It’s been too long since I have been actively writing on here. About a month ago, my uncle, Randy Skinner passed away. For the last few years he was with us, he would send out a column entitled “This Monday”. It summarized the current sporting landscape and connected what current athletes today were doing with what others had done in the past. Sometimes he would focus on current events only, and he had a wonderful, unique style. From a correspondence between my brother and uncle 2009:
WRITTEN DURING THE U.S. OPEN :
TOO BAD, TY COBB. NO ONE REALLY LIKED YOU ANYWAY. NOW A COMELY LASS FROM MARIETTA, GEORGIA, HAS TAKEN SOLE POSSESSION OF YOUR NICKMANE AND STOLEN THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF TENNIS FANS AND NON-TENNIS FANS ALIKE. 17 YEAR OLD MELANIE OUDIN (OOH-DAN) HAS STORMED THROUGH THE WOMEN’S SIDE OF THE U. S. TENNIS OPEN IN A FASHION NOT SEEN SINCE WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN MARCHED THOUGH GEORGIA. SHE’S GETTING EVEN FOR THAT DASTARDLY YANKEE ACT WITH FOUR STRAIGHT WINS AGAINST HIGHER SEEDS IN THE BIG APPLE AT ASHE STADIUM. THE REAL GEORGIA PEACH.
AS SHE AWAITS TOMORROW NIGHT’S QUARTERFINAL MATCH, SHE HAS JOINED THE LIKES OF SERENA WILLIAMS, LINDSEY DAVENPORT, TRACY AUSTIN, AND CHRIS EVERT AS U.S. FEMALE 17 YEAR OLDS WHO HAVE HAVE ACCOMPLISED THIS FEAT. RANKED AS THE 225 TH FEMALE PLAYER IN THE WORLD RANKINGS LAST YEAR, SHE WAS # 75 GOING INTO THIS FORTNIGHT FREE-FOR-ALL. 8 WOMENS’ TOP SEEDS HAVE ALREADY BEEN PLANTED AT THIS EVENT, INCLUDING #1 DINARA SAFINA AND #3 VENUS WILLIAMS, AND ON LABOR DAY OUDIN, THE PINK AND YELLOW SHOD WITH THE WORD BELIEVE ETCHED IN HER SOLES, OUTED 13 TH SEED NADIA PETROVA. PRIOR TO THAT, # 26 MARIA SHARAPOVA, #4 ELENA DEMENTIEVA AND A 1ST ROUNDER, ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA, ALL RUSSKIES, FELL PREY TO THE FEMALE WUNDERKIND. IF YOU SAY SHE IS PARTIAL TO RUSSIANS, YOU’RE RIGHT. NOT SINCE JAMES BOND HAS THERE BEEN A CONQUEST OF RED LADIES IN SUCH CONSECUTIVE AND CONVINCING FASHION.
If you’re curious about the all caps, it was easier for my uncle to read what he wrote. Never once did he shout in this column (unless it was to call curses on the Evil Empire in New York, Derek Jeter excepted).
Anyway, my goal is to put one This Tuesday column out weekly, in honor of my uncle. While it won’t cover all sports per se, it will focus on Big XII and Big Ten football, some devotions and inspirational pieces and any other events on my mind. There will probably be a few Texas Ranger updates as well. The column will appear on Tuesdays only because for me, Mondays belonged to Uncle Ranny. I always looked forward to getting his email column. And that’s how it will stay. So may he rest in peace and I hope I can capture just a tiny bit of what made my Uncle’s column magical. God bless and happy reading!