I’ve had some health issues over the past year that have limited my sports columns in the SDN. Most notably I’ve had only one insertion during this calendar year and was not able to attend Cincinnati Reds spring training from where I contributed weekly. My situation was never life threatening but did cause two trips to the emergency room, the most recent coming in mid-January.
With the help of excellent and caring medical professionals along with multiple medications, I’m not scheduled to see another doctor until September and my energy level has returned. This is the best I’ve felt in many years. Against this backdrop I’ve heard from many readers inquiring about the resumption of my columns which initiated back in 1991. This is greatly appreciated.
I’ve gotten numerous inquiries about having to miss my first spring training since 1990. While I love heading to the desert and am anxious to return, I accepted the current situation and decided to treat it as an opportunity to do some things I’d been missing. I went to many high school tournament basketball games along with several other functions. Along the way I could keep up with the Reds due to a high volume of televised contests along with the usual radio and print coverage.
One night looked especially promising for both basketball and baseball and is worth sharing. I went to Kettering for boys regionals and looked forward to listening to the Reds on the way home. The spring training game was just starting as we began heading north. Great timing. Then the rains came after just three pitches and play was not resumed. Darn.
I did miss joining Marty Brennaman in the Reds radio booth as he began to wind down his 46 seasons behind the microphone. I’ve been spending two innings with him each spring. He did call me early in spring training to see how I was doing and invite me to the broadcast booth later in the season. I was most appreciative.
A few weeks ago I decided to get back to writing while exploring something other than my previous periodic and irregular arrangement. With 65 years in this area, some 44 years in sports media, a good memory, and some knack for storytelling, could I undertake a weekly format without running out of ammunition?
I brainstormed some potential topics one evening that totaled over 50 in very short order. Add this to current issues that arise and I’d have what I needed to go weekly. I worked through SDN Sports Editor Bryant Billing to pitch a continuing “Friday Sports Extra With Dave Ross” and received quick approval. Today marks the launch.
“Sports Extra” actually originated with a daily radio show I hosted for over a decade ending in 1990, and is designed to offer coverage beyond game stories. The current effort will afford the opportunity to share my many experiences with our audience while also providing topical analysis. I’ll have a blank weekly canvas to paint and I’m ready to start.
Next Friday I’ll discuss Fort Loramie’s effort to find a league affiliation for high school football beginning in 2021.
Dave Ross was named the top Div. II sports columnist for 2018 by the Ohio Associated Press. He’s a Past President of the Shelby County Historical Society.