Two weeks ago, it was decreed by the sports editor that The Minot Daily News would be running more columns.
The idea was to get a better voice from the staff, helping create a little stronger relationship with the readers and offer some opinion. Each writer is going to do one each week, appearing in the Thursday edition of the News and the sports editor is to contribute his on Monday's paper.
So far, the writing staff has kept up with the bargain. The editor - not so much.
By the way, I'm the editor.
What makes column writing so difficult is a fine line between ranting and raving about something and having a solid piece of copy that makes a point. It is easy to rant and rave, but there are always ramifications to just complaining.
I could go on and on about how I can't stand TV timeouts during sporting events. How they kill the momentum of any game, give awkward pauses that neither team seems to know what to do with and how they are always referred to as media timeouts. They aren't. The newspaper didn't ask for them. Unless a timeout gives someone time to go to the bathroom, stop at the concessions or finish a story, they're are useless.
But I don't want to upset the folks at KMOT and hear about it at Press Pass on Wednesday.
I could go on and on about how impressive Minot High School's Josh Oothoudt has been. How he breezed through a match so fast that a tardy photographer didn't get to the Cameron Indoor Tennis Center in time to shoot a photo. How he seems so calm on the court, but when it is time to hit the ball, that calmness is shattered with a quick swat of a racket.
But I don't want to have to deal with anyone who feels slighted about having a story done on one person and not the others.
I might blabber on about how much fun it was to see the stands nearly full at Herb Parker Stadium Saturday, sporting all that red for the Beavers homecoming win. I could even go so far as to mention that one of my favorite sights on the day was seeing one of Nick Banks' family members in the oversized No. 1 jersey reading "Tank Banks" on the back. Great nickname, by the way.
But, there is the whole picking on large people subject and I just don't want to get labeled as a "largist."
The topic of homecomings might make a great column as I would explore the reasons why Minot High and Minot State chose to have their respective homecomings on the same weekend. How the two-on-the-same-weekend worked for some and not for others.
But I don't want to rattle any cages at either school.
We could expand the coverage and drop cliches like Separation Saturday or Super Bad Saturday or Something Saturday to explain the total meltdown in college football this week. How with teams dropping like flies and no one knowing who is really No. 1 adds to the age-old argument that the highest level of college football needs a playoff system just like every other level from Pop Warner to the NFL.
But there will be traditionalists who like the bowls and school presidents who like the dollars and make those powerful presidents mad is dangerous.
I could even move on to the professional ranks and rant and rave about the messed up American League Central. How the Twins probably don't deserve to win the Central if they can't take 2-of-3 games against the Royals. Or how everybody needs to send some sort of incentive to the Tigers to not roll over and die so we don't have to listen to Ozzie Guillen yap about something idiotic.
But diehard Twins fans will hammer the first half and Guillen probably Googles his own name nightly to make sure no one is writing bad things about him.
Or last, I could go on and on and really on about the Vikings woes to start the season. How ... Actually, I am not sure anyone would care about that at this point.
Oops, that will certainly get someone up in arms.
Well, it is apparent that the best course of action is to just write nothing at all.
(Michael Linnell is the Sports Editor for The Minot Daily News. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com)