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“They wouldn’t complain if they didn’t care.” That was the response of my first editor when a reader questioned my opinion in a column. That was in Miami, the one in Oklahoma, not in Florida. Where the last syllable of the town’s name is a “muh,” not a “mee.”
Anyway, if that early advice was accurate, then the city of Chiefland — pronounced “Chief-Land” everywhere — certainly cares about its sports coverage. I miss sleep obsessing or over-analyzing this sentence or that sentence, worrying if it’ll be misinterpreted. I dread going to events from time to time, wondering what was missing or wrong or what should’ve been covered that wasn’t.
My favorite is when we go to a game to cover a team and someone complains that we’re not covering that team enough. Well, we are there now, so we obviously know the team deserves attention.
My least favorite is when we cover Bronson sports. “But you’re the CHIEFLAND Citizen!” That’s ridiculous logic outside of a few folks in Chiefland. Most newspapers cover multiple communities to survive, especially these days. If The New York Times only covered New York City, none of us would read it.
When we cover Bronson’s football team like we did in last week’s edition, it’s catch-22. Eagles fans are eager to thank you for it, while a few rabid Indians followers believe it’s reason to shut down their subscriptions all together.
Really? Are you that shortsighted? The pages and pages of photos and features in previous papers were all for naught? Surely folks are smart enough to know we have subscribers and sponsors in Bronson, not to mention that those players are equally deserving of quality coverage. So to survive, we will keep covering Bronson, and even Bell, Cedar Key, Dixie County, Trenton and Williston when warranted.
Speaking of surviving, look around. Many weekly newspapers in Florida and beyond have cut sports coverage all together, or only cover the big games or events when necessary. The cover-anything-and-everything-that-features-a-ball days are dying as page counts and advertising revenues decline.
So maybe we shouldn’t complain about what we don’t have, but be happy that we have anything? The fact is the Chiefland Citizen has the best sports section in the tri-county area, so instead of complaining, re-channel that energy into thanking the advertisers in these pages for supporting area sports.
Please understand that I‘m not complaining here, just explaining how our readers complaining is an awesome thing. It shows us you care, which is great because we certainly do, too.