"On way to work with game face on. State title game tonight for Manatee High. Excuse my cheering in the press box. #BHCanes"
That was just tweeted by Night Metro Editor Brent Conklin ( @brentconklin ), heading in to cover the Metro Desk -- and back up the Sports Desk on a huge night: the Manatee Hurricanes are in Orlando for the Class 7A state title game, vying for their fifth state championship ever.
Just a few minutes later, I tweeted Go CANES! But as Sports Editor Tim Wolfrum and writer John Lembo reminded me: They're psyched, but not cheering for the team. They're covering the game. And that, dear readers, is not an easy distinction. Lembo, Alan Dell and Vin Mannix will all write columns from Orlando tonight and tomorrow, and those will have plenty of opinion. But the dozens of advance stories and tonight's game story should be void of that -- and of cheerleading.
We're glad we're on the sidelines as fans tonight! These students, captured by photographer Grant Jefferies as the team left Manatee High today, say it all: