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The beginning is near sports fans, be awarePosted Tuesday, July 26, 2011, at 10:32 AM
With less than a week to go before schools can begin practicing for the upcoming fall sports season, the light at the end of the tunnel has started showing.
Yes that's right local sports fans in less than seven days student-athletes in six different sports will once again begin preparations.
Once again our nights will be filled with the sights and sounds of varsity athletic contests -- a marathon of sports that starts when the Linton-Stockton Lady Miners golf team travels to Edgewood for the first official contest of the year (Aug. 4) and continues until the state softball and baseball finals next spring.
In the meantime, we will have more than plenty of chances to share our gripes, moans and complaints about coaches, officials, opponents, players and fans.
And once again B.J. and I will begin the fair disbursement of facts, figures, information and thoughts about those same areas.
And once again we will try to keep you the best informed and most knowledgeable fans in the area. Believe me if you don't think you're collectively some of the most knowledgeable and informed fans around just check out some of the others you venture across as the sports seasons progress.
As usual there will be some new faces both on the playing field and on the sidelines. And as an independent observer I certainly hope you fans give those new members of the group an even break.
And as always keep in mind that the student-athletes are students first and athletes second and that coaches are there to help them learn to succeed in the future just as much in the present.
Also keep in mind that when it comes right down to it it's still just a game and when the lights go out in the gym or on the field, you still have to live with what you've said and done while you were watching.
Don't be afraid to remind yourself or someone else that in the grand scheme of things sports are an avocation for the student-athletes.
Keep in mind as fans in the stands you should always be weary of others.
A good story that I heard about such a thing came in a phone conversation I had with former Indiana University head football coach Bill Mallory.
Among the other things we discussed were what it was like for him now that he's not coaching anymore.
Coach Mallory passed along a story that seems to fit with the theme of this column when he talked about watching one of his sons' teams play.
Mallory told me he had helped his son with practice during the week and had helped him develop a pass play to one of his tight ends.
When the play was used in the game, Mallory noted that the player who was to catch the pass had "marble hands" and dropped the pass.
He then made a verbal reference to the same fact and almost immediately got a solid elbow in the ribs from his wife who was at his side.
"She said be quiet," Mallory noted. "His parents might be sitting next to you."
Take Mrs. Mallory's advice and remember that the parent of a player, wife of a coach or official might be sitting next to you when you voice your opinion.
Well I'll climb off my soapbox now and let you get back to your daily routine.
Rick is a sports writer for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at (812) 847-4487. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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