I will be writing a NASCAR column for the Indianapolis Star website starting at the beginning of the season in February. What is so cool is that I mailed off some sample columns on a Monday at 11:00 a.m. on my way to Rochester. On Tuesday at about 11:00 a.m., I got a call from the Sports Editor of the Star - 24 hours later! Bless the U.S. Postal Service. They must have delivered them in one day and then the editor must have read them and called me almost immediately. He said he thought I had a "good voice for sports".
It reminded me of when I used to write quite a bit for USA Today when that newspaper first started and it was mostly written by outsiders rather than in-house writers. Somehow, I got pegged as a sports aficionado. I ended up giving my opinion on various NFL, NBA and NHL issues, none of which I knew the remotest thing about. I can remember racing down to City Hall to beg Dallas and Todd Titus - "quick, tell me something about hockey!" or asking, "are we in favor of expanding the baseball franchises?" They called themselves my ghost writers and teased that I should split my check with them - $150 for about 400 words as I recall USA Today paid back then.
Writing about NASCAR will be much more exciting because, of course, I could have cared less about football or basketball then but I care passionately about stock car racing. Not to mention that the Indianapolis Star is a prestigious reference to have. AND, the biggest thing of all, is that I might be able to wangle a press pass and that means if I go to the Brickyard this year, I might be able to get on Pit Road and I just might see Jimmie Johnson up close and personal!