My desk is a little less sloppy today, as it is that time of the fall I always dread: the end of football season.
Crestview closed out the regular season Friday against Niceville and Baker travels to Vernon this week as the Gators end the season on the road.
I am a football guy and, yes, a baseball guy as well. However, basketball was the first organized sport I played back in the winter of 1965-66.
Looking back some 47 years, it should have been obvious that I would one day gravitate toward the gridiron. While playing my first game in a church league in Memphis, Tenn., I intercepted a pass, stuck the basketball under my arm and headed down the court.
That was the day I learned what traveling is. If my memory serves me correctly, my Highland Heights Baptist team won that game 66-6, but my contribution was the pick and run on the travel.
To be honest, my baseball career didn’t start much better. Again, I was playing for Highland Heights and I went to the plate for the first time and stood in the box for left-handed batters. My mom didn’t realize I hit lefty and she yelled out. “You’re standing on the wrong side of the plate.”
It’s a wonder my love for baseball didn’t disappear on that red-faced day in the spring of 1966.
Baseball, basketball and football are the games that have shaped my life. Track helped get me in shape the year I ran to get myself ready for spring football. Running track also allows me to say that I competed in the same meets as Baker sprint legend Houston McTear.
But when all is said and done, I find myself longing for football or baseball season.
I love the sights, smells and sounds of football and baseball. I also love the first chilly temperatures in late fall as football winds down and the changing of seasons to spring as baseball gets going full speed.
I’m OK with the winter sports basketball and soccer. I do have more of a connection to basketball, though, as I played it when I was growing up.
My generation wasn’t raised on soccer. That era preceded the soccer craze.
Now, I transition from fall sports to winter sports. Shortly after the first of the year, I’ll start thinking about spring sports. And before you know it, May will be here and it will be time for spring football.
The cycle of a sports writer’s life seems unchanging and, at times, unending.
The Class of 2013 was still in kindergarten when I started at the Northwest Florida Daily News in December of 2000. Now, they are all grown up and about to take on the world.
Graduation season is another time I dread as I bid farewell to the young men and women I’ve followed through the years.
Football season is winding down and sports seasons change, as do the seasons of life. We can all take comfort in knowing that hope does spring eternal with each new season.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.