Letter from the Editor: I know all about (a little bit of) sports!
Until Daily Herald news editor Caroline Linden called me Wednesday about her dining column featuring Super Bowl food specials (that included North Shore eateries!) I had completely forgotten about that big game on Sunday.
I'll admit that, as I write this, I still don't know who is playing.
That said, though, one of the coolest things that's happened editing the Northbrook and Glenview Heralds is learning all about high school sports.
Before this, the entirety of my knowledge could be summed up as "there are high schools" and "they have sports."
I also know there are football and basketball games, because I was a band kid, and we played at those games.
I also know there is wrestling, because the love of my life (in sixth grade) was a wrestler, so I went to a bunch of junior high wrestling matches.
This was frustrating for me during the more than a decade I worked on the Daily Herald's night desk.
There was a time when I was sometimes posting sports stories to the web, or at least among those watching for breaking sports news.
Me: DID RYNE SANDBERG HIT A HOME RUN? NO? THEN I DO NOT KNOW.
My night desk friends were kind and patient (I'm looking at you, KDA) explaining that there isn't a World Series for basketball or there aren't free throws in hockey.
I'm fairly sure they took sports posting away from the night desk proper and turned it over to the night desk people who worked on sports because of me.
The only night desk person who was the "only in case of a zombie apocalypse/'Independence Day'-type invasion do we schedule her for the sports rotation" person.
But I think they'd be pretty proud of me now, though.
Over the past several months, as the coronavirus pandemic made the future of the 2020-21 school year sports seasons iffy, I've been forced (happily!) to learn all about this topic, because it's so newsworthy.
I have IHSA meetings written in my planner and also harangued the Daily Herald sports editor, Mike Smith, and prep sports editor, John Radtke, about when their stories were coming when something significant happened. (they're held on Wednesdays and always seemed to end pretty close to my press start. UNHELPFUL, IHSA.)
Now that I work with Dave Oberhelman -- a seasoned pro at prep sports writing -- and Joe Lewnard, who has photographed prep sports for years, plays sports and has kids who play sports -- they've helped educate me (in a kind, very non-mansplainy way, I'd like to add) about the schedules, seasons, who plays when and what the "AD" is (spoiler alert: none of the schools have a resident fan of the early aughts sitcom "Arrested Development." I was a little bummed to learn that.)
Plus I also feel like I've gotten to know the athletes in a way -- at least as much as I can from desk.
We've mostly covered Glenbrook North and South, and those are the kids with whom I'm most familiar.
And a lot of cross-country runners from all over CSLS, because one of my husband's little cousins (a senior in high school! where does the time go?) competed against them in sectionals. Have to keep an eye on them, right?
But as I got to know the Glenbrook kids, I was excited to see all the seniors sign their commitment letters, and I cheered on all the tennis and golf players last fall.
I even know enough about them to choose who should go on the sports covers and make news judgment calls about whether a sports story should go on the front of the paper.
As much as I've gotten to know about their accomplishments, though, I've also gotten to know just a little bit about who they are, too.
Like the ones who volunteer, manage to keep competitive grade-point averages, play other sports in and out of school or are just all-around good people.
Keep it up, everybody. You're making your community (and me!) really proud.
• Melynda has worked at the Daily Herald for 21 years. She has now officially confirmed Ryne Sandberg is retired from playing. This is an exclusive; it is not currently being reported by any other news outlets.