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I guess it's time to say thank you to manyPosted Friday, June 3, 2011, at 3:32 PM
I have been in this business for quite some time now. Almost 20 years to be exact -- and for the first time in my career I was rewarded with first place honors by the Indiana Associated Press Managing Editors for "Best Sport Columns."
To avoid overlooking, or more importantly, good-natured ribbing from my colleague, friend and boss sports editor B.J. Hargis, he was named as the second place recipient in the same category as well as a third place in deadline sports reporting.
And let's not forget our assistant news editor Nick Schneider, who also brought home a second and third place in feature writing.
My personal congrats to both of them, they are fine writers and good influences on a journalist, young or old.
Before I go any further let me say this, I usually don't like to blow my own horn publicly. I find people that do that are normally obnoxious, self-centered and just a little bit annoying.
And not wanting to be considered any of the above by readers, co-workers, friends or even relatives, I try to keep in mind what one of my instructors in college always told me.
Steve Tipton said one time if you receive a compliment just accept it with the humility that earned it.
Mr. Tipton, I tried to think of that when I was informed a couple of months ago by Chris Pruett that I had been given the honor.
And I will try to keep those words in mind as I muddle my way through another column here today.
The judges comments were "Well-written columns go behind the scenes to give the reader an inside look at what happened."
That has always been my hope and desire as one of those chosen to be able to relay to the rest of the world what's happening in local sports to others.
I have tried to make my writing as plain and understandable as possible. I have never tried to impress someone reading my stuff with what I know.
In fact, I've always tried to do just the opposite.
Anyone who knows me personally will attest to my love of baseball and my appreciation for auto racing.
Those are the two sports that I most enjoy watching personally. So I feel like I have a better understanding of those two genres than some.
Now I don't know if that's true at all. Heck, I may be the most clueless person in the world when it comes to both sports and I may find out later in life that I've been fooling myself all these many years.
Even if that is the case, I try to keep things on a level that makes everyone happy and lets everyone know what I'm talking about.
And that goes to the first thank you I'd like to issue. It goes to you the reader, who without your eyes and minds this wouldn't have happened.
If the reader doesn't like what you write, then you aren't much of a writer to begin with.
Second I'd like to thank the athletes that I have covered past and present. They are the core of what we do in the sports pages here and at other newspapers.
Without them we'd all have to find something else, likely something a lot more physically uncomfortable, to do with our time.
My thanks also go out to Chris Pruett and the Daily World for giving me the chance and providing me a platform to express my skills.
B.J. Hargis deserves another thanks at this point also. He keeps me on track when I probably drift into either the story is too long or the story is boring zone.
A good boss and friend, B.J. is one of those rare individuals who has taken tolerance to the next level.
Finally -- and foremost -- thanks to my life partner Donna.
She's been the light of my life for well over 23 almost 24 years. And she's earned all the respect and admiration that any wife can have bestowed.
She also won a second place at last year's Hoosier State Press Association Awards for a photo from the girls softball state finals -- and yes she got hers before I got mine, deservedly so, I might add.
Donna has shown all the support and consolation that has been a part of my professional life since I began writing professionally and has continued to be both a supporter and critic, guide and disciplinarian when I've needed and for as long as I've needed.
Well, that's it. I didn't touch a whole lot on sports specifically, but I really think you get the idea.
Rick is a sports writer with the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at (812) 847-4487. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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