Sunday, November 2, 2008


Okay, okay. I keep hearing from computer-savvy colleagues and friends that I just don't get it about blogging. I'll admit it. I don't get it. I write columns instead of blogs, tales from the crypt like the ones that grissled veterans of the written word produced for papers when I was young.

It figures because I'm stuck in the past. I'll admit that, too. I listen to the music of my youth -- the Grateful Dead, Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Tull, CSN & Y. I prefer the films of Hollywood's Golden Era, which means I only stop on movies that are black and white -- your grandparents may remember the stars -- Cagney, Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power, Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable.

I can't begin to comprehend the value of rap music, hip hop or contemporary rock. They sing of hate. We always preferred songs of love. I don't want to see special effects. I want to see great acting and well-written stories (although Charlie Wilson's War was cool. Friday Night Lights and We Are Marshall, too.).

I read books about baseball in the 19th Century (that's the 1800s). For those who would like to know, I'm currently reading "Rothstein," a book about Arnold Rothstein, a powerful NYC gambler who fixed the 1919 World Series that evolved into the Black Sox Scandal.

My favorite places: The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y; Sturbridge Village; Plimouth Plantation; the Basketball Hall of Fame; the Pro Football Hall of Fame. You could have guessed that.

I'll admit it, I'm damned proud of it and I'm not going to change. I'm a stick-in-the-mud, but the mud can be cool on a hot day. I'm Living in the Past (Jethro Tull, 1971). I'm a fuddy-duddy. I'm trying to re-live a misspent youth. Guilty, on all counts.

Let's see, what do I see when I read the legitmate blogs that proliferate on the internet?

Some writers enjoy predicting the outcome of games. Sorry, I don't get a kick out of that. I don't go in for gambling and don't profess to be the world's greatest prognisticator or sports savant. I don't look at how many points a team's getting before the game so I obviously don't care. I love the games in their purest forms, even hockey.

What I know best are state high school sports (fall and winter only) and the Rock Cats. That's what I've covered for the last 12 years. Those of the areas I research and follow. Those are the sports scenes I feel most comfortable and knowledgeable writing about.

I don't believe in publicly predicting high school football games. My philosophy is that high school sports, first and foremost, are vehicles for our youngsters to learn valuable lessons about life. It isn't going to do the kids from a winless football team any good if they read where I said they're going to lose Friday night. The kids have enough on their plate for me to make them feel any worse about being 0-8. The idea is to prepare them, through sports, about the complex nature of surviving 80 or more years on Planet Earth.

With the Rock Cats, few actually follow minor league baseball like they do other sports. Even the major league teams' reasons for having minor league affiliates don't start with winning. Player development is the only reason the Rock Cats are here, and while winning and development go hand-in-hand, the parent Minnesota Twins are far more pleased that they've developed former Cats like Nick Blackburn, Scott Baker, Alexi Casilla and Denard Span than they are about New Britain making the playoffs in 2003. The unique essence of minor league baseball neither diminishes its importance nor challenges its vibrancy across the width and breadth of "The Fruited Plain," as my great predecessor at The Herald Bart Fisher so eloquently calls it.

I could do what other bloggers do if it's something you'd like to see, like telling you about my Saturday evening at the Platt High gym, writing about the CCC Volleyball Tournament final between Southington and Farmington. I enjoyed the match, always love chatting with two great coaches, teachers and people in FHS' Laura Arena and SHS' Rich Heitz and enjoyed the camaraderie of my wife Lisa, two cherished collegues in Tiffany Ventura (Meriden Record Journal) and John Goralski (Southington Observer) and the many friends I saw from the two towns we cover.

Lisa and I ate at Dominic and Vinnie's Pizza Restaurant on Meriden Road in Southington. Very good. I can't believe I ate the whole thing. I got home in time to watch the end of a very entertaining college football game in which Texas Tech upset Texas. When are they going to put in a playoff system anyway?

So, am I blogging yet?

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