Over the more than 45 years of covering and writing sports, a common question that sometimes aries in the form of a complaint has been: “What about us? Our school, our sport is important too. Our athletes work hard and deserve recognition.”
While the grind of a daily publication sometimes won’t allow for honoring such requests, unless extremely newsworthy.
Now a weekly publication, such as the Spirit of Jefferson...well, that’s a little different.
For those of us who can remember this, the late Paul Harvey, a syndicated radio news reporter, columnist and commentator on just about every subject, featured a special daily radio program which went deep, past the headlines, on lots of subjects. It was called: “The Rest of the Story.”
That’s the direction I would like to take this sports section as it continues to grow over time.
I’m going to be the one reaching out to you for different, sports-related, story ideas. You’re still going to see featured coverage on different athletic events each week, as well as submitted items for our local sports roundup, but I’d like to take it a little bit farther.
So far, it’s been a slow response, not totally unexpected. Now, I’m not calling anyone out on this. Not by a longshot.
You might say, instead of : “What about us?”...it’s more like: “What about you?”
I’d love to get story ideas from all of the sports, from the high school right down to the youth sports levels. The little behind-the-scenes thing, those human interest kind of things that are out there in the sports world.
Even the most insignificant thing would be given full consideration. Sports goes far beyond the wins and losses. They’re stories about life, about people.
There are many examples out there, but here’s one that sticks out in my mind.
Some time ago, I was covering a state high school indoor track and field championship. One team featured a young athlete, small in size, but, nevertheless, a dedicated athlete.
He was highly-competitive, but it was obvious he wasn’t going to medal in the event. He was a slow runner, entered in a slow heat of the 3,200-meter run.
He ran behind the pack and was actually lapped by some of the faster runners. Nevertheless, he pressed on, lap after lap, winning the hearts of those at the meet who admired his dedication, wanting to see his race out to the end.
When he crossed the finish line, he got a standing ovation. His coaches always his praised his efforts, his desire to get better.
I want to hear about all the athletes, from those looked at by college coaches as potential athletic scholarship candidates, right down to the underdogs. Everyone loves to root for the underdog, including me.
Please email me your ideas at email@example.com, so I can find what Paul Harvey found, that localized version of “The Rest of the Story.”