Monday Briefing: Sports stories about love, loss and sacrifice

Being an editor, I already know who will be named the Number 1 athlete in area history. But I’m still really looking forward to Thursday when we announce his or her name in the newspapers and online.

Sure, I’ve enjoyed the sports series for the sheer reading pleasure of the long-form (magazine style) stories, but I’ve also found myself to be especially proud and impressed with the level of writing talent being showcased here at Times/Review Newsgroup. Many of these player profiles could grace the pages of Sports Illustrated.

The writers who have participated in the series — web editor Grant Parpan, sports editors Joe Werkmeister and Bob Liepa, and freelancer writer and former Times/Review editor Michael Gasparino — were all born and raised on Long Island. They were all educated in Suffolk or Nassau high schools. And through this series — and, of course, years of other work — they have given back greatly to their communities. Bringing the stories of these talented, tireless — and sometimes troubled — athletes to life is a real gift to those who knew these men and women, competed with or against them or even grew up in the same neighborhoods.

I hope even the most casual of sports fan has enjoyed these stories, which at their heart are more about life than sports.

• With the flooding at Horton Avenue in mind, it’s amazing that so much rain can fall over the course of two days but have nowhere near the impact on roads, houses and lives that the three-to-four-day rain event of spring 201o had. I think the ground being so dry — it hasn’t rained like this in months — is a huge factor. If I remember correctly we had weeks of wet weather and an unusually high water table when those spring storms hit.

Let’s hope we can get through the next 24 hours without any major problems.

• The annual craft beer festival at Martha Clara Vineyards was a huge hit this weekend. I knew people who were planning to head there from miles out, even Nassau County. Who knows if they ever made it in though, because tickets sold out before Saturday even came.

This year’s festival featured Riverhead’s own Long Ireland Brewing Company, which has since moved from Port Jefferson Station to Pulaski Street.

Some 2,500 people attended the event. Couldn’t get a ticket? Check out slide show.

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