Rain, cold, mud, snow, muffled P.A. systems, unexplained penalties, keeping your own stats while trying to absorb the flow of the game ... ask any sports writer and they'll tell you, a high school football game is one of the hardest events there is to cover.
I've been there, done that and it hasn't always gone well.
At most events I go to now, stats are dispersed throughout the game, the coaches speak at a prescribed time afterward, and the players are usually at their lockers ready to talk.
After a high school football game, tracking down players and coaches from each team -- one of which is usually headed to a waiting bus -- is the exact opposite.
In fact, the correct word would be chaos.
It doesn't end there:
And then once all the quotes have been collected, there's the dash to the car to find a late-night chain with Wi-Fi accessibility or the long drive back to the office to file the story by a fast-approaching deadline.
As you double-check the spellings and make sure your rambling stat-keeping was accurate, you just pray that what you're writing makes sense.
Wow, I'm get a little stressed just thinking about it.
Why are you telling us this?
Because few have ever done it better and on a more consistent basis than the Daily Herald's Marty Maciaszek.
The guy has been a rock. And not just covering football. Name a sport and he's been all over it as he maintained the Herald's tradition of excellence in high school sports coverage that began with Bob Frisk.
Well, I'm sad to say this weekend will be Marty's last as a full timer. But I'm happy to report he's moving on to what should be an exciting new career and we wish him nothing but the best because for his 20 years here on the high school beat ... he was nothing but the best.
The (gambling) equation:
Quinn vs Rahm = Rahm
Hot off the presses:
"The Chicago Cubs today activated right-handed pitcher Blake Parker from the 60-day disabled list. Left-handed pitcher Alex Hinshaw has been designated for assignment."
Ok, now they're just making up names, right?
Still in awe:
I should be way more professional and way beyond this by now I know, but I have to admit interviewing Stan Mikita and then getting a fist bump from the Hall of Famer when we were done was beyond cool.
Final Bears preseason game thoughts:
I like that the Browns play in Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Don't have the hours of energy ... :
... to try and figure out the point of that commercial where thousands of doctors were consulted about an energy drink.
What exactly are they saying?
Barbecue or TV this weekend?
Tough call. Both menus look tempting.
White Sox-Tigers, U.S. Open tennis, FedEx Cup Playoffs, Michigan-Alabama ... and for something a little different, there's the Naperville Disc Dog Championships.
Good Cubs numbers:
Seven years, $60 million for Starlin Castro?
According to my calculations ... let's see, carry the 2 ... yep, seems like an absolute steal for the Cubs.
Bad Cubs numbers:
Chris Volstad looked sharp recently in picking up his first win in 400 days.
According to baseballplayerssalaries.com, Volstad has earned $189,285 per mound appearance (14) this season.
Carlos Zambrano (7-9), who was traded for Volstad, has appeared in 30 games this season for the Marlins at a rate of $600,000 per.
Man, I'm in the wrong profession.
South Korean women are dominant in professional golf.
The numbers don't lie.
My question: What's up with the South Korean men?
Oh, before I forget:
Have a great -- and safe -- Labor Day weekend.