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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: Dear Anonymous, don't write, don't call...

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Dear Anonymous, don't write, don't call...

Just one full week into the fall high school sports season and I've already gotten a wonderful, insightful and of course, anonymous e-mail from a disgruntled parent.

Please Ms. Anonymous, don't call, don't write, just please go away.

This latest note is one for the ages, it came over our e-mail system as a comment on a story about the Shenendehowa girls varsity soccer story I covered on Thursday.

This parent had an issue with the inclusion of the story focusing on a Plainsmen varsity player who scored three goals in a 4-0 season opening win.

I'm sorry, my bad.

Apparently this parent would have been much happier that I ignored the future Division I athlete's performance during the first league game of the year.

Maybe I should have credited the defense more for negating the attempts of Niskayuna, or maybe focused more on the goalies great play in a shutout. The coolness in the air, the attendence, the way the grass bent beneath their soccer shoes.

Maybe if I had limitless space I could have listed all 26 players on the Shenendehowa bench (ya, 26 players on a varsity squad) who contributed as the writer pointed out that not one person makes a team.

I'm going to chalk this one up to a new reader, as those who have read my work in the past as the season progresses on the teams I have the opportunity to cover a number of times, I like to spread the wealth. I don't want to talk to the same kids every time, even I get bored of their accolades. They'll get mentioned in the story, but I make every attempt to find a new voice for the next contest.

She was correct, one players does not make a team, but when I looked to pass along a kind, courteous, and always short note about her e-mail, I was rebuffed.

You see, Cathy Taylor who sent me the e-mail, gave me an incorrect phone number. No one seemed to know her at the number I called. I also wasn't surprised when the e-mail address came back as undeliverable.

It's frustrating for me because I make every attempt to be available to the readers of our publications, via e-mail and phone. My voice mail at the office includes my cell phone number (I'm a glutton for punishment).

I've gotten the usual "I'm a parent of a player" calls with only harsh words for some players who have been forgotten. Then after a few moments one can derive who the players being slighted are. In each case I apologize for any oversight, thank them for their time and move on.

I know some may not believe this, but I do consider all calls and complaints valid. My first inclination is if I can do a better job, sometimes I can.

So Cathy Taylor, or whoever you are, stay tuned, maybe in the future I will mention your soccer star. There could be a great story behind her rise to the varsity level at one of the largest schools in Section II, but because you are so hellbent on correcting an oversight, and refusing to identify yourself, you failed to provide an answer.

If you're not part of the solution...


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