by Scott Boyle
This will be the last SportShorts for a time, as the missus and I head to the amazing environs of Madagascar, a place as far away from San Juan County as one could possibly get, to excitedly serve a 12-month mission for the LDS Church.
SportShorts wishes to send out many thanks to all you faithful, loyal readers, of whom there are four total, I think; my mom, who turns 90 this year and reads every SportShorts word for word, loving every word; my brother Bill, the Editor, who provides the opportunity and who makes me look somewhat intelligent with his smooth editing style; my wife Cassie, who tells me when SS is either too verbose or not effusive enough; and... I don’t know who the other one is.
Thank you Bill, for giving birth to SportShorts. It all started probably in the womb for us, being born of a sports-obsessed father and a good sport of a mother who never tried to tone us down.
Born, we were, loving to both participate in and talk about sports, smattering our viewings with sage observations.
“Bart’s basketball boxers are bigger than Bushardt’s, but Bushardt’s better than Bart,” was one of the more memorable utterances coined at a state basketball tournament way back in the 1990s and which most of the family can quote to this day.
One day, after a particularly clever and hilarious round of chatting about sports, Bill said, “Scott, you oughta write this up, the stuff we talk about. Would make for fun reading.”
So was born “Sport Shorts,” a term actually coined by Billy himself.
Thank you, the readers, for basically indulging my passions as well as hobbies, writing about high school sports, golf, hiking, traveling, birding, people. And the feedback has always been hilarious and instructive.
“I really like your articles” most of them would start by revealing, “but, when you write about golf, I skip that part.”
Others would beg, “You need to write more about golf.”
“I like how you narrate about birds. I’ve actually seen that acorn woodpecker in Devils Canyon,” another would chirp.
Then, another, “OK, when you talk about birds, I stop reading.”
Sorry, too, all you moms out there whose son or daughter SportShorts misidentified or misspelled or called them by an older brother or sister’s name. I’ll blame that on auto correct.
And my mom, bless her heart, perused and prized it all. She just turned 90 last week and obviously, knows a reputable article when she sees one.
And Cassie, simply the cutest and coolest Blandingnite I know, for always supporting and encouraging. She is simply the best. I totally trust her judgment. Glad we’ll be together the next 12 months.
My favorite part has always been the opportunity to sit down with happy, hard-working, amazing, every-day people doing extraordinary things for the good folks of San Juan County and parley about sports and the impact they have on our lives.
A colossal thanks to all the coaches out there, who continually give their heart and soul to our kids, taking precious time away from home and family to help us raise our kids, with minimal return financially, but huge returns to the soul, knowing they might have helped someone draw closer to their potential, even while occasionally suffering the wrath of frustrated parents.
Coaches are my unsung heroes and have SportShorts hardiest support.
John Madden, a great NFL coach once said, “Coaches have to watch for what they don’t want to see and listen to what they don’t want to hear.”
Even so they motor on, knowing that “each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be let out. Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest things can happen.” – Pete Carroll.
And these coaches take our kids and try to help them be better, not just sounder athletes, but healthier, more motivated, perseverant, diligent, sometimes beautifully and sometimes not so greatly working together participants for common purposes and learning experiences.
Morgan Wooten, the all-time winningest high school basketball coach said, “That’s the beauty of coaching. You get to touch lives; you get to make a difference.”
“In the end, it’s about the teaching,” said the greatest coach of all and SportShorts’ coaching idol, John Wooden. “What I always loved about coaching was the practices. Not the games, not the tournaments, not the alumni stuff. But teaching the players during practice was what coaching was all about to me.”
In the end then, though this isn’t the end, just a postponement of sorts, its about people, and what I’ve always loved about sports are the people and their stories, not the games, not the tournaments, not the alumni. The people. Thank you.