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Running from the Russians

From the editor

POSTED: November 6, 2017 10:53 a.m.
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Jeff Whitten is managing editor of the Coastal Courier.

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Writing about something before it happens for publication after the fact is a pain in the you-know-what, but here I am doing it anyway.

Sorry about that.

As I write this Friday, I’m fixing to run the Rock and Roll Marathon on Saturday in Savannah.

The full marathon, all 26.2 miles of it.

By the time you read this, it’ll be all over but the shouting. Or crying.

Hopefully, I didn’t keel over or get run over by some yuppie family from Ohio.

I hope instead I completed it within the seven-hour window they allow before they come after you in the sag wagon.

What’s a sag wagon?

It’s apparently a shuttle bus of some kind that follows behind the field of runners to round up stragglers.

That’s often people whose behinds are usually bigger than their IQs, or else they wouldn’t be out there trying to run farther than from the kitchen to the couch.

Hopefully, that last sentence didn’t get me in some kind of trouble I never even saw coming.

That tends to happen these days. It’s getting you can’t even come up with a Halloween costume without twisting the knickers of someone you don’t even know.

It’s not our fault, of course. It’s Russia and social media. People are so stirred up by Russians posting divisive stuff on Facebook and other silly social media sites they get mad at one another first and then figure out why later.

As an aside, I actually suspect Russian meddling on that Facebook sandbox, "We the people of Long County," which I’ve heard a great deal about, but am apparently not allowed in because I don’t live in Long County.

Which is fine with me. Wouldn’t even mention it except that I’ve heard it gets ugly in there. I’ve also heard sometimes even the Courier gets drug in to the middle of the mudsplattering, at least in part because some apparently think Long County Chairman Mike Riddle is influencing our coverage since he used to be a freelancer.

Nope. No way.

All Mike does for us these days is sports. He knows it’s not his place to tell us how to cover Long County and wouldn’t even try.

We wouldn’t let him if he did.

That’s why it bugs me when folks who don’t know me or this paper question our integrity

We may not be perfect, and I’m certainly not, but we’re unbiased and independent. We don’t have axes to grind. We don’t pick sides.

Of course, facts never stood in the way of a good story, and there’s probably little chance I’ll convince any of the folks on "We the people," of anything they don’t want to be convinced of.

These days, everybody already knows what they think they know, where they know it or not.

So I’ll leave it at that.

After all, as a former pretty good high school baseball coach I know said, referring to parents who never knew when to shut up, "the dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on."

And then he moved on shortly afterward, and here I am, back to writing about running a marathon.

Two things. First, I must note here that my using the word "run" in whatever tense is a euphemism.

I jog, or, as Erk Russell put it once, "wog," a sort of combination jog and waddle that some of us do because our bodies have essentially turned into 1974 Ford Pintos with oil leaks and broken suspensions.

Second, I had a first sergeant in my last year at the Army here at Fort Stewart who hated running.

His take, and he was a chain-smoking old 11B, was that it was "stupid beyond belief to run if nobody’s chasing you."

Me being artillery, I thought that was pretty profound.

But that was then, and this is now, and there I went yesterday for 26 miles without nobody chasing me.

Hope your week is a good one. Hope I’m still around to share it with you.

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