Friday, August 17, 2007

Beacon's David deserved Goliath consideration

Congratulations to Patrick McManamon as the ABJ's new sports columnist, replacing Terry Pluto, who announced a few days ago that he's leaving to assume a similar position with the Plain Dealer.

While McManamon is a solid, veteran sports reporter who provides good, in-depth coverage of the Browns, I'm just wondering what consideration -- if any -- that David Lee Morgan Jr. was given?

When I think about the role of sports columnist at the paper, I think of a "voice" that will offer insight and behind-the-scenes stories that make me want to chat with my co-workers and friends. Pluto was great at that, and not just because he watched as a fan. It was because Terry really knew how to talk to people and because he'd spend Friday nights at a Garfield-Buchtel game and Saturday's at Mount Union.

David has proven to be that kind of writer as well. He has a long history of covering local high school sports, the U of A and Ohio State (he has a new book coming out on Tressel), and wrote the first book on LeBron. He's well-respected among area coaches and players alike.

David screams local and would also provide both diversity and youth to the position that would make him a writer the ABJ could invest in for many years to come. Like Terry, David wouldn't have been satisfied just to write from the press box at the big venues. His articles on players who've left the game and gotten into trouble or those who've turned their lives around show you the depth of the writing David would bring as a sports columnist.

Again, I look forward to McManamon's first column because he knows sports. But I can't help but wonder if the paper rushed to find a replacement giant and in doing so missed out on a great young talent holding a slingshot.

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