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Why I still do this

State finals remind writer of joys inherent in covering sports

So you want to know - after all these years spent jotting illegible things down in notebooks, doing hundreds of interviews, writing thousands of stories, covering untold numbers of contests both mundane and meaningful, and then hammering it out in front of an inanimate computer screen, why keep doing it?

A committee’s thankless task

Group that decides NCAA Tournament field deserves some love, right?

This Sunday night, just after 6 p.m., anyone who cares about college basketball will see the only bracket that matters. Ron Wellman, athletic director at Wake Forest, and the rest of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee will unveil the 68 teams for our annual Dance – who they are, where they are going, when they’ll be playing.

Best against best

Broncos' offense, Seahawks' D makes for compelling Super Bowl

To save you a whole lot of time between now and Sunday night’s football game in New Jersey with a Roman numeral title that decides the championship of the National Football League, here is the lazy, tired narrative that will get repeated millions of times before they kick it off.

Home considerations

Even if Dome is maintained, new arena would help Syracuse

More than 30,000 packed the Carrier Dome on Jan. 11 as SU’s undefeated men’s basketball juggernaut dismantled North Carolina. Way more, perhaps up to 35,000, will be on hand next Saturday night for the arrival of Duke, even if they’re not as imposing as Blue Devil teams from seasons past.

Kicking off the New Year right

It is that time of year again — time to “set New Year’s resolutions,” “get in shape,” “work on the waist line,” “go on a diet,” “start fresh,” whatever you want to call it, most people feel the need to reevaluate their habits in January after all the holiday hoopla is over. Usually diet and exercise habits rank high on the list of “needs improvement.” On Jan. 1 (or maybe Jan. 2), the “hard core dieters” and the “gung-ho gym members” begin their quest. They sweat, grunt, groan, “give up carbs” and step on the scale every day. A month later, most of them find themselves exhausted, sore, injured, hungry, deprived, miserable and frustrated (maybe even a few other adjectives). They may or may not be in better shape or weigh less. If you plan on trying this approach, please reconsider. If you want long lasting success and really want to feel better emotionally and physically, please try this approach…

Sanity at South Jefferson

Top basketball coach returns; will we learn from it?

This was getting all too familiar. Again a successful, accomplished high school coach in Central New York was getting scrutiny from his employer. Again the coach’s future was put in jeopardy. Again a large part of the community organized itself in support of the coach.

Mandela, man and hero

Great man fought for freedom, forgiveness in extraordinary life

A Sunday morning, February 11, 1990, and I was still a freshman in high school. We were all about to head out to church, but we turned on CNN – and the most astonishing, remarkable and wonderful sight greeted us.

Uncommon grace

Show of sportsmanship in state soccer final a teachable moment

Jerry Mackey was, no doubt, elated that his Oneonta girls soccer team had just won the state Class B championship on a windy, wet Sunday night at SUNY-Cortland. But before he could celebrate with the girls he coached, he had a more important task at hand.

COLUMN: How a fortuitous meeting opened my mind

When I first met Vince Cook, I was working part-time as a server at the Market Diner in Syracuse. Vince was sitting alone, drinking coffee and reading a book on editing. He told me that he and his wife Terri were writing and publishing a book. He didn’t tell me the topic at that time, nor did I ask.

What’s in a name?

Long past time to deal with offensive nicknames, pro or otherwise

First, before we plunge into the raging discussion about what to call that Pro Football Team in Washington, let’s just admit that none of our hands are clean here – journalists included. Thousands of times in hundreds of stories over the decades, we have shown no shame, apology or hesitation dropping Native American-based nicknames into the flow of the story. And we’ll continue to do so in the days, months and years ahead.

Tease photo

Guest Column: An inside look into my journey to the 2016 Paralympics

Baldwinsville resident Erin Scala just returned from a week, Sept. 6 through Sept. 13, at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Below, the athlete chronicles her experience.

Bonding, not hazing

Stories at Cornell, B'ville highlight troubling issue

Cornell University, academic bastion, Ivy League stalwart, producer of so much talent in so many fields – the school has every right to feel proud about its place, both as an institution and as the source of so much pride within the Ithaca community. And while sports are important for the Big Red, it tries hard not to reflect the larger ugliness that surrounds big-time college athletics and has been profusely documented everywhere you look.

New Basic STAR exemption requires registration by homeowners

The county legislature’s Ways and Means Committee received a detailed presentation from New York State’s Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) on new legislation pertaining to the Basic STAR exemption. What we learned is simple: All homeowners receiving Basic STAR benefits must register with DTF by Dec. 31 in order to receive the exemption in 2014 and beyond. Senior citizens already receiving Enhanced STAR benefits are not impacted by this new legislation.

Oak Hill impressions

Thoughts from a week covering the PGA Championship

Golf tournaments are simple, right? Tee off on Thursday, continue Friday, position yourself on Saturday and see who wins Sunday, isn’t that the general idea? Well, yes, and no. True, the structure doesn’t change much, but at every event, especially the big ones, there’s a full week of activity, and the recently completed PGA Championship that Jason Dufner won at Oak Hill in suburban Rochester was no exception.

Another trip to Oak Hill

Week-long coverage of PGA Championship can be found here

It’s been quite a major season. From Adam Scott shedding his Lytham demons in the rain at Augusta, to Justin Rose fulfilling his teenage promise 15 years later at Merion, to Phil Mickelson delivering a final-round masterpiece at Muirfield to snatch the one title he thought he’d never win, the show has always delivered.

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