In 2004, my first year being old enough to vote for president, my first ballot was special. That was the year my dad ran for a seat on the county commission back home.
That was his fourth time running for office. The previous three times he was unsuccessful. We were and still are members of the minority party in that county. The majority doesn't much vote outside party lines. In 2004, Dad lost again.
I was heartbroken. That year, I was his "campaign manager," designing newspaper ads and recording radio ads. That was the first and only year I had ever and will ever cast a vote when my last name was on the ballot. I will never forget the pride I felt choosing my dad over his opponent.
What a year.
This year, my dad got to the polls long before the 6 a.m. opening. He was the first voter at his precinct. That's my dad.
And this year, we witnessed the most historic election in the history of our country.
What a year.
I love the assumption that sports writers and sports folks don't care much about "real news." I get a chuckle and sometimes get rankled when the other side of the building makes an offhanded comment about what we know or don't know.
All I've got to say is I've had some of the best political conversations with Joey Fosko these past few months than I have with other "newsy" folks I've met.
I originally started my journalistic career with the thought of pursuing a political or health-related beat. I eventually chose sports because this is where all the fun happens, not because my mind is incapable of wrapping itself around charged topics.
We might know stats and figures and game histories, but don't ever think we're out of the loop.
Same for athletes. Check out this story written for the Columbia Missourian about Mizzou's football political discussions:
Good reporting by The Associated Press. Athletes going professional in something other than sports:
By The Associated Press
—Kevin Johnson, NBA, Sacramento mayor.
—Heath Shuler, NFL, North Carolina congressional seat.
—Sam Wyche, NFL, Pickens County Council in South Carolina.
—Baron Hill, college basketball, Indiana congressional seat.
—Norm Dicks, college football, Washington congressional seat.
—Jason Chaffetz, college football, Utah congressional seat.
—Todd Thomsen, college football, Oklahoma Legislature.
—Tad Jones, college football, Oklahoma Legislature.
—Anton Gunn, college football, South Carolina Legislature.
—Mufi Hannemann, college basketball, Honolulu mayor.
—Joe Mesi, boxing, New York Legislature.
—Joey Browner, NFL, Eagan (Minn.) City Council.
—Bob Heaton, college basketball, Indiana Legislature.
—Greg Hopkins, Arena Football League, Pennsylvania Legislature.
—Peter Boulware, NFL, Florida Legislature.