I call it the Mirror Test.
Early in my newspaper career, I received some great advice from my all-time favorite sports columnist. Ralph Wiley starred at the Oakland Tribune and Sports Illustrated before branching out into television, major book deals and the lecture circuit.
Upon meeting Wiley for the first time, he stressed the importance of being true to myself and my profession. To paraphrase, “If you can look in the mirror without flinching, you're more than halfway to the finish line.” Wide-eyed and fresh out of college, I committed those words to memory.
As The Blade's new sports columnist, I will spend a lot of time looking in the mirror.
I expect to like what I see. I will do everything to make certain that you will, too.
In each column, you will receive my honest opinions and observations regarding sports in and around Toledo - and everywhere else on the map.
Some days you may agree with what I write so strongly you will consider naming your first-born son after me. Other days you may disagree with my opinion and feel obliged to tell me so in no uncertain terms (remember, this is a family newspaper).
Either way, that's great. That's what sports is all about. Your opinion. My opinion. Everybody has one. Let me know what you think. I want to know. I need to know.
After working for six newspapers and writing more than 3,000 articles in 20 years, I still haven't found anything that gives me more satisfaction than writing about sports and the personalities behind the games. Some things you never forget:
In my nearly two years at The Blade, I've discovered that Toledo is a sports town with an inferiority complex because there are no professional teams. We're better than that.
The Mud Hens are building a new stadium downtown and so what if they're not the Detroit Tigers?
The UT football team set a Glass-Bowl attendance record and had the fifth-largest crowd in Mid-American Conference history against Marshall this year.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Take a good look in the mirror, Toledo. Do you like what you see?
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