Sometimes they've included my unbiased opinion on the Vols, the big game or the particularly interesting athlete or coach.
And sometimes they've included my endless ramblings on the subjects that only true sports fans could possibly care about.
It's the kind of column I usually subject you people to during the deadest days of sport.
They're the days when a little man with a funny name consumes dozens of hot dogs in an eating contest and gets himself on Sportscenter.
They're the days when a baseball player with a bat takes down one Italian sausage and gets himself on NBC Nightly News.
These are the kind of days that make us yearn for football practice to begin. And believe me, when we start yearning to watch 300-pound men sweat in 100-degree heat, you know things are bad.
So yes, these are the days when the fill-in-the-white-part-of-the-paper ramblings really come in handy.
Days kind of like, I don't know - July 18?
This year, though, I've been told to refurbish my usual mid-summer column. According to my editor in chief, I can't go on an on with my meaningless ramblings anymore.
Too many different subjects are getting into the column. People say it's boring. Not enough of them are reading it.
And when I ended the ramblings abruptly last year without ever coming to a clear conclusion, both our readers were infuriated.
Well, fine then. This time around, things are going to be different.
This time around, I've been guaranteed by the managing editor that I can get my Alabama game story on the front page in October if I write a structured, well-thought-out column about a serious subject in July.
That's right, my friends - this time it counts.
Front-page advantage is on the line. The stakes are raised!
The passion is back!
I mean, come on, if I don't start taking this column seriously, I might lose the Oct. 27 front page to that weasel government editor of ours. I'd rather not think about that.
I could travel all the way to Tuscaloosa, work as hard as I've ever worked, and churn out the best game story I've ever written - and then have it shoved below the latest news from the SGA front.
And it would all be because I didn't write well enough in a meaningless column in the dog days of summer.
So you can imagine the pressure cooker I'm in right now.
It's OK, though, because the real sense of meaning that I'm getting as I type these very words is motivation enough.
I'm pumped. I promise.
Um, see there's still one problem, though. The last time I looked it was still July 18.
The last time I looked, Johnnie Cochran and Alan Dershowitz were arguing during an ESPN-televised court procession involving the always-hot judicial topic of whether or not Pete Rose should be included in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Rose v. Dershowitz, with the honorable Bob Ley presiding as host.
So you see what I have to work with here?
Kobe Bryant makes an appearance at the ESPYs and you would've thought Pat Buchanan had just shown up at the latest Democratic presidential debate.
Cubs' manager Dusty Baker says white people don't mind snow and people of his own race don't mind the summer heat, and you would've thought he was the new enemy of world peace.
It was the kind of earth-shattering comment that caused the good folks over at CNN to forget about trivial stuff like Iraq and North Korea for a few days, and instead decide to debate whether Baker's comments made him an astute observer, a blatant racist, a reverse racist, or just a blabbering idiot.
And hey look, there's a bunch of people on bicycles racing past French farmers!
And hey look, I've rambled on for too long and now I'm out of space!
I've written some decent columns over the last few months and now I've lost it all because on this one day, I've failed to write seriously about the ultra-serious world that is the summer sports landscape.
So I don't care if I make my boss mad or if my paper loses three potential readers - I'm on the record when it comes to this mid-summer column.
This one shouldn't count.
- Brett Edgerton, a senior in journalism, is the Sports Editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not just another mid-summer sports column
Published: Fri Jul 18, 2003 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 05:13 p.m.