He’s won again.
Sports editor Greg Bowers and I play this little game once a year when the national awards presented by the Associated Press Sports Editors come out.
This week, as in previous APSE weeks of yore, I shake my head and mutter while Greg checks the announcements on the website approximately 8,000 times a day, from before dawn to past midnight.
It goes something like this:
Me: Think we’ll get any actual work out of you today Greg?
Greg: But it’s APSE day. Today. Right now. It’s the biggest competition in sports for newspapers.
Me: Really? I never heard that. Except last year. And the year before. And …
Greg: They should name a holiday for APSE day.
Me: Yes, but do you think we’ll get any actual work out of you today?
And so the argument goes, me pretending to be angry, Greg unable to hide the 10-year-old on Christmas Eve inside him.
He wins, because the Missourian wins, and who can be mad when the Missourian wins? Especially this week. Missourian sports won more APSE awards this year than any in recent memory. Your daily sports section is among the Top 10 in the nation for newspapers under 30,000. Two of the top 10 feature stories came from the Missourian, as did two of 10 multimedia pieces.
(Most of the categories simply give a Top 10 or Top 5, not specific rankings. A newspaper can, in essence, “play up” to higher circulation newspapers.)
Greg’s winning formula is pretty simple: Find the story less traveled.
In this day of instant results and near-instant analysis and opinion, there’s a niche for stories – for vignettes and funny moments; for yarns and tragedies.
On Thursday, Greg said that when it comes to sports journalism, the Missourian might just be the biggest little newspaper in the country.
I won’t argue with him on that point.