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New reporter on the sports/outdoors, ag beat

intro column -- Andrew Ottoson

May 10, 2011

GRANGEVILLE--Within about five minutes of arriving, I knew I'd made a good decision. It wasn't lucky. It wasn't tentative. It wasn't a guess. It was a hunch.

But within five minutes of arriving in Grangeville, what I really needed was lunch. To munch. Crunch. To add to my paunch.

No, I'm not starving, but with a week left in April, I was going on 16 months unemployed. In a situation like that, a man could be forgiven for taking a job he didn't actually want. But this is exactly the job I want, exactly the job I spent more than a year looking for. Community news. At a weekly. Sports plus.

No, I'm not starving, but I am sleeping on the floor. So if you hear anything about a futon for sale, call me: 1200. Or e-mail me at aottoson@idahocountyfreepress.com. That goes for sports, outdoors and ag news, too.

I know a thing or two about the high school sports beat. I've done it before. On ag and outdoors, I'm a greenhorn. Such a greenhorn, in fact, that I only know the word greenhorn from The Simpsons tall tales episode and The Oregon Trail Apple IIe game.

On the outdoors and ag beats, I don't know beets, yet. I'm not a Dwight Schrute or a Dunder Mifflin. I know I have a lot to learn. I can. I will. From you, I hope. From mistakes if I have to. (Maybe that should be when.)

But make no mistake--coming here from Kansas via Denver is looking better to me all the time. I'm here to work, not to sleep or eat. Or sit on my haunches.

* * * * *

I grew up in the Denver suburbs and went to college in Hillsboro, Kansas, where I studied chemistry and bible and got my first newspaper job doing sports and features for a little weekly. I'm 29.

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