Big Lead Sports Bar

8/26/2008

ASK AN EXPERT: COLIN DUNLAP EDITION

Recently, I got an email from a new reader who spends a good amount of his spare time coaching high school football in Fayette County. It read, verbatim, like this:
"Don, I have a question for you. Do people even realize that Fayette County is even included in the WPIAL. I do realize that we have not been exactly a hotbed of football as of late, but cmon can anyone even throw us a freakin bone here. It irritates the hell out of me that every year goes by without even a wisper up us down here. I would have to check my stats, but without looking, I know that there is a lot of great tradition here and a ton of great athletes that have come out of this lowly area. I also realize that the postgazette and trib are geared towards the Pittsburgh media but even the local papers don't cover us until the lame local pigskin comes out. I know that you have no control over this, but thought maybe you could give all the kids and coaches a shout out, that are working just as hard in these dog days of August as all of those "Big Time" schools in the Burgh."
Yep, looks like we have an East Coast Bias-type claim coming from Fayette County.
Rather than answer this myself, I decided to use this as an opportunity to create yet another new ongoing series: "Ask an Expert". The design of the series is that I'll pull a question from time to time and toss it out to a media friend for their response.
Joining us on the maiden voyage is the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Colin Dunlap.
As per his PG bio, Colin is a sports reporter for the Post-Gazette whose primary focus is high school coverage, but he has covered a variety of stories in everything from the Sports section to Local News to Magazine and Food. Yes, even Food.
After working as a freelance correspondent for the PG for about three years, he was hired by the Post-Gazette in July 2006. Colin is one of the forces behind Varsity Blogs, post-gazette.com's scholastic sports blog.
To boot, we email each other numerous times each week on topics ranging from Pedro Alvarez to the beer vending machine. So I figured he might lend his time, and lend he did.

And now, in the words of Colin Dunlap...

Where should I begin my retort?

Perhaps, first, I should remind you that at the very top of our paper it says Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, emphasis on Pittsburgh.

Instead, though, I’ll throw some numbers at you. There are eight school districts (Uniontown, Connellsville, Southmoreland, Belle Vernon, Frazier, Brownsville, Laurel Highlands and Albert Gallatin) with area that falls, at least in part, in Fayette County.

Consider this:

- The combined records of those schools last year were 20-55.

- Not one of those schools finished the season with a winning record, as Belle Vernon topped the heap with a 5-5 mark.

- The eight aforementioned schools were outscored a combined 1184-2314 on the year.

- Albert Gallatin scored the lowest amount of points (64) among all WPIAL Class AAA schools; that works out to 7.1 per game.

- The last of those eight schools to play for a WPIAL title was Belle Vernon, in 1999.

So, if that isn’t enough, also consider the following --- there are 123 schools playing football in the WPIAL and 9 playing in the City League.

As I have said, there are eight, EIGHT, in Fayette County. That works out to 6 percent of the schools in the entire WPIAL and City League.

Do we devote at least 6 percent of our high school coverage to those schools? Yes, without question.

Open up our Saturday morning paper once in awhile and you’ll see. End of story.

Please, also allow the following parallel for the whole our kids "are working just as hard in these dog days of August as all of those ‘Big Time’ schools in the Burgh."

My high school buddies are in a local band called Good Brother Earl. They make solid music, work hard, put everything they have into it.

Are they U2? No.

Radiohead? Not exactly.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers? Nope.

Good Brother Earl is what it is --- a very solid local band that realizes there are bigger and better acts out there. The e-mailer should learn something from Good Brother Earl --- just because Fayette County football players work hard doesn’t mean that they automatically merit the same acclaim as some of their counterparts who are, in short, better, more highly skilled and have a larger following.

------

1,000 thank yous to Colin for his participation. If you have a question, send it to mondesishouse@gmail.com for a future post. And don't forget to visit the Varsity Blog and make it a regular stop as part of your daily web-surfing agenda.

8 comments:

HotDog_Zanzabar said...

Emailer is right, I have yet to see anything on FayCo so far.

Broke But Still Drinking said...

Didn't Pittsburgh trade Fayette County to Philly as part of the gambling license package?

Brian McElhinny said...

ouch

tasj7045 said...

Aint no love for Fayette-Nam. I wish my little piss ant high school was in the Pittsburgh paper too but let it go. Colin laid out the facts and he is brutally right.

Matt H said...

No one cares about Fayette County football. It stinks.

BURGH08 said...

Ask an expert?

Dunlap is the Fayette County of the PG.

RedHawks Hockey said...

how do you really feel?

Golfer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.