I get it.

I’m not much of a talk-over-the-phone person, either.

But it’s kinda part of the gig, you know?

Without comments from coaches sprinkled throughout our sports reporting, we’re not much more than a section full of columns.

And – I don’t know about you – but one of these things per week is enough.

Can you imagine having to look at my ugly mug every time you wanted to check and see what time the game starts?

Not a pretty prospect.

• • •

Coaches are busy. We get it. That’s just part of the job.

And most of them – despite having 13 other things floating around in their brains ranging from which kids haven’t filled out paperwork to how they are going to make the bus that leaves 10 minutes after their other job ends – shoot me a call, or a text or an email.

And for that I cannot say how appreciative I am.

Without your insights... well, I think we can imagine how boring this section would be. It makes my job, and our readers’ Wednesdays, a whole lot more interesting.

• • •

But every once in a while we go through a sports season here at the Gazette where I get the same question from the boss each week: “They aren’t calling you back, or what?”

Granted, it is rare, but it seems to happen with fairly regular consistency roughly once per season.

One team doesn’t get the coverage it deserves.

And sometimes that’s my fault. I can procrastinate with the best of ‘em.

Sometimes it’s out of everyone’s control – like this fall, for example – when an illness that shall remain nameless made its way through the Gazette and we were short-staffed for a few weeks.

By the time we were back at full strength, there were some teams that had definitely caught the short end of the stick as far as coverage was concerned.

That’s my bad.

• • •

But I’d be lying if I said it didn’t throw me back little bit when I pick up a copy of the Coeur d’Alene Press and read about one of the teams I cover, and that publication – that is printed 50 miles away – has quotes from a certain coach that didn’t return my call.

And what’s more – the coach called them, not the other way around.

We aren’t best of friends, simply because we don’t bump into each other on a regular basis, but Jason Elliott and I are acquainted, and have perfectly enjoyable conversations when we do cross paths.

In case you aren’t familiar: Jason is one of the head sports reporters at the Press. He’s been doing it a while, and is pretty darn good at it, too.

We were chatting at a basketball game last winter, and I happened to ask him about one of my infamously-silent coaches, assuming maybe he had the same experience.

“No, he’s great. He calls us after almost every game,” Jason said.

• • •

Okay, so it was just me, after all.

I mean, after eight text messages, four emails, two phone calls and a Facebook message – even I can take a hint.

That’s no exaggeration, either, and I could prove it except I’ve since deleted them, you know, for my own mental wellbeing.

But anyway – I’ll stop wallowing.

It’s rare, like I said.

Maybe I’m just projecting my guilt for not making it to all the games I should have this fall.

• • •

In truth, without good coaches who give a heck of a lot more than they take, we would be in big trouble.

They deserve a lot more respect – and a lot less criticism – than they get, most of the time.

It’s easy to sit in the bleachers and talk about which kid you would have subbed in, or who should get more playing time (It's usually a family member. Funny how that works).

But in reality, coaching is a tough enough task without having to worry about who’s going to walk up to you afterwards and tell you what you did wrong.

What we’re getting at is we should try harder to give them a break.

But I’d still like a call back, pretty please.

Desperation is not a good look on me.

Collin Scheel is the sports reporter at the Gazette Record.

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