Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Don't Say It Outloud!

Ouch my ears!
I was lounging in bed Sunday morning, waiting for the coffee to brew, before settling in to view the Formula One Race from Valencia, Spain. These lazy Sunday mornings are very dear to your's truly, and the only real change in my routine over four decades is that now I read the online version of the Sunday Chronicle instead of the paper version.

Back in the day, I'd crack open the Sunday "Pink Section" first. The Pink Section is still printed on pink paper, and it's real title is "Datebook". It's the Arts & Entertainment section. In the 21st Century, there's much more live motorsports shown on television, so my first look at the Sunday Chronicle is now the Sporting Green, so I can check to make sure I'm not missing any racing action...Motorsports is a Spring-Fall sport...gotta make hay while the Sun shines!

For most of my life, the Sporting Green was printed on green newsprint. Sometime in the past 10-15 years, the publisher quit using the green paper due to the ongoing belt-tightening in the Dead Tree Sector. In the last year or two, they've tried returning to form in their attempt to lure back some wayward readers, and now they print the green background on plain newsprint. I'd venture that this pleases the paper's habitual readers, but I doubt that it will be an effective siren song to the lost readership.

Thursday night before our Tomales Bay trip, I laid eyes on the new Sporting Green, and it really looks weird. It's shiny green now, it feels weird, and I admit that my choice of sports has evolved over the years.

I don't follow NFL football much anymore. The last fair weather weekends in the Fall are too valuable to spend indoors in front of the TV from 10AM 'till 10PM (don't forget Sunday Night Football is every week of the season now) So, along with unfettered free-agency's effect on the League, I'm just not that into Pro Football that I feel the need to read every word on every team anymore.

I guess the NFL finally figured out that guys like me wandered off the farm, so to speak, enabled by ESPN's "NFL Primetime", that returned our Sunday afternoons, but gave us every high- and low-light in a snappy hour once the games ended for the day. Now I don't even actively watch the NFL until playoff time.

The NFL Strikes Back...hello "Sunday Night Football"...goodbye "NFL Primetime"...sigh...

NBA Basketball? No interest. NHL Hockey? Not enough to read about it. Baseball? I'm a Giant's fan, but I get everything I need from the TV Broadcasts...the Giant's broadcast team of John Miller, Duane Kuiper, and Mike Krukow are the best since I grew up listening to Russ Hodges and Lonn Simmons. Today, I follow the SF Giants on Facebook, so everything Giants comes to me there.

With the exception of the SF Giants, all of my sports are "Second Tier Sports" in Newspaper-Speak. Motorsports, Bicycle Racing, Sailing, Wintersports, Outdoor Recreation, Fishing and Camping. Niche Sports are not well served by newspapers anymore. Still, the Chronicle does have an Outdoor Section in the Sporting Green every Thursday (though I hate that they dropped the Fishing Report) Maybe it's not ironic that I gladly pay $25/year to for access to the Fishing Reports Forums, but won't subscribe to the paper. It's here that newspapers will never be able to compete with Internet sources.

In Truckee, the daily Chronicle is a dollar...($3.00 on Sundays!), it's not the Final Edition, it's the Early Edition, printed at midnight or earlier, it requires that I get up and get dressed and drive a half mile...where I need exact change to buy a copy from a newspaper it's hardly accurate to call it a Newspaper when compared to the up-to-the-second nature of the 'Net.

The Chronicle's Outdoor Section is anchored by Tom Steinstra, NorCal's Outdoor Writer Emeritus. I've linked to Tom's Winter Prediction Columns here, I own several of Tom's Guidebooks, and read him regularly. In Tom's Thursday Column this week, he coined a new word: "Sprinter"

This hurt my ears:
"One phenomenon this year in the Sierra is that a new season called "sprinter" has arrived. That is when the weather doesn't seem to know if it's winter, spring or summer. At Caples Lake, for instance, nestled at 7,800 feet along Highway 88 near Carson Pass, it was 20 degrees at dawn Tuesday and yet in the 80s by Wednesday afternoon."

It's bad enough to endure this cool lingering season...but the cutesy name is just plain cruel! Say it's ain't so, Tom! Take it back...Hello Kitty is an indoor pet, Hello Kitty doesn't do!

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