As I embark upon another year, I’ve been unusually contemplative, though, admittedly, I am contemplative by nature.

Most human attributes have positive and negative connotations. For instance, a positive term is “meticulous”; a negative one is “anal-retentive.” The negative slant of “contemplative” is “absentminded.”

I prefer the former, but no one is truly objective about oneself, just as, unless it is public knowledge, few people make quite as much money as they claim they do. They still make more than I, of course.

Because I’m … contemplative.

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Monte Dutton

What I do interests me. By far the highlight of my weekend wasn’t the Masters. It wasn’t the NASCAR race at Martinsville. It wasn’t even the Red Sox finally beating the Yankees on Sunday night.

It was a splendid baseball game played by Clinton and Laurens.

I’ve become focused to a fault.

In my little corner of the world, Clay Hendrix is as important as Nick Saban, Bob Richey as Coach K. Mike Bothwell is as important as LeBron James.

It helps that I love my little corner of the world. It’s little.

I did it my way. Regrets? I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention … I don’t often think of Frank Sinatra with musical aspirations and, as a writer myself, I’m inclined to report that, according to the infallible Internet, “My Way” was written by Paul Anka, Claude Francois and Jacques Revaux.

Whew. Undoubtedly, Pepe Le Pew had something to do with it.

Undoubtedly, my fascination with local sports has something to do with knowing the athletes and coaches. When I wrote about NASCAR, I knew all the drivers. Now I mainly see them sanitized for my protection. I knew Dale Earnhardt. Now all the drivers are just cardboard cutouts. That’s mostly what I see. I’m sure they’re more interesting than a cardboard cutout, but I don’t get a chance to know them better.

It’s also noteworthy that, most of the time, sports on TV is my background music. I’m watching a ballgame while writing or editing. When files are loading – I’m still a bit mystified over whether they’re loading up or down – I’m playing my guitar and singing to myself. The ballgame is still in the background.

I can’t speak to the capabilities of others. What I know is that writing about sports is challenging for me. Being there is stimulating. I get more material from hanging out than watching the actual games.


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.