I get asked all the time, "Are you coming to the (fill in the blank) game today?"
If it's a high school student who happens to be a varsity player, I'll ask if it is at home or on the road andndash; even if I already know the answer andndash; to help them learn to identify home games with coverage by me as opposed to away games without coverage by me.
If it's a home game then I respond with, "Of course, I'll be there." And we're good.
If it's an away game, then I typically respond with, "No. I'll listen on the radio. I've got to lay out the sports pages and help get the paper ready to go to press."
When it's a parent, things get a little more difficult andndash; and sometimes stickier andndash; especially when the games are junior varsity or local youth sports.
I love sports. I like to watch at all levels, and while it is hard to watch my teams lose, I still enjoy watching.
The problem is that I only have 40 hours a week in which to attend games, take pictures, write articles andndash; both sports and non-sports andndash; and design, lay out and produce the sports page or pages.
That means I have to prioritize: varsity sports first, JV sports next, middle school sports; sports features on local athletes and then I have time for local youth sports' programs.
The beauty of this community, though, is that there are people willing to help out. I get bowling news reports for every Wednesday's paper, I get a fish column for every Saturday's paper, and I get big fish pictures from area fishermen who are proud of their catch.
It's too bad that I don't have more room to run every photo that comes my way.
I'd have loved to run photo of a youngster who, after a long battle, caught a monster salmon on the jetty in Gold Beach andndash; I just didn't have the room.
For those who feel I haven't given enough coverage to your particular athlete, I'd ask two questions. The first, what program should I cut coverage on to allow your child time in the spotlight?
Second, what have you done about it? Take some pictures, write up a game report and send it to me. I'd love to get your sport some coverage, but I can't unless you help me help you. If you can make time, I can try to make the room.