Let’s Be Careful Out There

So we just sent over the 2018-19 wrestling preview to the Florida Times-Union.

Last year’s submission of this preview and its subsequent publication, shall we say, caused a little steam out there in the community. Well, one school, actually. Steam that I, quite frankly, did not appreciate, and — as I am occasionally known to do — might have amplified somewhat.

Given that, and given that I was just reminded of it all in my Facebook memories this week, I thought a couple of disclaimers would be in order.

  1. I have NO CONTROL over the format of the preview. Like every other non-football preview that appears in the FTU, the format for the wrestling preview is this. Write a paragraph about the top five teams heading into the season. Then, write a paragraph about five individuals, ideally the best(ish) five, that do NOT wrestle for one of those five teams. While I didn’t list every returning state qualifier on each of the five teams to watch this year, I did (or at least believe I did) list each returning state medalist. I could not list every returning state medalist as an individual to watch. In part, I intentionally spread the coverage out.
  2. Because I have NO CONTROL over the format of the preview, much as I would like it to look and read and feel more like my #TurkeyNWrestling one, I am bound by the constraints of the entity paying me to write it. A lot of people took issue with the fact that it wasn’t like TnW. It was even called “fake news.” Whatever else a local high school sport preview is or is not, it is most definitely not fake. If you have issues with the FTU about its Seminoles/Gators/Jaguars/insert team here coverage, or its editorials, or you just don’t like how much it’s shrunk (and I agree with you), please do not disparage my work as “fake news.” You can just stop reading now, otherwise. No matter who you are.
  3. All other things being equal, given that I’m already writing up results for FTU throughout the season, and covering what they allow me to cover (which isn’t much outside of one of the three region tournaments and states), and that I’m going to be doing team rankings for them this year (yes, when it appears, you can take the team paragraphs and how they’re ordered as evidence of how I would rank them), I should write the preview as well. Better me than somebody who doesn’t know the area, or the sport.
  4. The FTU preview only covers teams that were with me the first year of Matmen. That’s all Duval/Clay/St Johns/Nassau teams, plus Columbia and Suwannee.
  5. I don’t like submitting a preview with my name on it that doesn’t say something about every team. Every team is working at this point in the year. But, see #1.

The preview could run this weekend or Monday. You’ll probably find out before I do.

Want to know more about south Georgia wrestling? Check out our affiliated site at http://sgamatmen.wordpress.com

Please support our independent journalism by going here and donating to our websites: https://www.gofundme.com/north-florida-matmen

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I covered wrestling for 15 years up north and "retired" in both 1992 and again in 2011. But I couldn't stay away. Started Northeast Florida Matmen in 2013, Northwest Florida Matmen in 2015. We combined those sites into North Florida Matmen in the summer of 2018. And, we've started South Georgia Matmen in November of 2018. Our work is never paywalled, our content is searchable for all time. We're here because the kids keep lacing 'em up, so we'll keep writing 'em up.

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