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Like many sports fans, I inherited a love of sports at an early age from my father. We spent our time together shooting hoops in the driveway, or tossing a ball [baseball or football, depending on the season] around the backyard.

Jeff BearWhen I was old enough, I took my “skills” out into the neighborhood where groups of kids would gather to compete in one sport or another every weekend and throughout the long days and warm nights of summer.

When I entered high school, I combined my love of sports with my love of writing and became the sports editor for my high school newspaper. But my love of the sports page started years earlier.

Sports pages in those days bore very little resemblance to the big city daily sports pages of today. The only kinds of articles you’d find on the sports page then were summaries of games that had already been played. There were no features about particular athletes and their personal triumphs, let alone who they were dating, or their ties to performance-enhancing drugs or murders.

If an athlete had an issue with a coach over playing time, or with team management over their contract, it was usually never reported, or else it was buried in the “notes” section of the newspaper.

In fact, we didn’t really know or care about the personal lives of our favorite athletes as long as they showed up for the games and performed well.

But the information age changed all that.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, July 17 issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.







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