Know-it-alls can't know it all without help

August 08, 2004|by MARK KELLER

To me, one of the most derisive names a person can be called is a "know-it-all."

There's something to be said for having a wealth of knowledge, but the negative connotations that go along with the "know-it-all" tag far outweigh the positives.

There appears to be a notion that our sports staff is a bunch of "know-it-alls" ... not necessarily in the negative sense of the term (though I'm sure some feel that way), but more that readers think we know about every sporting event that's going on in a 75-mile radius of Hagerstown.

Unfortunately, that's never the case. In fact, with the population growing and the number of youth and recreational leagues multiplying, we probably aren't aware of many sporting events that are going on in the area.


The worst part about that is that we often don't find about those events until they're over.

That nearly happened with the PONY Zone Tournament - yes, the step just before the World Series - being played in Hagerstown this weekend. If not for one parent who called 30 minutes before the first game began with the all-too-familiar phrase, "I don't know if you're aware ...," we might have missed the first night of the tournament.

The caller - whom I would like to thank again here - said she knows we sometimes take flak from readers when we do not cover an event such as the PONY tournament.

Taking flak or hearing complaints from readers is fine and is to be expected from time to time. But it does become frustrating when we take heat for not covering something that we knew nothing about.

I've been told over the last couple years that we don't cover the youth all-star teams like we used to.

It's probably true that we don't cover some of the all-star teams and tournaments the same as they were covered, say, 10 years ago.

Of course, 10 years ago there were no 7-8 all-star teams, no 9-10 all-star teams, no 11-year-old all-star teams, no 11-12 'B' all-star teams, no 13-year-old all-star teams, no Junior Legion, no girls softball league, no ... well, you get the idea.

And though we don't necessarily cover all of those things, they do eat up space in an already tight sports section.

Even so, we'll find the space for an event like the PONY Zone Tournament, which has national ramifications for two local teams, as long as we know about it ahead of time.

To get your event mentioned - and possibly covered - by The Herald-Mail sports staff, e-mail a press release to me at, fax it to 301-714-0245 or call me between 4 and 9 p.m. at the number at the bottom of this column. Please send notice at least 10 days prior to the date of the event.

With that, we'll go a long way to becoming a bunch of "know-it-alls."

And I mean that in the best sense of the term.

Mark Keller is sports editor of The Herald-Mail. His column appears every Sunday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2332, or by e-mail at

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