I'd love to tell their story
“There’s eight million stories in the naked city.” This famous final line from the 1948 film noir classic Naked City, perfectly describes the sports scene in Rutherford County this summer.
Summer is supposed to be a relaxing time for sportswriters, at least in the mind of the general public. I can’t count the number of times people have told me, “I bet you are enjoying your break since high school sports are over.”
“What break?", I ask and then go down the list of things that need covering in this great county of ours during the summer months.
There are the Owls, American Legion baseball, Little League and the various feature stories that pop up. So summer is anything but a vacation. There is always a story to tell. And I would not have it any other way.
I’m not the type of person who is satisfied with a lazy day at the fishin’ hole with Andy and Opie. No, I’m more like Sherlock Holmes when he exclaims to his friend Dr. Watson, “My mind abhors mental stagnation. Give me problems. Give me work.”
Like the great detective, I am constantly searching for new ways to both inform and entertain readers. I also strive to create a catchy headline that will clue them in to what the article is about. I never want to be satisfied with just another sports story.
My journalism professor always told me that the goal was not to be a sports writer, but a writer. Sports writers, all too often, simply regurgitate stats. I want to tell a story. If I’m not telling a story, or listening to someone else’s, I’m bored.
I remember wearing out books on tape from the local library on my numerous trips to Charlotte for therapy when I was little. Now that cassettes have gone the way of the eight track, I’ve moved on to MP3 files on my IPad. At last count, there are 475 books crammed in the Cloud and my hard drive. They range from Jurassic Park to Jane Austen. I fall asleep every night listening to a great story.
One of the best stories of the summer is the Rutherfordton-Chase 50/70 Little League team. As I write this, they just wrapped up the Southeast Regional Championship with an 8-2 win over Florida. As a result, they earn a spot in the World Series in Livermore, Calif.
I would love to travel to the Golden State to cover these young men. Whether it’s by plane, train or automobile, I don’t care how I get there. Heck, I’d even hitch a ride with Granny, Ellie May, Jethro and Jed, if they weren’t already in the land of swimming pools and movie stars.
This trip could double as a vacation, as I would try to squeeze in a trip to AT&T Park and mark another stadium off my bucket list. Even that wouldn’t be a vacation in the truest sense of the word. I would probably turn that experience into a column. In fact, my mind is already generating possible headlines. I can’t help myself.
I know going to California is a long shot for me and that’s okay. Like Naked City implies, there are plenty of other stories to tell. Either way, I’ve got some writing to do.