Saturdays in the late summer and early fall used to be prep football day in the newspaper, then deadline changes came along, putting the kibosh to that great long-standing tradition, at least for the time being.
To the younger audience that's tethered to their phones, it's probably not quite as big of a deal as they're scanning the web to read, if indeed they're still actually reading. There's a huge plus side in online writing, namely an immediacy, given a dependable site of course, that no hard copy edition can match. If you want to hit up the newsdispatch.com or heraldargus.com either late Friday night or early Saturday to read game stories before you find the pillow, they'll be there. It might not be as easy to slide through your phone as it is to turn a page while slicing your eggs but trust me, it's not too hard.
Just a couple things in that regard though. If media companies had figured out a way to be web-based and turn a profit, sending print out to pasture, it would have happened by now. It hasn't. A lot of readers also believe that if you can click on a web link, it should be free. In reality, it's the same as reading the actual newspaper, it just happens to be an Internet version, and you don't get the paper for nothing. One way or the other, it takes a subscription, which gives you access to both mediums, so if you don't have one, get one.
If you're on the other side of the half-century mark and still prefer Saturday mornings at the table with breakfast, a cup of coffee and the sports section, these developments don't sit well. You may not be a computer, laptop or I-Phone person. They still exist, probably in greater number than the average millennial can imagine.
For the last month or so, we've been able to run back our Friday stories in Sunday's N-D edition and Monday's H-A. Not ideal, but it could be worse, and now it is. There's no Sunday or Monday anymore, so the print gulf between Friday's game and Tuesday's paper has basically doubled, and we're not going to consume the limited space we have by running our game stories that long after the fact.
What to do? Good question. It's a trick question, too, because there's no correct answer, but I am going to offer up a scenario that will hopefully keep you engaged in our football coverage. We're going to continue posting our game stories, box scores and photos from the week's top game -- this week, it's Penn at New Prairie -- on the web sites to read them Saturday morning.
Come Tuesday's paper, we're going to spin things a little differently, recapping Friday's games in a more concise form, i.e., stars of the game, plays of the game, the best player and coach quotes of the game and other relevant odds and ends, to be accompanied by photos and a feature story on one of the top performers from that night's game.
Call it making the best of a bad situation. If you have any ideas -- besides suggesting we go back to what we were doing before -- a logistical impossibility under the present circumstances -- please feel free to shoot me an email, search me out on Twitter, where I hang out a lot, or wrap a note around a slice of pizza with your thoughts and throw it at me at the game. Please, no mushrooms.
This is an open-ended process and we'll be glad to consider any feasible input.