We must not know sports

By Jeffery Armstrong

Once again, the Herald sports staff is in the midst of controversy. It seems as if we've created a stir with our Southern Crescent all-star teams. Several folk are upset with our picks of players and coaches – one fan even had a bias against a particular school. I don't recall this much backlash against us last year.

Everyone has strong opinions about the Herald sports scribes this week. So far we've been horrible, unfair, useless (I like that one) and even racist. All because of our OPINIONS about the best high school athletes this year. Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs is corking his bats and the Georgia High School Association is splitting up local teams the year after next, but the community paper's sports writers are useless. That's funny.

Okay, people, time for Professor Armstrong's lesson in Sports Journalism For This Area 101. There are only THREE of us in the sports department here at the News Daily and Daily Herald. Yep, just three. We have to cover all sports in 14 schools in both Clayton and Henry counties (next year, Luella High opens, so it's 15). Now I'm not sure how many of you were math majors in college, but y'all have to know that we cannot cover every single game at every single time.

That's why we depend on coaches to call in their scores, especially when they're on the road, and give us phone highlights of the games. Now y'all understand what that "call in your scores" block we put on the page means, huh?

So during baseball season, we just can't cover every game. There's also this other sport that's going on during baseball season?you know what it is?round ball, you use your feet and head to move it?soccer – yeah, that's the ticket! We have to cover soccer as well, so that leaves less time for our horrible, useless butts to concentrate on baseball. We don't have soccer beat writers, baseball beat writers, golf and tennis beat writers, etc.

So imagine how tough it is for the "Three Amigos" to pick an all-star team of players for sports in the Southern Crescent. There are a lot of good players in this area. We ought to be praised for being able to come up with a pretty darn decent team for the number of games we're able to cover in person.

All three of us lobbied for certain players over others in comprising the team, but at one point all of us were turned down by each other and I'm fine with that. As I e-mailed one parent, I'm not going to get into long arguments with my guys if they feel strongly about one player over another. That same parent felt his son should've made the team because he worked really hard to hit the ball better and he did other good things that sports writers didn't see. I believe him. But this is not the All-Hard Work team; it's an all-star team and we can't have 90 guys on it. I know the players like being recognized in print, but not everyone is an all-star in a particular year.

So readers, when you call us names and scream how bad a job we're doing, remember that picking all-stars isn't easy. I promised not to curse this summer, but if I hear more crap about us, I might have to use the "mother of all curse words" (yep, the dreaded f-dash-dash-dash word) like Ralphie in the movie "A Christmas Story."

Jeffery Armstrong is a sports writer for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at jarmstrong@henryherald.com.