Sports Editor’s Playbook

Patrick Newell

Upon review of the staff members’ blog posts, I noticed that Jeff Genung, with his newly-created “Editor’s Notebook” is rapidly gaining on yours truly’s sum total. Mr. Genung is making a Secretariat type push with his daily summaries, and may supplant Melissa Stagnaro as our top poster within the next few months at this pace.
It was along those lines that I mentioned to my editor that I was going to steal his “notebook” idea, only I’ll change it to a more sports-appropriate moniker: “Sports Editor’s Playbook.”

A review of Oct. 4, 2010 ensues…
Our feed that provides us with national content from the Associated Press was down for the count most of last weekend. I wasn’t worried since I had ample local sports news and photos to fill up the pages, and you may notice that the majority of front page sports news on Mondays is locally-based.

• I have been often asked how I determine what national sports news appears on the pages. With the explosion of Internet news and bloggers, I know that a lot of the information I am considering for publication has already been read, reviewed, and digested by many readers. Still, not everyone browses the web for every sport and every game result. I find it important to give people at least a small piece of as much sports information on as many sports and sports teams as possible. I do have space limits, so it’s impossible to get every piece of sports news into the sports section.

• During football season, one of my duties is to pore through the Football Contest submission, and mark off entries. In the early years, I used to receive between 100 and 150 entries a week. The number of entries has declined a bit in recent years, but it still takes quite a bit of time to check and re-check entries. After a few games, I become like a teacher who can quickly scan down the answer key marking off incorrect answers at break-neck speed. Yesterday was an especially tough week, and I could not believe that 13 right out of 20 was the top entry (eight of them in fact). I was so concerned that I had perhaps missed something, that I triple checked everything. Turns out, 13 was the best effort, and thankfully, through the tiebreaker system, I found a winner. Interesting football contest fact: This year’s contest has produced the first perfect entry in my tenure here, and also the lowest win total for a winner.

• If you stepped outside at any point yesterday, you probably got a little wet. So, too, did all of the sports teams who competed Monday. Some of the descriptive words used by coaches included “soggy, rainy, dreary, muddy, and slow.” At least one coach used just about all of those words.

• I am a member of the Greater Norwich Golf Hall of Fame committee, and we had our final vote last night to induct new members. I cannot release the names as of yet, but two local men received enough votes for induction, and another man is one vote shy of election with two absentee voters yet to submit their selections.

• I left the office around 10:20 p.m. last night after starting my day here at 6:30 a.m. Of course I had some down time in between those hours. No, I do not spend every waking moment covering local sports. True to form, I had one voicemail message waiting for me when I arrived to work on Tuesday (a late, late caller), and you’ll find that sports result in tomorrow’s paper.