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Kindred: Human Touch Needed In Local Sports Coverage

Randy Kindred in studio
Eric Stock
Randy Kindred's last day as Pantagraph sports editor will be March 20.

Pantagraph sports editor Randy Kindred said he has been humbled by the outpouring of support he had heard from many of the newspaper's readers since he announced he was retiring as sports editorafter 42 years with the paper.
Kindred explains his approach to his craft this way: “Whatever I write about it might not be the best thing I’ve ever written, but it’s the best I can do that day.”

That was more than good enough for his loyal readers.

“You just do that and maybe don’t realize that it’s having an impact, you’re just trying to do the best job you can,” he said. “Some of the nice things that have been said and done, it really has been humbling.”

Kindred got his start at the Pantagraph when he was a student at Illinois State University. In his youth, he idolized a sports writer from the same small Logan County town of Atlanta, one with the same last name, but no relation: Hall of Famer Dave Kindred. 

"Reading some of his stuff when I was 12 years old, I was just taken back by how great it was and I thought that might be a good way to make a living," he said, adding that he loved sports but wasn't good enough to play beyond high school. 

Kindred said he always enjoyed writing about the human element of sports.

“If I see something happening and it brings a tear to my eye or a lump in my throat, I think if I can describe this accurately and tell what I’m seeing it might have the same effect on a reader,” Kindred said.

Kindred said on WGLT’s Sound Ideas for many local newspapers, the sports pages provide a community connection most other media outlets can't provide.

“It’s still something we can bring that nobody else can because we have relationships with the coaches and the players and we can see things,” Kindred said.

Kindred added it will be a sad day if and when newspapers stop printing and move all content online.

Kindred will still be writing columns for the newspaper. He said he will occasionally look to write about stories outside of sports.

His last day as sports editor will be March 20. The paper's owner, Lee Enterprises, has named a regional sports editor to oversee the Pantagraph's sports coverage.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.