Covering high school athletics has helped me become something of a fashion guru.
OK, perhaps that's a stretch, but sportswriting has certainly increased my awareness.
Back in my younger and carefree years, I would wear whatever, keeping in mind only the adage about not mixing stripes and plaids. Now days, I have to do advance planning.
The reality of the situation struck me quite by accident. One day, years ago, I did my normal routine and wore whatever was clean and closest to me when I opened the closet. That night, I covered an event at Centennial High School and several people commented to me how nice it was that I was supporting their school by wearing the school colors. My shirt was baby blue.
Whoops. A major faux pas.
I attend these events as a neutral, unbiased and impartial observer, hoping only that I am able to write an interesting story without concern over whether the home team wins or loses. I am a fan of sports, not specific schools and that's the way it needs to be.
Last week, as our high school coverage commenced, I was reminded to think ahead. The News-Gazette offers its staff the opportunity to purchase and wear some nice polo shorts. One of my favorites is an orange one.
There was no way I could wear that to the Friday night football game I covered at Urbana, especially since I prefer to match it with a pair of black pants. Orange and black. Sounds like a bit of favoritism, doesn't it? At least at Urbana.
So I wore that outfit of choice earlier in the week, when I wasn't obligated to leave the office, and reserved a neutral look of a tan short and olive green pants for the football game.
All I need now is my own line of clothing.