When I asked how I should start off my introduction as the new sports reporter at the Galion Inquirer, my almost 4-year-old daughter Dylan told me to sing everyone the story of “I’m a little teapot.” My 2-year-old son Quinn laughed in agreement. I explained that wouldn’t quite work because a newspaper is words that people read and not something that plays them songs. Then I thought about my daughter’s idea. Perhaps I will not be singing songs (lucky for you), but I hope to not only bring you local sports coverage, but also to entertain a bit.
I’m Chad Clinger, an early-30s guy with a love for sports that goes back as long as I can remember. I owe most of it to my older cousin Joe and my late grandmother June. Joe and I would do everything together. Summer days consisted of riding bikes, playing catch, hitting tennis balls and playing Tecmo Super Bowl on the original Nintendo gaming system. My life was hanging out with my cool, older cousin Joe and being just like him. He taught me about athletes like Bo Jackson, Joe Dumars and Michael Jordan. Every team Joe liked, I liked. My grandmother and I had a different type of love for sports. I remember looking forward to watching the Atlanta Braves play on television while my grandmother did her word find puzzles or snored in the recliner. They both were supportive of my ridiculous desire to own every baseball card ever made, my horrendous drawings of athletes like Joe Montana and the make-believe leagues I would create. I never owned every baseball card ever, not even close, and I only liked Joe Montana when he was the quarterback of the 49ers. Lastly, I was a fantasy sports player before it became so popular.
Skip ahead a few years…
I found myself in Galion during seventh-grade, which seems like forever ago. There were two initial things I remember about this town. The first being I was here for a summer league baseball tournament. The second was the disappointment that hit when I discovered there was not a football team for me to play for. I never played another down of football after that. I graduated from Galion High School in 2003. My high school years were filled with a couple of years of basketball (remember, I was the one with the broken jaw), and four years of track and field.
Just a few more years…
My love for writing didn’t come to fruition until my first year of college at Heidelberg College (now University) in Tiffin. I remember reading book after book, listening to song after song and wondering if writing was something I could be good at. I loved to talk and I probably talked too much. If you know me, you probably agree with that statement. Well, I never followed through with my ideas for novels and I wasn’t quite good at pinning the next “Like a Rolling Stone.” I did, however, find that it was an excellent way to get out my thoughts without having to talk my roommate’s ears off. You are welcome Bill! Maybe someday I will get that novel finished.
Fast forward to 2016….
As I mentioned, I have two lovely children that are my world. When things get rough I remember those smiling faces, hold my head high and keep on keeping on. I have a handsome black cat named Oscar that has been with me through thick and thin. He does not want to hear me sing, either. Some of you may recognize me from my second job at Subway in Galion. When I am not typing away on this keyboard, playing with my kids or sleeping, you may find me preparing a delicious sandwich.
I still have a strong love of sports. I no longer have my grandmother to watch Braves games with, yet a smile does come to my face every time I listen to a game. My cousin and I have long since lost touch, but I am sure I have gained enough knowledge about baseball and basketball to put him to shame (sorry Joe). There is nothing better then the sound of a roaring crowd cheering on its team, no matter the temperature, the day of the week or the location of the fan. If I had to pick my favorite sport, I would say baseball. I have two favorite teams throughout all sports.However, I don’t think I should share that little secret here, sorry.
I admit I am new to this. I have never had a position like the one that I now find myself in.
But, enough about me, I’ve got stories to write and I can use your help. If you have questions, ideas for stories, or you just want to converse about Galion sports, please contact me. I plan on growing along with this paper. And I want to thank you. Everyone at the Inquirer would not be able to do what we are doing without this wonderful community.
If you see me out and about, feel free to stop me to say hello. I am always in the mood for a great conversation.
Contact Chad Clinger by email at [email protected] or call him at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048.