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The Sports View

Ever notice how it's easier to sit on the sidelines and complain rather than get in the game?

As a bright-eyed journalism graduate, I entered the field with high hopes that the things I had to write about would make an impact on the local community.

When I was given charge of the sports page for the paper, it seemed like a dream come true. Imagine a job where part of what you are paid to do is be a spectator at a variety of sporting events and then give a review of the game.

I didn't always expect the feedback to be great. I've participated in enough athletic events to know one side of the bleachers is watching a completely different game than the other side.

In fact, some of the negative feedback I have gotten has been the most helpful.

It is the anonymous tips or complaints that I find the least helpful and the most frustrating.

I have received unnamed phone calls accusing me of promoting certain athletes while leaving others out.

I concede. There are always unsung athletes, the steady ones that always get it done, but receive none or not enough attention for their constant contribution to the team.

I have gotten anonymous clippings complaining of my lack of coverage of the younger teams.

I concede. When I began overseeing the sports page, I had to make priorities. It was my experience that the kids who were still around for the high school aged teams were the ones who had truly committed to sports as their activity of choice. Since it is the sports page, I felt they were the ones who deserved the most recognition.

I even received an unsigned letter from an "out of town businessman" who asked me to recognize a local athlete for a pitching job well done.

I want to recognize the local community for their sporting accomplishments. That is a big reason why there is a sports section.

I am happy and eager to have a positive or negative conversation about the direction of the Sun Advocate sports page. After all, it belongs to you as much or more than it belongs to me.

However, I have to put my name on everything that I write here. I identify myself for every phone call I make or return. Furthermore, I feel strongly about my opinions and I am happy to claim them as my own.

As a result, it becomes very difficult for me to consider a sports opinion that does not come with a signature at the bottom.

In the proverbial sports sense, shouldn't everyone have to have their name and number on their jersey so that we can all be on a level playing field and be counted as a player?

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