Saturday, February 14, 2009

I know it's Valentine's Day but ...

During my almost 39 years on this planet, I have never criticized the Erie Times for too much coverage of a local sport. Back in the day (especially when they published SportsWeek), the Times sports section was essentially ripped from the AP wire service. Feature stories on local sports stars were scarce. (Unless you considered Jack Polancy's "Changeable Sue" to be a sports star.)

So, I've always been happy to see a local athlete get good ink. But Duane Rankin's obsession with Eric Daniels of the Erie BayHawks is getting ludicrous. Today's paper featured a staggering 54 column inches of text on Daniels plus a 7-inch by 8-inch color photo on the front page. In contrast, today's 8 college basketball games received a total of 21 column inches of text. If this was the first or second Times story focusing on Daniels, that would be palatable. But it seems like it's the 100th. When Daniels gets an interview request from Rankin, his reaction has to be, "Now what?"

There are plenty of college and high school athletes at local schools who deserve ink of their own. I'd love to know more about Mercyhurst's front line of transfers Elliot Engelmann and Jordan Armstrong. What's the story behind newcomer Nnamdi Nnadili? Edinboro's Gil Cummings is having a standout season. How do locals Cory Knight, Joe Jones, and Tyler Stoczynski feel about playing in front of Erie crowds for so long? I doubt that I'll see those stories any time soon in the paper. But I will be checking the vital statistics to see if Duane Rankin has a baby. I'm sure he has the names picked out already: for a boy it's Eric Daniel, and for a girl it's Erica Danielle.

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