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A sorry state/The Red Line

December 6, 2012
By Brandon Veale - DMG Sports Editor ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

Wednesdays are one of my nights off, so I curled up inside the coffee shop near my place with "The Best American Sports Writing of the Century."

There are all sorts of classics in there, like John Updike's "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu," the account of Ted Williams' last game in Fenway Park, and works of other legends of the keyboard: Red Smith, Jim Murray, Hunter S. Thompson.

I am not in this anthology. First, it was published in 1999. Second, I'm not that good of a writer yet.

I will settle for a place in the "Best American Sports Writing of the 21st Century" (or People's "Sexiest Man Alive" edition), but until then there's some penance to pay to get there.

Therefore, it's time to fall upon the mercy of the readership with this year's annual 'mea culpa' column.

Here's a few of my greatest hits for 2012:

I'm sorry that I appear to have made up the word "leveler" in the Gary Bettman column. Still not my favorite phony. That's "sensical," as in the opposite of nonsensical, which prompted a journalism professor to circle it and say "nice try."

I'm sorry that the Michigan High School Athletic Association's football playoff point system, though relatively logical, proved too complicated for my limited math skills to handle. There's a reason I passed on pre-calculus to be in jazz band my senior year. Normally, earned-run average is as complicated as the math gets for me at work. I hope no one went to Crystal Falls expecting a playoff game.

I'm sorry I didn't research my NFL preview column more this year. Otherwise I would have predicted the Lions to take a big step backward this year instead of a little one and realized the Eagles can in fact be that bad.

I'm sorry we inflicted the DMG Curse on the Houghton High School and Michigan Tech hockey teams ... again.

I'm sorry I shorted the Houghton hockey team half a win for a good chunk of last season. Thought the MacInnes Classic double-overtime game counted as a tie since it went beyond the standard overtime length, but the MHSAA straightened me out there.

I'm sorry for claiming there are no White Sox fans. Got a letter on that one. I still really dislike those guys, though.

I'm not proud of making a joke on Twitter about Derek Jeter and Barbaro, but understand I'm really allergic to horses.

I'm sorry there was no April Fool's Column this year since April Fool's Day was on a Sunday...or was there?

I'm sorry about how, in my tribute column to my old boss Denny Grall, I spoke of his hatred for the word 'that,' then used it 13 times in that same column (Did it again), including three in the very next paragraph.

This column could probably be much longer and filled with an array of errors, misspelled names and factual flubs, but think about it. There are thousands of words in the sports section in any given week, and if just one of them is awry, I may hear about it.

Even the greats had bad days at the keyboard. I don't claim to be one, just one who aspires to be one. I've got a lot more mistakes to make before then.

Brandon Veale can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at



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