From Sports Editor Jim Sheahan:
When the Empire State Games came to the Poughkeepsie area for the first time ever in 2005, I was new here.
The management team had been working up a massive plan for how to cover the ESGs for almost a year when I arrived in February of that year. My new boss wanted some ideas from me about what Sports was going to do before the Games to make them special for people in the Mid-Hudson Valley.
Hmmm. A crafty manager, my would-be boss actually asked me for ideas before he offered me the job. (I guess he wanted to have some ideas for the new Sports Editor if I didn't get the job.) Anyway, I came up with an idea.
We would profile one local ESG athlete every day for 30 days leading up to the Games, kind of a countdown to the Games. Brilliant! We'd write about young people, older people, gymnasts, archers, track stars, masters cyclists ... we'd illustrate the diversity of the region and the diversity of sports in the Games.
Alas, I wasn't as smart as I thought I was.
If I was smart enough to stop and think for a minute, I'd have realized that 30 days before the last Wednesday in July is roughly the last Wednesday in June. You should have seen my face when I found out that ESG officials would not release the rosters until 7-10 days into July.
The profiles were a hit that summer, but I had to do some back-alley negotiating and meet with some rather shady characters to find profile subjects before the actual rosters were released.
We did 30 more last year, and we're doing 30 more this year. I've really created a beast, and every summer I struggle to tame it. We started our profiles on Tuesday. The rosters are going to be released on July 10. By that time, we'll be 15 profiles into our group of 30. Big help.
Anyway, I've included some photos of profile subjects from this summer so far. High jumper Megan Tice, swimmer Eric Culver and tennis player Jarrett Sears.
If you know of someone who is in the ESGs and would make an interesting profile subject, please let me know. PS: I've already fulfilled my quota for track and field athletes.