If I were to graph the annual enthusiasm levels related to my job, it would always show a drop after state track.
The drop is because I always fear that I'll have nothing to cover for the three months known as summer.
I like to have my planner (OK, I'm pretending I have a planner for this column) full of events like: Tuesday -- girls soccer 4:30 p.m., baseball 6 p.m.; Wednesday -- polar bear wrestling 3 p.m., trap shooting 5:30 p.m.; Thursday -- girls soccer 4:30 p.m., track interview 5 p.m. I threw in polar bear wrestling to keep you interested, but if that's all you remember you missed the point. What I'm saying is that I like to have my (imaginary) planner all lined up with activities.
Isn't that the way Americans are supposed to work?
We have our planners chalked full of activities all the time. We even have to pencil in things such as "family time" or "dinner."
The way most of us work is that we feel secure if we have everything all lined up in a row.
The only group of people who don't thrive on having a schedule are scientifically classified as skiimus continuisis. In laymen's terms that's "ski bums."
During the school year I feel like I always have things lined up.
I always know what I'm going to cover at least a week ahead of time.
When the summer comes I panic.
At times my schedule is so empty I want to tie a cinder block to my feet and jump in the wave pool. At least that way I could write about how well trained the lifeguards are.
Are you following me here?
When my planner is empty, it's in my head that nothing goes on in the summer.
Then a week like this one comes along, reminding me that the summer of a sports writer isn't all that bad.
It's times like the couple of hours I spent at the golf course taking pictures of youngsters toting around golf bags that make the summer more than just bearable.
In the summer, my stories are chalked full of quotes from little ones who have yet to grasp the "win or else" mentality. Their quotes are more cute and cuddly than raw, unbridled or intense. (I had to make fun of those ads sometime).
My panic attack after track is quelled when I talk to little guys such as 7-year-old Riley O'Leary, who played soccer and golf Thursday morning and, if it weren't for rain, would have played baseball in the evening.
If I just followed him around for a day, I'd have to ask for an extra sports page.
The summer is the opportunity for so many other activities to make the news. I would guess it's a refreshing break for readers to have something other than the Bulldogs on the sports page.
I'll admit that some days at 3 or 4 in the afternoon I fear I'm going to have to line up two snails and write about the race. But it almost never fails that some group of cyclists ride into the office on the way to New York. My first summer we even had a guy in a lawn mower stop by the office. He was riding across the country, as well.
So if you see me cheering on a couple of snails this summer, please, please gather up your friends and organize a bike ride to Maybell or start floating the Yampa and give me a call.
My planner, which I don't have, needs you.