Time for a Hail Mary pass

By: Jim Linsdau, Sports Editor
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He takes the snap. He drops back and – fades away.

Yep, it’s time to prove old sports guys never die they just hang up their recorders and cameras and retire. I have not been vocal about this because it took some time for me to accept the reality of it. Just for the record, my last day is Friday.

This is where I drone on about what a wonderful ride it has been and the fantastic people I have had the pleasure of knowing. However, it would take a couple issues of this newspaper to try and name everything and everyone. Therefore, I will limit this space to what I have learned.

Coaching today is so much different from when I played sports and the games have changed as well; both are far more sophisticated than when I wore a letter on my jacket.

During my time covering sports, I do not think I have met one coach who lacked the integrity of knowing life was a whole lot larger than the game; either transforming boys into men and men into gentlemen or girls into women and women into ladies.

They all had their own ideas of how to approach their sport, but all kept their eye on the top prize. No coach I know ever wanted his or her players to lose; however, they all took those inevitable loses in stride and never blamed anyone but themselves.

And what they brought to the game rubbed off on their players as well. I can’t remember interviewing an athlete who didn’t attribute his or her success to the help of those around them. And those who think this younger generation will be the doom of us all need to get off Facebook and get into the bleachers. There they will find a generation that holds great promise.

I would be remiss not to mention the administrators and athletic directors behind the scenes. The titles sound impressive, but it is the work they do that really impresses. I see them on fields and in gyms and can’t recall ever seeing one sitting behind a desk.

And let’s not forget the teachers who demand equal excellence in the classroom. There is a reason why the term “dumb jock” no longer applies.

And to the men and women who convert all the above and more into the historical record – the newspaper folks. We do know a thing or two about teamwork and not because we cover it, but because we are a part of it.

From the publishers, administrators, editors, writers, photographers, stringers and advertising reps to the designers, paginators and those who roll the finished product off the presses for the ones who deliver it, we’re a team too.

It will be a while before that Hail Mary pass reaches the end zone, but no matter what the outcome, this has been a game I’ll never forget.