In our day-to-day experience we often find our “heroes” in sport or life to be from distant lands or other far away places like Heber City, Cedar City, Castledale or even Eureka.
We have a tendency as human beings to believe “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” We make hasty generalizations about those noteworthy around us and downplay their role by thinking “We know this guy, he’s our neighbor. I work with him, go to church with him, my daughter dates his son, etc.” Familiarity often fools us to overlook exemplary behavior both within and without the sports arena. Thus it is:
“You’ll never be a Hero in your Hometown.”
A couple of issues ago it was reported that many of our local newspaper editors, reporters and photographers received different honors and awards from the Utah Press Association (UPA). I was pleased to see Nick Drake, our local sports editor, among them.
To me, Nick Drake, is one of our community’s unsung heroes. Everyday of every week of every year he covers Tooele County, national and International sporting events.
That was very easy for me to say, but it is very difficult to do. In Tooele County we have four high schools, each having 20 or more athletic teams, many of which play simultaneously, and all needing individual attention. What’s so amazing is they get attention, by one sports editor and a photographer – no assistant editors, no writing staff, just one guy. He also covers other local events in little league baseball, football, Jr. Jazz, rodeos, etc. And if that is not enough how about collegiate sports, professional sports, and major events like the Olympics.
You name it, if it has something to do with sports, he covers it. It is mind boggling to me.
What is even more impressive is he does it well.
Week after week he keeps us informed as to how our children, neighbors and friends are doing in the world of sports. We read of their successes and take great joy and pride in their accomplishments. We also read of their misfortunes and try to console and comfort them.
Thanks to Nick, we always will know.
I’m grateful for the freedom of speech and a free press, because Nick is going to hate this column when he reads it. But heroes are that way. Heroes don’t do what they do for accolades or awards. They don’t make the sacrifices they make to be written about in a newspaper column or receive pats on the back. They do what they do for the love of the community they serve. And in Nick’s case for the love of all the student athletes he covers every day of their young lives. He loves sports…he loves the game.
Late one night I was burning the midnight oil at my real estate office in Tooele. Driving by the Bulletin’s headquarters I saw a soft light glowing about where Nick’s Desk is. I gave him a call and asked, “What are you doing this early in the morning!” He replied, “You know how it is man.” Back then I really didn’t. But as I get to know Nick Drake more and more, I believe I am beginning to. Rain or shine, in sickness or in health, Nick has always been there for this community and always will be, as long as he is the sports editor for the Tooele Transcript Bulletin.
Yes, many find their heroes in faraway lands unknown to but a few. But as for myself and many others, we have a hometown hero right here in Tooele County, and his name is the “Sports Guy,” Nick Drake. Thanks for all you do.