I think it goes without saying, but what a wild year 2020 has been. There are far better writers out there to describe the year, but perhaps it doesn’t need to be written. The emotions are still fresh from what many of us endured and are still battling.
On a personal note, while there have been some pretty not-so-good things about this year, there have been some great things. For one, I married my far better half in a private, very small ceremony. My two daughters are healthy, very energetic, and creative. Also, this platform, Eastern Kansas Sports, has taken off faster and gained a following quicker than I ever thought.
One of my inspirations is TV producer Eric Bischoff. He was once the president of W.C.W. In his books and podcasts, he refers to the moment in his career when he was tasked with making the money-loss company successful. In the process, he would go up against the well established W.W.F., now known today as W.W.E. The moment of clarity came to him in how he would compete against the established product was described in 3 ways: better than, less than, or different than.
For the last year, I’ve mulled over the idea of a platform of this regional size. There’s already plenty of digital “state-wide high school sports information leaders” platforms covering football. There are already local journalists and TV reporters doing fantastic jobs of telling their community stories. But what about one that focused on the Eastern half of the state where areas and sports are underserved?
Using Bischoff’s method, there’s no way I want to put together a platform that is “less than”. It won’t last. To be “better than” would require more money, staff, and investors than I know where to start. However, there are areas that are underserved due to dwindling sports departments and programs, and individuals that are missed on a state-wide level. Digital coverage of winter and spring sports becomes close to non-existent, except for playoff times. That’s where this platform is different than the others. Also, in a way, I want this site to be a tool for traditional sports broadcasters and reporters to enhance their stories and coverage of their local teams, if possible.
While there have been hiccups along the way, no successful individual or company gets there without embracing the challenges of failure and using them as opportunities to grow. I ran across this piece of advance that really helped me embrace some of the shortcomings we’ve faced early on: “you can’t be great at something unless you’re willing to be bad at it.” I feel like the early successes of this platform outweigh the failures in our infancy. Those road bumps are going to help us craft a better product for years to come.
I’m very thankful to all the athletic/activities directors, coaches, players, and fans who have assisted me with schedule changes, finals, performances, schedule changes, college signings, and well schedule changes.
I’ll be honest, as someone who battles anxiety, I was very unsure of how well basketball scores, volleyball performances, and wrestling coverage would be received, if at all. It almost felt overwhelming.
I appreciate the basketball coaches and fans who have assisted in alerting when it’s a girl’s varsity only contest or boy’s rescheduled for a few days later. And also pointing out when finals have been reported incorrectly. I’m appreciative of the wrestling coaches and student-athletes who have sent us their results and schedule changes.
In a chaotic year where there was more uncertainty, unpredictability, there are still some things to be thankful for. I do not mean to lessen the pain many have endured in 2020. We’ve lost loved ones and friends far too early, struggled, and made some really tough decisions. However, I hope in the coming days you are able to take time to find something great that has happened in this past year and start 2021 on a positive note.
I’m grateful that you’ve taken the time to read this. I’m grateful for those that support Eastern Kansas Sports. However you ring in the new year, please be safe and responsible. See you in 2021.