Pat McDonald

Pat McDonald

I have been meaning to write this column since I returned to the Journal Tribune back in mid-August. But because I arrived at the beginning of the fall sports season I had to jump right in and haven’t had much down time — until now.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with me, this is my second stint as the Sports Editor of the Journal Tribune with my first tenure running from 2014 to 2016.

I loved my first couple years up here, but decided to head to a newspaper in Geneva, New York in order to get closer to my hometown of Athens, Pennsylvania. While I enjoyed being just an hour and a half from my family for a year, from the moment I left Maine last year I had a feeling that I would return to the Biddeford area one day.

Now, I wasn’t expecting that day to come so soon, but I jumped at a chance to return to the Journal Tribune and to an area that feels like home.

One of the biggest reasons that I wanted to return to southern Maine was the people I met during my first couple years up here. From the athletes to the coaches to the fans, it would take me a while to try and come up with a bad experience I’ve had with any of those groups here in Maine.

I’m thrilled to be back up here and I’m excited to continue to build those relationships that began three years ago and also start new ones with people I haven’t had the privilege to meet or work with yet.

Welcome to the ‘Nosebleed Section’

I am planning on making this a weekly column that will run on Thursdays in the Journal. When I was trying to think of a title for my weekly commentary, I decided to go back into my history as a sports writer and kind of restart a column that began at my hometown paper.

While I was at the Morning Times in Sayre, Pa., I wrote a column entitled the “Nosebleed Section.” It was not a weekly commentary, but more of an article I would write whenever I felt the need to weigh in on a certain topic.

I won’t lie, during the years I wrote the “Nosebleed Section,” I found myself or my publisher getting calls or emails from different readers who did not like my take on a subject. Whether it was the hiring of a controversial basketball coach or the need for two school districts to combine athletic programs, I was not afraid to voice my opinion — and sometimes that would lead to readers disagreeing with me.

I also won’t lie about the fact that I enjoyed the times when a reader would call in to complain about a column I had published because that means the public was actually reading the newspaper and engaged in whatever the topic might have been.

One of the regrets I had from my first stint here at the JT was the fact that I did not write a regular column. The main reason I never started a weekly commentary during that time was I did not feel like I had enough knowledge of the area or the local athletic programs to put my two cents in on topics.

I feel like I do have that knowledge now, and when something comes up that I feel strongly about I will certainly put it in this column. That does not mean I will always be looking for some controversy to talk about. The “Nosebleed Section” will also feature question-and-answer interviews with locals, and more often than not, it will be a look at something positive in the community.

I hope you will tune in on Thursdays to read my take on local and national sports, and I look forward to hearing from you — whether you agree with me or not.

Sunday Conversation

My weekly column will not be the only new feature we will be adding to the Journal Tribune. If you pick up a copy of the Journal Tribune Sunday this week, you will see something called “Sunday Conversation.”

This will be a piece where either myself or Associate Sports Editor Alex Sponseller will talk with a local athlete, coach or fan and then publish that interview in its entirety in our Sunday edition.

The first conversation will be with Brandon Briggs, who is a Thornton Academy graduate and the current starting kicker for the University of Maine football team.

I hope you enjoy this feature, and please don’t hesitate to send us suggestions for who we should talk to next. You can send those to [email protected] or [email protected]

Sports Editor Pat McDonald can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 322. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.


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