Check out our sports section.
In recent months, it has taken on a newer look. It’s a little more attractive on the eyes and we are trying to have a little more fun with it.
But the philosophy of how Sports Editor Ken Karrson goes about his business has been the same for decades. Write a lot of stories. Get a lot of names in the paper. Keep it local.
Recently, I heard about the Sun-Times, which had sold its many suburban papers to the Tribune last year, is slashing its high school sports coverage even more than it had in recent months. Minor sports are all but history and it will be interesting to see what the paper does with football and basketball next season.
As a former correspondent for the former Bright One back in the 1980s, it’s a real shame to see that.
Back in the day, Taylor Bell had what seemed like an unlimited budget and an army of us, which were dubbed the Swat Team. I hated that name, by the way.
He had darn near 100 correspondents at his disposal in the heyday. If I wasn’t one of Bell’s top five in the large stable, I was in the top 10. The king of the Swat Team was Bill Fiegel, who was Bell’s go-to guy when it came to important-issue enterprise and controversial stories.
Fiegel now runs his own public relations firm and some of his clients include folks and groups on our area.
Another one of Taylor’s stars was Mike Mulligan who is now a morning personality at WSCR.
There was a lot of talent on that roster and we were let loose just about every day to cover events from the dangerous inner city to rich suburbs to rural communities. I could be at King High School one night and Coal City the next.
Now the “SWAT Team” is the “What Team?”.
Over the years, high school and community sports in most papers have been reduced and, while the internet is absorbing some of the void, there is no real must-see, go-to site for the preps. It’s fractured.
Yes, I know I am sounding like a dinosaur. But after covering prep sports since 1977 and knowing how must passion and interest there is for them, I just can’t put my finger on why over the years ad salespeople have had troubles selling high school sports sections and pages.
One of the most popular items in a lot of community papers used to be the football preview section and the common cry across the country is that they are disappearing because ad people couldn’t sell that section.
After watching the disintegration of high school and local college sports coverage in daily and weekly newspapers, in the Chicago I’m happy that we are still able to bring you stories about Shepard’s Nick Martinez, a tennis player who made it to the Illinois High School Association All-Academic team. I’m glad that our top story a couple of weeks ago was about St. Xavier pitcher Nicole Nonnemacher, who struck out all 15 batters in a perfect game.
It’s great the Anthony Nasella can write miles of copy on some of the minor sports when other papers have given up on them.
So, check out our sports section and let’s enjoy this ride while we can.
Post Mother’s Day thoughts
I kind of knew that dads got the shaft when I was younger.
When I was in grade school, the family went to church one Mother’s Day and the priest used up every second of his homily talking about his sainted mother. I thought he was going to fall to his knees and break down bawling.
So when June came around and we went to church on Father’s Day, I was interested to see what the man would have to say. This same priest didn’t mention fathers at all during his homily and at the end of Mass, he said “Happy Fathers Day to all of the dads out there’’ with the same enthusiasm as if he were announcing that coffee and donuts were available in one of the meeting rooms.
Now there is documented evidence dads are duds.
Some group called Visiting Angels surveyed 300 adults and asked that if Mother’s Day and Father’s Day fell on the same day, 78 percent would choose spending the day mom over dad.
I had a hunch us fathers were less popular but not by that much! Murderers and lawyers might have a better popularity than good ol’ pop.
Perhaps us old men should just be grateful just to get a “hello” on June 21.
(Subhead) Partiot games
Now that the NFL filed a reports saying the Patriots cheated with their deflated balls, I am hoping the league will strip the Patriots of their Super Bowl title.
Then quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick can blame the Evergreen Park Athletic Association.