I’ve spent this fall “extending” my journalism career by writing a blog, primarily pursuing a passion of covering college football in the ACC, SEC and Big Ten.

As I’ve frequently explained, those are the conferences I covered in my 41 years when I was earning a paycheck at eight newspapers in three states. While that might seem like a lot of moving around, it really isn’t that unusual when you’ve committed your life to working for newspapers.

Why? Because there is rarely more than one newspaper in every town, especially these days. Thus, the first five newspapers that chose to hire me were mostly stepping stones  when I was focused on moving up the career ladder.

My last three job changes accounted for the final 29 years of my career.

Then before I was ready to retire, the industry’s focus on cutting jobs finally got around to shedding my paycheck.

Truthfully, I’m fine with it now. When a company decides it hates its readers so much that it goes to 7 p.m. (or earlier) deadlines, it doesn’t really need a sports editor.

What I need to know is whether you need my voice as a blogger.

I don’t intend to write separate blogs on each of the conferences again until next fall., although I will offer up final power polls for each conference and previews of the conference championship games.

As for basketball, as much as I am a fan, there are just too many games for me to keep up and still have a life. But I do intend to  amuse myself by continuing to write my weekly “From Sidelines to punchlines” column of notes and blurbs.

When I have time, or when I feel strongly enough to weigh in, I’ll also offer other blog entries. But as I promised my wife, I can’t afford to spend the rest of my life as a deadbeat blogger.

I don’t have any ambition of going to a subscription model for this blog. No. 1, I suspect paying for those subscription bells and whistles would cost me more than any income I’d earn from a blog each month.

But what I do want from you is feedback and support. Do you find the separate conference blogs with my power ratings and comments useful? Would you like to see a different approach?  Would you like “Sidelines to punchlines” to make the transition to being more of a humor column rather than a mix of commentary, notes and humor?

If you care to provide feedback, probably the best way would be to comment on my Facebook page, where every blog is posted, or by sending me an email to:

randy.beard@yahoo.com

Thanks for reading.

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