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Mike Bothwell (left) and Jalen Slawson

If I’m asked what my favorite sport is, it depends on what season. I tell people my favorite sport is football, but baseball is closer to religion.

A few times during the NASCAR years, a hype-happy radio host would have me on the air for his talk show and assume auto racing was my favorite sport. At least a couple times, I corrected him – for whatever reason, I don’t think I’ve been on a show hosted by a woman, but I can’t imagine it being anything but fine – and said baseball.

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Monte Dutton

A gasp on the other end.

“I love baseball way too much to want to cover it,” I said. “I’d just soon not know what jerks my favorite players are.”

So, maybe, I knew too much about NASCAR. If my job hadn’t been eliminated during the last days of Pompeii, I might still be doing it. My close friends know I was burned out, though. I knew too much. I lived the life, talked the talk and walked the walk, but having fun was getting harder and harder.

Now it’s passed me by. I don’t know many of the drivers anymore, and the ones I knew have forgotten me. It’s probably appropriate that all these young drivers get what little coverage remains from young journalists. They can grow up together. It’s appropriate. They deserve each other.

Besides, I’ve got even younger athletes to euthanize me. Wait. I meant to invent a word. Youthanize. It took three tries to get permission from Autocorrect.

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Jace Wilson

I was groovin’ on high-school baseball this spring. I was groovin’ on Furman and high-school football last fall. I was groovin’ on college basketball in the winter.

A time of the year doesn’t exist when I could be objective. Maybe Fourth of July if the Red Sox are struggling.

I was a kid again during football season. I spent half the season in a state of bliss and a sense of deja vu.

Few beats have pleased me more than Furman basketball last winter. Both men’s and women’s teams were inspiring. Both lost in the Southern Conference finals. The men’s loss haunts me still. Roundball restored my love of it.

June 1, I think, is Sportswriter’s New Year. It’s a time to consider new ideas and lay a foundation for the fall and beyond. It’s time to reflect on lessons learned and use them for problems solved.

 

Publisher

Clinton native Monte Dutton is Furman-educated and has been a sportswriter for most of four decade. At DHK Sports LLC and its three website, Monte is committed to filling the void in local sports coverage created by the decline of other media.