My name is Jim Allen and this is my first week on the job as I return to The Spokesman-Review Sports Desk after a short interruption of ... 24 years.
Because of the holiday, this first week lasts only four days, which offers even less time for “housekeeping,” a euphemism for getting me electronically hooked up to cover sports teams at Eastern Washington and Whitworth universities.
“Housekeeping” takes a bit longer when you’re old school and not sure what they mean by a “Tweet,” or how that Tweet should sound. Or that your wife and kids were right when they insist that you actually figure out how to used and carry a cellphone. That’s my first New Year’s resolution, which should be easier since my new company iPhone is programmed to receive emails. Now I have to program myself to read them – resolution number 2.
There will be NO resolutions needed to get excited about covering college sports. I’ve been a sports fan for nearly all of my 54 years. I grew up in Portland, earned a B.A. in journalism at the University of Oregon and covered Idaho State football and basketball as a sports writer and editor at the Post-Register in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
The fates were kind. Back in 1983, the Big Sky football coaches and media would gather in Sun Valley to talk, sometimes even about football. Jim Price, then the Sports Information Director at Eastern Washington University, told me about an opening on the Sports Desk at the S-R. I got the job. Barely a year later, a colleague on that desk set me up on a blind date. I got the girl. Later came two sons, and one of whom is a freshman at EWU. Talk about coming full circle!
And that’s what I’ve done at the S-R, where I’ve been an editor in the Sports, News, Business and Voices sections, but thanks to a recent round of early retirements that included talented sportswriter Steve Bergum, I’ve been given a golden chance to return to what I love most: writing about sports.
My first game is Thursday night, Weber State at EWU, 6 p.m. at Reese Court. Next week I plan to cover two Whitworth home games. I’ll be the guy at the laptop, watching the game, writing, Tweeting and watching my cell phone. I hope to see you there!
And now, here are some interesting links to happenings in Big Sky basketball: First, here's Ogden Standard Examiner columnist Jim Burton's take on EWU's next opponent, Weber State, and how the Wildcats need a bit more ferocity on the court:
Meanwhile, it is still football season, and the coaching carousel stopped in Bozeman, Mont. last weekend and took away Montana State offensive coordinator Brian Wright:
Finally, from the Arizona Daily Sun of Flagstaff, here's a link to an interview with Northern Arizona junior guard Stallon Saldivar, whose 3-point shot stunned Arizona State of the Pac-12 last month, 69-68. Saldivar and the Lumberjacks visit EWU Saturday night.