Since I returned to the Morning Times in April as its Managing Editor, I have had several people ask me when the Nosebleed Section would return.
The answer is today as the Nosebleed Section is back in the sports section of the Times for the first time since Oct. 30, 2014.
For those of you who don’t know me — or this column — let me reintroduce myself.
I started working for the Evening Times sports department when I was 15 years old and a student at Athens Area High School. Glenn Rolfe, who was Sports Editor at the time, gave me a chance on my first night to cover a basketball game — and I have been hooked ever since.
Years later, I would begin writing the Nosebleed Section, and it has turned out to be probably my favorite thing I’ve had a chance to do in the newspaper business.
I decided to name my column the Nosebleed Section because that’s where I sat during my trips to Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia to watch the Eagles with my dad, Fast Eddie McDonald, and his best friend, Art Johnson, when I was growing up.
Our seats were in the 700 Level of the old Vet, and it’s where I truly fell in love with sports.
In my last stint with the Times, I covered everything in this column — from praising local coaches and athletes to questioning administrations or groups for decisions I didn’t agree with.
When I was writing this column for the Morning Times in the past, it has brought me plenty of praise from readers — and more than a few people who took time out of their day to bash me or even call for me to be fired.
In my last Nosebleed Section for this paper I said this:
“Any time I wrote about something controversial or brought up something that people didn’t want to hear, I have received calls, e-mails and letters both thanking me and bashing me.
I was grateful for all of the feedback because that meant I was writing about something that got people talking.
In the end, that was all I was trying to do. Get people talking about a certain issue or problem that I noticed. I never tried to write a column just to be controversial or get people fired up, but I also wasn’t scared to write about something I knew would get me in trouble.
That’s the legacy that I want to leave — not only here but at any newspaper I work at. I have always just wanted people to know that if I put my name on something, I believe in it and stand by it.
Hopefully, I have done that.”
That is still my goal as I bring this column back to the Times’ sports section.
While my new title here is Managing Editor — and I will be covering plenty of stories on the news side of things — I’m looking forward to getting back to covering Valley sports.
I have been away from the area for five years. Four of those were spent covering sports in southern Maine, while I also spent one year in the Finger Lakes region of New York.
I loved my time with both the Journal Tribune in Biddeford, Maine and Finger Lakes Times in Geneva, New York, but it’s good to be home.
Over these last five years, I spent plenty of time reading stories on the Morning Times website as I kept up with teams from Athens, Sayre, Waverly, Tioga and Spencer-Van Etten. There were more than a few times that I would call Sports Editor Dave Post to talk about something that happened.
There were also a few times that I thought to myself — “I wish I could write a Nosebleed Section about that.”
Now, I will have that chance. Stay tuned.