Valentine's Day is two days away. I'm trying to help you guys out. You've officially been warned.
In case you've been caught up in sports since the beginning of the year, it's time to do something nice for your family, your loved ones. So you have two days to get to work.
My wife and I have special plans on Feb. 14. We'll be at our children's Upward basketball playoff game. I'm coaching two of the triplets, while my wife and other daughter will be some of the support group in the crowd.
Because my wife and I - like many of you - lead busy lives, I made sure we had a pre-Valentine's "Date Night" earlier this week. We went to the Dave Chappelle concert at the Bell Auditorium. The tickets weren't cheap, but we had a good time.
Two of the three comedians were pretty funny. Donnell Rawlings, who appeared on Chappelle's Show and has made other TV appearances, was arguably the funniest comedian of the night. Chappelle didn't disappoint either. He told jokes on all sides of the political spectrum. Maybe the most ironic thing of the night was when he discussed his support of the people protesting President Donald Trump's travel ban, while everyone attending the show had to lock up their cell phones in these special cases when we entered. We can have open borders, but we're not allowed bring in our phones? Interesting. (For the record, I had no problem locking my phone up for two hours. His show, his rules.)
I mention all this to tell you to always make sure you spend time with your children or your parents. Or spend time with your wife or girlfriend (If you have one of each, you have a problem). If you have a million things going on, remember to take a deep breath and remember the people you love and who love you. Make time for your family.
I could've covered basketball Tuesday night instead of taking my wife to the Dave Chappelle concert. That would've meant five consecutive nights of covering basketball. That would've meant more time away from my family.
This is where it gets tricky. There are always sports going on in Columbia County, especially this time of year. I've been putting together a composite schedule of all the sports for all the high schools. There's baseball, golf, soccer, lacrosse, tennis and track and field. Multiply that number times the seven schools. This time of year, there's something going almost every day (except Sundays).
I mentioned this last year when I came out here to cover sports, and I'm going to reiterate this point: I cannot be everything to everybody, and I want to be able to see my family.
Still, I will try to get to what I can. I have already written down that big soccer tournament in mid-March at Blanchard Woods Park. I also know about the returning state champs in the Lakeside boys tennis team and the Augusta Prep girls soccer squad. And I know baseball season starts Monday.
While I'll try to get to what I can, I would appreciate the help of all the high school coaches. Please call in all your scores to The Augusta Chronicle (706-823-3349) right after your event takes place. Children love seeing their names in the paper. And this is a quick and easy process.
If coaches don't want to call the paper, we have the Chronicle Prep Zone, our dedicated site for high school sports. The web site isn't perfect, but it's an avenue to help you input your scores and stats on the site and in the paper. If you want to use that and you have questions, call or email John Boyette at (706) 823-3337 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If there's something big going on, you can reach me at email@example.com. Or if coaches want to suggest a potential Athlete Spotlight feature, email me. Or find me on Twitter (AUG_ChrisGay).
There's a web site I use as a second reference for high school sports: Maxpreps.com. Every team is on there. Some coaches are good about updating their scores, schedules, rosters and stats. And some coaches, for lack of a better word, are lazy.
I would appreciate it if every athletic director spoke to all their coaches about calling in all their scores or updating the web sites mentioned above.
Covering sports is a two-way street. The more information the media (TV, print, radio) have, the better we're able to spotlight your team and your players. The less information we have makes us less inclined to want to cover your program. So we'd appreciate your assistance.
GRITZ BLITZ: The Atlanta Falcons got rid of defensive coordinator Richard Smith earlier this week. On Friday, the team replaced him with Marquand Manuel, who served as the team's secondary coach and senior defensive assistant the past two seasons. Here's hoping Marquand will play more blitz and less zone/prevent in the coming years.
FLYING HIGH AGAIN?: Atlanta also has a new offensive coordinator in Steve Sarkisian, who replaced Kyle Shanahan, who is now the San Francisco 49ers head coach. Sarkisian has 17 years coaching experience, 16 of them in college. If he knows what to do when Atlanta is leading 28-3 in the second half - run the ball - the Falcons will be just fine.
PICK OF THE WEEK: If you're looking for a good laugh (and you're a Star Wars fan), go to YouTube and search for "SEAGULLS! (Stop It Now)." It features Yoda. It is clean. It is hilarious. You won't be disappointed.
And if the song sticks in your head for awhile, you're welcome.