspaper Guild, worked as a press aide for the U.S. Olympic Committee and served as president of The Denver Press Club from 1982 to 1983.
Michael Klahr, co-host for the ESPN Denver sports radio show “Klahr and Kompany,” would often see Moss at games. Klahr saw him as a “chronicler” of all things Denver sports, and said his death was an immeasurable loss of “that classic newspaper guy.”
“He was always nice to me, and there aren’t that many people in media who are,” Klahr said. “Every press box you went into, everywhere you went, there was Irv, and I will miss that.”
His well-earned reputation as a bulldog reporter with “steely skin” was not overlooked at Friday’s event, but — more often than not — attendees reminisced about memorable times with one of their best friends.
“He’d hardly say a word if you looked back at it, but everybody loved him,” said Gary Sever, a long-time friend and sports-media colleague. “He had friends for decades.”
One such friend was Kristie Denbrock.
“I have 36 years of crazy Irv stories,” Denbrock said. “Most of them I’ll probably never tell.”
Their friendship began when Denbrock ran away from her farm home in Michigan at the age of 20 and landed a job as an editorial assistant with the sports department of The Denver Post. Despite being in his 50s when he first met her, Moss immediately connected with Denbrock and made sure she had a friend in her new city.
“Every life event, I shared with Irv,” Denbrock said. “He took me for my first legal drink when I turned 21 right here [at the Club.]”
Moss even went so far as to make sure she always had a Valentine. When she first arrived in Denver, Denbrock said she really only knew the 30 other male sports writers with her at The Post. He surprised her with “the cutest little tiny, half-dead flowers” when the first Valentine’s Day in her new city rolled around.
“He put them on my desk and he says, ‘You need to have something for Valentine’s,'” Denbrock said. “He did that year after year after year after year. Even when I went back to Michigan in 2000 to take care of my parents … he still called me and sent me things for Valentine’s even if it was a card.”
Moss and Denbrock spent a lot of time together as their friendship grew. They often went out for Italian food on Thursday and Sunday nights. He always wanted to treat her like a gentleman, but Denbrock noticed a beautiful evolution of roles as Moss got older.
“It was so cute because in the early days he would always hold me by the elbow, walk me to the car, pull out my chair, sit me down,” Denbrock said. “Well, in the last few months, I walked him to the car, sat him down, put him in the chair.”
Warren Weyrick, a cousin of Moss’s, reconnected with Moss toward the end of his life. Moss called him because he wanted to spend time with him — and Weyrick could not have been more grateful.
“If you get him in the right place, and he’s in the right mood, he was a great guy to talk with,” Weyrick said. “Not many words, but a lot of good advice if you needed it, a lot of commitment to what he believed in and just a great guy.”
Sever, the longtime family friend, was there for Irv as he fought against esophageal cancer.
“I swear I can’t believe that he’s gone,” Sever said. “We’re doing this tonight because, even at the end, the reporter in him was still asking questions.
“Certainly, he will be missed and I miss the phone calls, I miss the dinners and I miss you, Irv. You’re the best, and we’ll stay in touch, Irv.”
Petty said that when he sat down with Irv to create his Twitter handle in 2012, no one else had yet claimed the @IrvMoss name. It was poetic, in a way.
“There was only one Irv Moss, and there will only ever be one Irv Moss,” Petty said.