Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hometown News

They used to be called "Hometowns" and they were the bane of the existence of Sports Information Office interns (and their immediate superiors, including this one). Occasionally during the season a student-athlete would do something special and an intern would dutifully roll a piece of paper into the IBM Selectric and write a few paragraphs about the accomplishment, finishing with, "So and so is the son/daughter of so and so," and then mail it off to every last media outlet on the kid's bio sheet. (Actually, it would first go to the assistant SID – me for five years – where it would be vetted for spelling errors etc.) Sometimes a Hometown could be saved with whiteout but all-too-frequently it had to be typed over.

The worst part was the end of a season when every kid who lettered would get a Hometown. That's a lot of typing, a lot of boilerplate, gallons of whiteout and a lot of envelope addressing, etc.

Working at the college I recognized the importance of Hometowns but it is safe to say I didn't exactly enjoy Hometown season. When I went back to the newspaper, I loved Hometowns, because I did the paper's college notes at least once a month and getting them was like getting gold. I'll be forever grateful to the folks at Ohio Wesleyan and Ithaca College, who seemed to lead the nation in Hometowns.

Why bring it up? Hometowns have gone the way of the pay phone. With the advent of the Internet, it's up to the sportswriters at the newspaper to do their own footwork. Which brings us around to a couple of papers that did just that, the Aberdeen (SD) News and the Oklahoman.

The Aberdeen paper has a blurb about "the grandson of Ilene and the late Stan Schmidt of Aberdeen." That would be Dartmouth placekicker Foley Schmidt who . . .
"made 11 of his 14 field goal attempts this season for the Big Green (5-5, 4-3 Ivy), including all five attempts over 40 yards. He started all 40 games of his career and leaves the school as its fifth all-time leading scorer in Darmouth (sic) football history, which dates back to 1881."
The Oklahoman writes about Dartmouth freshman receiver Kirby Schoenthaler. From the blurb:
Schoenthaler, who threw for 102 touchdowns as a quarterback in high school, recently completed his first collegiate football season. He totaled 227 yards, which ranked second on the team, and caught one TD pass to help the Ivy League school to a 5-5 record.
The problem with having the newspapers do their own research is they occasionally include information that isn't entirely accurate. The Aberdeen story said Schmidt played with the son of former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula, which would be a pretty good trick since Dave Shula is now a grandfather. And the Oklahoman (barely) had the wrong number of players from the state on the roster.

From a story picked up by the Montreal Gazette:
It appears that former Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Kent Austin won't be returning to the CFL.
Here are the Cornell Daily Sun Tweets regarding the courtship of the Big Red football coach:
Still working to confirm report that CU gave CFL team permission to talk with head coach Kent Austin

FWIW, AD Andy Noel has said several times Austin is here for long haul. Hopes to transform program into Ivy champs in near future.

Univ source tells The Sun there have been no requests to speak with Kent Austin about another head coach job.

UPDATE: CU has not granted any COLLEGE team permission to speak with Austin, but did allow Saskatchewan of CFL permission

AD Andy Noel: "It is polite for them to ask but any school or pro team can contact any coach they want at any time without permission."

Noel says Saskatchewan reached out to him and he granted permission. CFL Hamilton Tiger Cats never contacted him, but they are interested.

Speaking of Cornell, a regular reader shared a link to a story about a former Cornell wrestler who
he writes, "took a break from his day job as an energy trader in NYC to win a fight on Saturday at the UFC event in Toronto."

The story about how an Ivy Leaguer got into the Ultimate Fighting Championship (I had to look that up) ranks is here and a brief about the fight in question is here.

The Miami Redhawks equipment manager has thrown down the gauntlet. Can Steve top this? (link)

And although we celebrated it yesterday, I should have posted a Happy Birthday to Mrs. BGA on the blog. I think she's already looking forward to next year when her birthday will be on 12/12/12.

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