300TH

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Six years ago, the RCN Marketing Department had the “brilliant” idea to ask me to write a weekly “blog”. My first thought back then was, “What exactly is a blog?” My next thought was why would anyone care what I think, let alone read about what I think. I must say those thoughts still remain every time I sit down to fulfill the task put before me. And I am about to do it again for the 300th time (OMG!)

The name “blog” was created from joining the words “web” + “log”. Blogs began in the 1990’s according to my research and were, back then, normally the work of a single individual. Blogs by an individual usually center around one single general topic – politics, food, the arts, etc. In my case, the idea was that I would write about sports.

My co-worker, Chris Michael, was asked to do the same so I took on the college and professional games, for the most part, and Chris focused on the local high school scene. From time to time, I have ventured into other areas to the delight of my female editors.

The process seems simple enough. Every Monday (or Sunday night), I sit down and stare at the keyboard hoping there will be some topic or inspiration from the past week that will allow me to write. There are Mondays when I stare for a very long time.

Since accepting this task, I have learned to truly admire journalists who must tap out story after story to fulfill their vocational responsibilities. For example, Keith Groller of  The Morning Call must write a dozen or more stories every week. Some of them are recaps of sporting events he has covered, but many are opinion pieces.

The Morning Call opinion writer, Bill White, has been knocking out three articles a week for the past 20-plus years on a variety of human interest stories. Bill wrote his last opinion pieces this past week as he is retiring. He will be missed.

Both have my admiration for their writing skills, but, even more so, for their innate ability to find a topic every time they need to.

So, here I sit, contemplating that I have had to come up with something to write about 300 times. When I finish, I know that at least three people will read it (I send it to five). It is their responsibility to make sure I do not say something stupid or grammatically incorrect. Since I taught English, the latter is much less likely than the former.

Within a day after my submission, I see the word, “posted” on an email and know that what I have written is out there for the world (probably 10 or so people) to see, with Lehigh Valley billboards promoting the title with my picture (blame the marketing people again).

So, for the 300th time, I have put words to computer screen. Three-hundred is the same number as a perfect bowling score and the same number as the lowest possible credit score. Should you attain the bowling score, I guess there would be euphoria. If 300 is your credit score, I am assuming the number causes you great consternation. I can only hope my blog is somewhere in the middle.

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSING)

1.  Local NFL, Penn State, broadcasting legend and Whitehall product, Matt Millen, has been awaiting a heart transplant for over two months and, according to reports, time is running out. Matt has amyloidosis, a rare disease that requires the transplant. As I write this, a match has not been found. Time for some divine intervention!

2. It is not unusual for an NFL coach to be fired during the season. It happens all the time. But this past Sunday, a coach was fired by a team during the season – something that team had never done before. The Green Bay Packers fired Mike McCarthy after 12+ years as their head coach. In the 98-year history of the Packers, they had never done that before.

3. Tom Brady, the outstanding thrower but unimpressive runner, finally attained a thousand yards rushing for his career! It took him 19 years and 265 games to do it. His best year was 2002 when he rushed for a total of 110 yards.

4. Two years ago, Deandre Swift ran roughshod over the Parkland Trojans in the PIAA state quarterfinal when he played for St. Joe’s Prep from Philadelphia. I hope you recognized the name this past Saturday when he almost led the Georgia Bulldogs to a monumental upset over the #1 undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama needed three unanswered TD’s at the end to win the game. Swift rushed for a team-best 75 yards and a TD and caught six passes, one for a TD. He has 1037 yards for the season and 10 TD’s, both team highs. He will suit up again on January 1 in the Sugar Bowl against Texas.

5. High school football is over for the Lehigh Valley teams. Congratulations to the Bethlehem Catholic Golden Hawks for making it to the state semifinals and being the last local team standing. After a one-week respite, our high school basketball season kicks off on December 11 at Emmaus when the Green Hornets take on Parkland. The local basketball picture looks like it will be a very competitive year! Join us.

Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks (Last week: 10-6) (Overall: 123-67-2 65% )

WEEK FOURTEEN

TENNESSEE

BUFFALO

CAROLINA

GREEN BAY

KANSAS CITY

NEW ENGLAND

NEW ORLEANS

GIANTS

HOUSTON

CHARGERS

DENVER

DALLAS

PITTSBURGH

DETROIT

RAMS

SEATTLE

 

 

Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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