The local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists raised more than $10,000 in scholarships for area journalism students.
By Courtney Kaiser
Sporting trench coats and hats, this year’s Gridiron cast began with a parody of Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood,” singing “cause we wrote about bad blood, at times we showed you no love,” and quickly set the tone of the night.
The cast, which performed Sept. 19 in the auditorium of McAllister Fine Arts Center, was composed of volunteers who work in journalism and media. They spoof big stories and local events of the year.
The show consisted of two acts and zero boundaries.
News anchors Randy Beamer and Sarah Lucero served as emcees and had the crowd laughing throughout their opening dialogue.
Skits covered a range of news stories such as open carry and the widely publicized mayoral election, focusing most on Mayor Ivy Taylor and state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte.
Taylor won the mayoral race while Van de Putte received her own victory at the Gridiron show, winning the award for Most Panned Newsmaker of the Year for her continuous time in the spotlight throughout her campaign.
Nora Lopez, metro editor of the San Antonio Express-News, portrayed Van de Putte and participated in many of the skits.
“It’s interesting because she didn’t win so there’s a lot of material,” Lopez said. “I really enjoyed the most playing in Fireball,” a skit where she shimmied across the stage with Taylor’s impersonator, Ashlei King, reporter for WOAI and KABB.
Other highlights of the night included the music video “Uptown Funk” starring Michael Quintanilla and various local political figures.
Quintanilla, a fashion writer with the San Antonio Express-News danced his way through San Antonio in a video with everyone from City Councilman Rey Saldana to Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.
The video even included a group of female judges who dropped their robes in favor of sexy dresses and their most stylish heels.
The show raised more than $10,000 in SPJ scholarships for local journalism students, said Jerry Townsend, treasurer of the San Antonio chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
One skit captured how Texans feel about the Lone Star state with the chant, “This is Texas; you can’t make it better.”
Audience member Melissa P. Aguillon, president and CEO of Aguillon & Associates, said, “It’s great,” she said. “It’s a time when we get to see our local media in a different light, and for them to present the news in a different way.”