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The past week has been a blur. Our little company has two full-time employees and three websites. We lost one employee to a job in Ohio, and we’ve redrawn and begun redeploying our resources, and the new plan is going to work, but it takes a while.

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Monte Dutton

I’ve been doing a fair amount of teaching lately, and my Friday-night editing duties were a bit more aggravating than usual because some newcomers made me labor at bringing their work up to minimum standards.

It’s going to be fine. Caleb Gilbert and I think alike – this is obvious now because we can read each other’s minds – and learn from each other. If we don’t prosper, it’s a damn shame because my strengths are his weaknesses, and vice-versa, and when I get him up to my speed on one side, he’s going to pull away because I’m too old to change much on the other.

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Danny Barletta’s last assignment was working together with me in the Furman University press box, and it was the only time we really collaborated. He was good company, and I’ll miss him and I think his brief time at DHK Sports LLC, gave him some skills that will come in handy in Ohio.

But then I would.

I don’t think either of us, Caleb or me, can sustain this forever, but we’re just trying to work our way through a constant state of flux in search of stability. The other morning, Caleb was talking about how he was working too hard, and I said, well, I’m working harder than you are, and he said, “But I’m not you.”

Later that afternoon, I realized it was quite a compliment. I’m glad I can still be the warhorse, churning through mugs of coffee as if they were buckets of oats.

Amusement and motivation are powerful sources of energy. They give me gas. (Wait, no, let me rephrase that.) They gas me up. I was around NASCAR too long. My life’s one “gas ’n’ go” after another. I’ve been “mattin’ the floorboard” like it was Talladega and I could go wide open all the way around.

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Getting out is such fun. I am in a world of wonder on a high school sideline. If I know I have a good set of statistics waiting in the email when I get home, I barely take a note. I chat with fellow sideline denizens – other photogs and scribes, trainers, docs, chain crew – and it’s amazing what’s in them to learn. I make sure I inset the statistics in the copy, where possible, and that gives me room to run with the game story.

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I need to cover home games – early home, more time to work on photos – but I love to cover road ones. A lot of it is because the longer I have to think about a clever lead for the game, the better it winds up being. Sometimes I walk in the house, fire up the laptop and write two paragraphs even before I start the photos downloading (or uploading, whichever it is) and the coffee brewing.

Sometimes I write a story with the flow I like and then go back and find quotes to fit in just right. Sometimes I transcribe quotes 1st, sometimes last. Sometimes I get 3/4ths of the way through a game story and tell myself, self, what you’ve got here is a column. Sometimes I write a column by just heading in a general direction and waiting for something coherent, and occasionally even cohesive, to form.

Oh, yeah. Sometimes I write the aforementioned column and realize I still have to write a game story.

Sometimes I write something meaning it to be taken one way, and that way sails right over the head of a reader. Recently I wrote that Hose ought to run, and it was a pun (“run in the hose,” get it?) more than it was a suggestion. Upon further review, I’d have probably taken it wrong if I had been the reader.

I think my mind is younger than my age, but my body is older, so judging it all on a comprehensive basis, I’m about right.