I prepared a feature on Tiger football alum and current Indiana Wesleyan University right tackle Isaiah Courtois, and realized I noted he was getting ready for “today’s” game versus the University St. Francis.
The only problem was the game is this afternoon, and when I wrote “today” it was an article released for the Wednesday edition of the Times-Union.
If any reader went to Saint Francis Wednesday afternoon in hopes of seeing the IWU Wildcats face off against the USF Cougars, I’m not sorry.
There’s an app for checking such stuff before you get in your car to head to Bishop D’Arcy Stadium.
I still get riled up if I dangle a preposition or leave out a key word in a section, and while I write I grudgingly use the word “that” as infrequently as I possibly can.
And Heaven forbid I don’t use my dear old friend, the Oxford comma. You’ll have to remove it from my cold, dead brain. I get more bent out of shape when I realize I left it out of my copy.
I rarely write anything beside my column these days, and consequently, when I type away, I easily slip into a frame of mind as if I were talking to you this very Saturday morning.
This is how the Chip Shots sausage is made.
For what it’s worth, on very rare occasion the latest I’ll ever send a column is early Friday afternoon, but I want to make you feel like I’m right there with you on Saturday morning.
Occasionally, I’ll admit in the column what day I’m really “in” when it matters, because it better explains where I am when I’m putting my thoughts together for you.
I enjoy sports, but I feel – most of the time – my opinions about politics, food, pets, and music are more interesting and more fun to share with readers.
This is a Sports section column, though, so I try to wrap something about life around it now and then. Does it work 100% of the time? No.
Who really knows? I think less than a dozen people have said something to me about what I write since I was assigned the column in November 2020.
I was at a store with my wife two years ago, and someone mentioned something to me in a friendly tone about my column. I said to Shawna, “This is really something. Now I can say seven people read my column instead of six people.”
I’ve weighed the pros and cons of other writing assignments.
I’d love to be a restaurant critic, but economies of scale would result in my work being finished in less than a single year. Furthermore, many restaurants advertise in this and other area newspapers. If I panned them, I’d adversely affect the Times-Union advertising revenue stream.
I believe, nonetheless, you’d enjoy my praises of food quality, atmosphere, variety of offerings, and menu knowledge the serving staff skillfully communicates.
Restaurant owners - who also happen to be the area’s advertising clients - on the other hand, would not like seeing in print what pet peeves of mine were worthy of less flattering tones.
While I’m on the restaurant review rant, if you’re truly one of the best restaurants in the area, it would behoove you to serve your soup with a soup spoon. Too much of the good stuff won’t stay on a teaspoon.
Pay attention to the aforementioned remark, owners. It’s on you, and not on the hardworking person who brings my soup to me. I imagine the person bringing the soup to me is thinking, “I hope this guy realizes I am not in the room where it (this utensil stocking decision) happened.”
Do you understand what I mean now? This was just a byte, not an entire review.
This is more than you bargained for after I discussed whether it’s really Saturday for me when you’re reading this column.
What are the other reasons it is not really Saturday?
Most Fridays are busy workdays followed by an athletic event I would either cover for the Times-Union, broadcast for WLQZ, or work as a PA announcer.
I tend to write from home either very late at night or very early in the morning, but almost never between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.
There are times I’ve shifted gears as early as Sunday morning when the spirit moves me about a certain topic. Something like the Cleveland Guardians finally winning a World Series might not even land in a timely fashion upon the Weekender Edition column if I like what I already wrote.
It would be something, though, if Cleveland finally hosted the MLB championship trophy after 75 years… well, 76 years because they were watching the playoffs from their living rooms again this season.
The 1948 World Series win leaves Cleveland with the longest drought in MLB without a title.
Perhaps it would behoove me to put something together eleventh-hour on a Friday if this were to happen, but I’d likely do it late on a Thursday night if the title were earned then.
It’s also not really Saturday because there is a Friday night print deadline. The T-U Sports section editor, Connor McCann would not look upon me favorably if I sent Chip Shots at midnight Friday even though it’s technically Saturday.
He’s setting up the section’s layout and meeting his own writing deadlines while doing such work.
Enjoy your Saturday while I pretend at varied stages of the earlier part of the week that it’s really Saturday for me, too.