All-Area Day Is a Good Day for Sports Writers to Get out of Town

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), November 25, 2005 | Go to article overview

All-Area Day Is a Good Day for Sports Writers to Get out of Town


Byline: Bob Frisk

I may be a senior citizen and even a little forgetful at times in my declining years, but I'm not dumb.

I skip town when the all-area football selections are announced.

As you read this, I'll be in Madison, Wis., with my family - good morning, grandson Mark! -celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday.

I don't get personally involved in our all-area selection process in any sport, but I still know how some people react when these teams are published.

It's the same way some parents react when the all-conference teams are announced.

Bottom line, all-star teams will never be loved by all.

Coaches, who pick all-conference, and Daily Herald sports writers, who pick all-area with help from the coaches, expect some backlash. There has never been a 100 percent happiness quotient when it comes to picking these honor teams.

I guarantee each sports writer at this newspaper would be happy if we just stopped making all-area selections.

In fact, I probably could make that same guarantee with varsity coaches, who know the headaches involved coming up with their all- conference choices.

"My kid might not get a scholarship now because he (or she) wasn't on the all-conference team," a parent will complain.

That's simply not the way today's very sophisticated recruiting process works, but you will never convince mom or dad. Interestingly, the athlete usually handles the omission in a more mature way.

For the young athletes who do make these all-area teams, the parents obviously are delighted - as they should be - and they want to thank everybody.

I have saved every card, letter or e-mail I have received at this newspaper in 48 years. They are placed in my personal "Onions and Orchids" files.

I have collected the good, the bad and the ugly, and they do pile up over all those years. I look at them every summer as I get ready to go on vacation.

I smile at some and cringe at others. It's a good send-off into the summer months.

The ultimate onion came in my second year at the Herald when the long letter started by saying our coverage of baseball "resembles the aroma of an open latrine."

There was a lot more in that letter, but you obviously get the point - and the image.

Fortunately, the orchids do outnumber the onions, but that doesn't mean I should ever get complacent in my job.

One nasty onion can take away the positive effect of 10 or more orchids. …

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