Greg Jayne, the longtime sports editor of The Columbian, is moving out of sports to become the paper's editorial editor. Jayne announced the job change with a reflection on his time covering sports in the region, including how watching and writing about high school sports was generally more rewarding than covering the Portland Trail Blazers.
Covering a Blazers game is an exercise in pack journalism, with 20 or more reporters surrounding a player's locker after the game and culling identical meaningless quotes. Covering a high school event is more intimate and more meaningful, reminding me that quoting Rasheed Wallace saying, "Both teams played hard" over and over doesn't count as journalism.
My kids often ask things such as, "Have you ever interviewed Michael Jordan?" Or, "Have you met Kevin Durant?"
The answer is yes, and yet I am more impressed by having known the likes of Al Aldridge, the best coach I have ever been around. Or asking thoughtful questions of Jon Eagle, a highly intelligent man who also knows a little about coaching football. Or having covered Alexa Efraimson, as I did this past weekend, and marveling at her extraordinary talent.
To cover high school sports is to report on the present while glimpsing the future. And it has always made me feel better about the direction our country is headed.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter