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FROM THE PUBLISHER’S DESK: Cheer life, Shark Tank and blinker malfunctions

Posted on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 8:35 am


Without a particular topic to delve into this week, I’ve decided to use my allotted space for some random observations that I’ve come across over the past week or two.

I’m a cheer dad now. There is a sentence I never envisioned writing. Gracie is wrapping up her final year of cheerleading in elementary school. Ten years ago I was that person who didn’t think cheer was a “sport.” No way around eating that immature train of thought – I was wrong. After watching her do it for the past two years – not only practice, but weekly gymnastics sessions and progressions into multiple back handsprings and back tucks – I have nothing but the deepest respect and admiration for all of the work that goes into that sport.

By Josh Peterson, publisher

It also leads me to be a little disappointed that the Coffee County Elementary League no longer has a cheer “competition,” but instead an “exhibition.” I have much respect for the folks involved in organizing the league and the time and effort that goes into making it run. And I’m sure that the change a couple years ago to an exhibition wasn’t one that was taken lightly. But, in my cheer-colored goggles that I now own, I have a hard time justifying to Gracie why her championship weekend is an exhibition, and the basketball teams walk away with trophies.

I’ve become a TV nerd beyond recovery. If you could open a portal to my life seven, eight or nine years ago on any random night, let me tell you what you would see: me watching sports.

Open a portal into my life Monday night, Jan. 29, 2018, and I am writing this column and binge watching Shark Tank. This after I binge watched Shark Tank last night, and will do it again tomorrow night. I mix in The Profit occasionally. Granted there aren’t many sports to watch, but I’ve turned into a business nerd. I’m now a cheer dad who watches Shark Tank in his spare time. Who am I?

Blinkers are outdated. I’m always perplexed at the lack of newer model vehicles that are made without turn signals. In fact, it appears as if most car manufacturers have gone so far as to place dummy signal lights on vehicles, that don’t actually work. It’s like that dummy cabinet drawer that looks like a drawer, has a handle and all the trimmings of the other drawers – but it doesn’t actually open. I find more and more of these vehicles each day, each time they fail to signal before turning onto a side street, and by doing so they signal that their time and safety is more important than yours or anyone else’s.

Don’t be that person. Use your blinker – or stop driving, I don’t care which you choose.

–Josh Peterson is the publisher of the Manchester Times. He is a Tennessee Press Association award-winning writer and photographer. His column, “From the publisher’s desk” won TPA first-place honors for best personal humor column and best personal column. The National Newspaper Association named him “Top 30 Under 30” of newspaper professionals in 2016 and Editor & Publisher named him Top 25 Under 35 in 2017. He can be reached by email or by telephone at 931-728-7577 ext. 105. Follow him on Twitter @joshpeterson29