This is where the sports are…umm, sports is?
Published 9:14 am Wednesday, September 3, 2003
By by Connie Nowlin
I have never been a sports fan, unless you count rodeo. I had always thought that sports writers were, well, different. They get to use puns in the headline and they run around locker rooms and on sidelines, writing a little here and there as they go.
I got my first little taste of writing sports these last few days, and it is one of the hardest things I have ever covered.
First off, I am a rookie, and my learning curve has left a lot to be desired. I don't know the rules and I don't know what the heck is going on out there between the hash marks. ( I am not quite sure what that means, but I understand it will work in this application.)
Chad Lashley, the coach over at Northview High School, has done as much as he can to teach me about football. He spent several hours with me, explaining with X's and O's on the board that this is a guard and this is a tackle, and his job is this.
Some of it stuck. What I know about football is all from him.
And there is no sympathy in this office for my ineptitude. Brian Giles goes stark raving mad when anyone mentions football, especially Alabama football. We won't even discuss what happens when Bear Bryant is mentioned, except to say Giles' eyes glaze over and he begins to hum a mantra of sorts.
Tammy Graham is almost as bad, since she grew up in Buffalo and football is in her blood.
She may not know all the plays and the names of the positions, but she has an innate love of and feeling for the game that a person is either born with or lives their whole lives without. It does not hurt things any that her son is a huge kid who plays for Escambia High School and whose job it is to tackle other people's kids. It adds to her enthusiasm.
The lack of footballitis cannot be written off as being something a girl does not have. Look at Robin Roberts, the news anchor on Good Morning America.
She knows and obviously loves football, all sports, in fact. She tosses around terms like 'two point conversion' the way other people talk about doing laundry.
But I am committed to trying, to learning as much as I can so that I can cover the games hereabouts.
That means I will be spending some Friday nights walking up and down the sidelines, and some afternoons phoning coaches and asking silly questions.
So try and be patient with me while I learn. I'll spell your son's name correctly when he is the home run leader.
Connie Nowlin is managing editor of the Atmore Advance and may be reached at 368-2123 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org