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Can we get a break?

By Jeffery Armstrong

Just last week at a scrimmage football game at Stockbridge High, I was approached with something very interesting. One of the player's parents in the press box asked me if anyone of us sports writers would come out and cover youth league football on the weekends.

I have a female friend who has a son playing youth league football (he also plays youth league baseball and basketball) and she has asked me that as well. But I've told her the high schools take precedence over any youth activities.

My two sports colleagues and I here at the News-Daily and Daily Herald have had conversations about covering youth league sports when high school sports are in session and there's something we think most parents don't think about: can we sports writers get a break?

I swear, if you leave it up to some parents, we'd be covering sports seven days a week. If a law passed to add an eighth day to the work week, then I guess we'd have to work on that day, too.

Folks, we need a break from covering sports. My sports editor brought up a great point. When parents are watching their kids play youth sports on the weekends, that's their days off and that's what they choose to do with their free time. When we have to cover a high school football game on a Saturday or when we come in on a Sunday to get out the Monday's sports pages, we're working. Yes, folks, we're on the clock. We could use a day off, too.

Now we have a policy at the News-Daily and Daily Herald that we will accept youth league team photos if they win a league, tournament or "Super Bowl" championship. All parents have to do is make sure the kids' names in the photos are spelled correctly.

Most people think that being a sports writer is fun and that we should enjoy working all the time. I love being a sports writer n I love to write and I am a sports junkie so this job is "write" up my alley. But, covering sports every single day of the week would be tough. I'm a single guy, people n I want to go out on dates with women on the weekends like most guys. I want to see the latest movies, go to Six Flags or go out of town for a minute. Even if I were married, I'd still want to do those same things with my wife. Nobody should have to work every single day. Even pro athletes don't want to wake up and go to practice every single day (especially Allen Iverson). As much as they love their sports, sometimes even they would like to sleep in and miss a day once in a while. It's natural.

The parents in Stockbridge told me how well the youth play football around there and I'm sure they're as talented as seven and eight-year-olds can be. If they're talented enough to win a championship, send us a team photo with names and we'll try to make room for it.

I just want folks to understand that sports writers need a day or two off just like normal people. Believe it or not, we have lives beyond the sports world.

Jeffery Armstrong is a sports writer for the Daily and his column appears on Thursdays. He can be reached at jarmstrong@news-daily.com .