The journalistic ethics of offensive linemen and nepotism

Nothing changes your perspective of the game of football quite like having a son as an offensive lineman.

Suddenly, it doesn’t seem quite fair that the glory boys in the backfield get all the press and photos, what with their leeching off the linemens’ hard work in the trenches.

I say that both as a former glory boy (DC running back) and a member of the press.

This is Lars’ second year as a starter at right tackle as a junior. Ever since he’s been on varsity, funnily enough I’ve suddenly noticed the play of the line a lot more, and made more of an effort to showcase them in my photos (shameless plug for my galleries at I’ve got all four fall sports, in a wide variety of quality!).

This is the first week I’ve run a photo of him in the paper, at least as the photo subject.

Sure, he’s been IN photos in the paper before. Usually it’s a shot of half his backside as he opens a hole for one of the running backs.

This week against Watertown-Mayer, however, he made an important play with the ball. As in, diving on it. On the opening drive, DC fumbled a pitch, and Lars was alert enough to fall on it for a recovery to keep the drive alive.

Normally, I would have no hesitation in running a photo of an important play like this one.

But in this case, there’s the issue of, well, he’s also my son.

It’s not the first time I’ve run into this issue. Our daughter Kaisa, now a senior on the swim team, has had a really good six-year career, and been among the team’s top swimmers most seasons.

I try to remain as objective and judicious as possible. Objectively and judiciously, her performance has warranted her photos in the paper.

Nevertheless, every time I run a photo of Kaisa, I feel a twinge of apprehension. Will I be accused of favoritism?

I’m feeling that twinge now, in running this photo of Lars.

Eh, I’ll get over it.

You deserved it, Lars. You had a great game, and I’m proud of you.

As fate would have it, Lars’ big play and performance came on the same weekend my mom and dad, Bev and Dale (otherwise known as Nana and Papa), came down from Williston, ND to watch him play for the first time.

My sisters Krista and Jocelyn (both DC alumni) made the trip from Williston as well, as did oldest daughter Aliina and her boyfriend Ian from the Upper Peninsula. Brother David came to a game for the first time this season also.

As fate would also have it, they all got to watch my other son on varsity, sophomore Isaac, score his first varsity touchdown in the fourth quarter.

What’s funny is that if it were anyone other than my kid scoring his first varsity touchdown, I’d seriously consider running that photo.

As it is, two Salmen photos in one edition of the paper would probably lead to a lunch mob of folks eagerly throwing fruit at my melon.

While the weather was not ideal for the football game, it sure was an ideal weekend to have Nana and Papa and the rest of the family in town.

Beyond the football game, they watched my daughter Annika and niece Sierra at their JV swim meet Thursday, and spent a full afternoon at the True Team Section swim meet Saturday to watch Kaisa.

It was truly a reminder of what makes youth and high school sports so special. What a treat.

By the time you read this, the football regular season will be complete.

The section seedings should also be complete, as the coaches were scheduled to meet Thursday to determine the final seeds.
Coach Ryan Weinandt said the meeting would be “interesting.”

I don’t see how it could be.

Barring any upsets Wednesday, it should be pretty simple:

1. Litchfield
2. DC
3. Rockford
4. HLWW or WM (who cares)
5. HLWW or WM (who cares)
6. GSL

Apparently, the “interesting” part is that Rockford could possibly move ahead of DC in the section seeding.

I’m sorry, but that is utterly ridiculous.

Even if DC lost to Princeton Wednesday, which would put them at 6-2 vs. 7-1 for Rockford, DC’s strength of schedule is so far ahead of the Rockets’ that putting them at #3 would be a miscarriage of justice.

If, somehow, DC ends up as the #3 seed, they will face Glencoe-Silver Lake Tuesday. If they are #2, they will have a bye on Tuesday.

Let’s hope there were no shenanigans involved in the coaches meeting, and reason prevailed.

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