Wednesday, December 11, 2013

You can't take the sports out of the writer

SO FRIDAY NIGHT I am doing something I haven't done in 15 years - I am going to a high school basketball game and writing a story about it.

Matt Schuckman is the sports editor at The Quincy Herald-Whig. He lost his two young full-time staffers at the same time and is scrambling to do an already impossible job. When I heard he was shorthanded, I offered to help.

I spent 10 years in sports. The last 2 1/2 were at The Whig. It wasn't the best of experiences, mostly due to my own shortcomings, but I prefer to remember the good things about it. I haven't covered a game since January of 1999.

You know what I really miss about sports? Going to the game. And I mean, walking into the gym and seeing the court and the lights and smelling the popcorn. In the fall, I loved driving in the fading Friday night light and seeing the football stadium or field ahead.

I hope I remember how to do this. As former Quincy University point guard and assistant coach Jay Driscoll so eloquently put it, "It's just like falling off a bike."

I've got it easy. The gym is four blocks from my house. I'll write most of the story on a laptop during the game. I will go home and send it to the office by email.

Times sure have changed. But a basket is a basket, approaching a coach after a game to get a quote is still a matter of common sense, and figuring out a storyline shouldn't be hard.

As long as I can get up after falling off the bike, I should be fine.

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