Bleacher Bits: Cheering on the home team
My wife and I enjoyed a beautiful Sunday in Chico, devoid of any sports-related activity save for the last two innings of the Little League World Series Championship playing on the television in the restaurant while we ate our lunch.
Why do I bring this up? Well, because for eight years now, she has realized and accepted that the start of the school year means that my "home" games will be nonexistent for quite awhile.
When the fall seasons start, it's a fact of life for the sports reporters who cover the games, as well as the coaches who coach them, that life as they know it is going to change abruptly.
Friday nights are, of course, for football. Saturdays are for preseason volleyball tournaments and youth football games, and Monday through Thursday are for volleyball, tennis, cross country, field hockey and swimming and, naturally, the story writing.
Coaches have it no easier, with on-campus coaches teaching through the day before running practices, coaching games and reviewing game film. Coaches who hold outside jobs must balance those schedules with what is necessary to accomplish their coaching duties.
And while some spouses, fiancees and significant others will be in the bleachers come game night, others must remain home for "away" games or to take care of children, getting them to their activities and cheering them on at whatever those activities are.
It is the spouses and families of coaches and reporters who never receive their duly earned recognition and applause.
They understand that we often wage internal warfare with ourselves, with the two combatants being the senses of duty we feel toward our jobs and toward our loved ones.
I skipped many high school games my stepchildren were playing in because duty called me to write stories and take pictures of other kids playing for other schools. I've also missed weekend road trips to visit family for the same reason.
Yes, coaching and reporting are choices we have made, but so too are the relationships with the loved ones who know full well our absence is not always about choice.
Nothing means more to us than the rare "home" game, and we certainly wish there were more of them on the schedule.
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or email@example.com.