COLUMN: A sports editor with no sports

Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     I get the question a lot these days. It’s usually some version of: “What are you going to DO?”

     For the first time in a 40-year career of covering high school sports, there are no high school sports for me to cover, for the foreseeable future.

     So far I’m finding ways to at least partially fill a sports section. The MHS boys basketball team’s state tournament appearance carried me for one week.

     As you can see on this page, I took advantage of some beneficial timing by doing a piece on the 50th anniversary of the first girls’ athletic seasons at Monticello High School.

     Next week will be my annual salute to Monticello’s USA volleyball program. The following week, I’m considering a story on former MHS athletes who have had their collegiate seasons shut down.

     After that? We’ll see. Your ideas and suggestions are welcome.

     A sportswriter from long ago once called the sports section “the toy department of the newspaper.” It’s a department I have greatly enjoyed for a long time.

     The scary part is, if I run out of ideas, I might have to actually work for a living.


Social media: better

with or without?

     My wife asked me the question the other day, about whether I think we are better off with social media or without it, during the pandemic that is affecting our nation and the world.

     I had to think about it. There are things I’m not crazy about when it comes to Facebook, which makes up about 95 percent of my social media engagement. If you’re hoping for social media to be your escape from what’s going on, for instance, good luck. The vast majority of posts deal with it in some way. Which is understandable, but it also means I don’t want to stay on it too long.

     But there is good too. Churches are putting their services online, which not only enables people to stay connected, it also gives them the chance to get perspectives from other churches. I listened to sermons from three people Sunday, and there are a couple more I want to catch up on before this week gets too old.

     Also, many people are posting positive comments about ways to keep busy, tips on what places are providing particular goods and services, and more.

     And if I’m being honest, I rarely watch televised news, so any “breaking news” in the world first comes to my attention because someone posted it on – you guessed it – Facebook.

     So from my perspective, we’re better off with it than without it. Not in large doses, though.



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