Football, food and a magazine

Wayne MitchellEven I, an avid football fan, have a little trouble sitting through the National Football League’s preseason exhibition games.

After the first few minutes, the games turn into an exhibition of rookies, hoping to make the team, and backup players who often just seem to be going through the motions waiting for time to run out on the clock.

I even get a little bored watching my Kansas City Chiefs, who I have followed for as many years as there has been a team in Kansas City. (Not as bored as I got Sunday night when a power outage blacked out the game.) But fall does bring hope of a fresh start. Somebody once said everybody has a championship team until they play the first game.

And this summer I’ve managed to keep up some interest in baseball, too, because the Royals, a small market team without a big payroll, have been hovering around first place in the American League Central Division. There’s even some chance they will make the playoffs for the first time since Shep was a pup. Do people still say that?

The good news about the NFL preseason is it means that high school football is here. I’ll be trading my soft seat on the couch for the hard bleachers at Kitchens Field when the Bulldogs play Itawamba Aug. 29.
It also means that our sports staff has put together the Gazette’s annual Fall Sports Preview. The 32-page high school sports magazine is tucked inside your paper today.

Sports Editor Donica Phifer and sportswriter Dennis Clayton don’t just preview New Albany and East Union football, either. They’ve got all the fall sports covered from New Albany and Union County schools, with photos of the teams, the cheerleaders and the bands pulled together in a glossy keepsake magazine.

During football season the Gazette will have full-color photo coverage of the New Albany and East Union games in the Wednesday edition and a preview of the upcoming games in the Friday paper. Donica and Dennis also will have live updates on their Twitter feeds.

I hope to see you at the games. I’ll be the one arriving early so I can enjoy my band cheeseburgers (yes, that’s plural) before the game gets under way.

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I also hope to see you for lunch (you notice how everything comes back to food) on Sept. 26. It’s the fourth annual RiverFest Community Literary Luncheon at noon at the First United Methodist Church on Bankhead Street.

Author and retired Boston Globe reporter Curtis Wilkie will be the speaker at the event, where the winners of the William Faulkner Literary Awards will be announced. Wilkie is a visiting professor at the University of Mississippi and a fellow at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics. He has a new book, “Assassins, Eccentrics, Politicians and Other Persons of Interest: Fifty Pieces from the Road.”

You can get a ticket for $10 or a reserved table for eight for $100 at the Union County Heritage Museum or the Union County Development Association.

T. Wayne Mitchell, Gazette publisher, can be reached at 662-534-6321.

About Wayne Mitchell

Publisher of the New Albany Gazette