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home : columns : columns July 26, 2017


7/12/2017 10:26:00 AM
The hazards of this job

Joel Alvstad
Sports Editor


Generally speaking, my job as a sports reporter is not filled with danger.
While my vantage point to the action is a lot closer than the average fan's, I try my best to stay out of the way while I'm taking pictures.
In all my years of covering sports, I've only been really run into once.
In a state football playoff game, the sweep play that was being run didn't get up the field as much as hoped and the sideline didn't offer as much room to escape as I would have liked. I wound up getting rolled up, with a big cleat mark on my leg and a broken camera.
The lesson was learned quickly - get farther ahead of the action to give yourself time to get out of the way if needed.
I also suffered an injury, through no one's fault but my own, while covering the Cottonwood County Fair. I wanted to work during some down time and, rather than asking the tall person standing there to plug in my computer, I tried to plug it in myself, into an elevated outlet I couldn't reach without standing on something. I slipped and fell, cut my leg on a fence post and wound up with stitches in my leg. I also got up-to-date on my tetanus booster shots.
Fast forward to Sunday, when I was covering the first-ever Outlaw Days bed races in Jeffers.
The event was held on County Road 52 on the east side of town, by the softball field.
I thought I had safely positioned myself on the shoulder for a good view of the action.
I thought wrong.
One of the beds went out of control and sped toward me. I tried to get out of the way, but my ankle gave out on the steep embankment. I did a somersault unlike any I've done since my high school football days. And I had a bit of ditch rash on my leg and elbow.
I do want to thank everyone who helped get me back on my feet and patched up. They even gave me a chair from which I was able to shoot the rest of the event - away from possible collisions.
I did go to get it checked out Monday and have a pretty severe sprain. I'm in a boot for at least a couple of weeks.
I must say that of all the possible causes of injury in my job, a runaway bed may be the strangest I can think of.
Not our Cottonwood
A story I saw over the weekend definitely caught my eye.
MPR reported that an eel had been caught in Cottonwood Lake. It was just the second time an eel had been caught in a Minnesota lake in 25 years.
A quick call to Ryan Doorenbos at the DNR Fisheries Office in Windom gave some clarification, though.
"It wasn't on our Cottonwood Lake," Doorenbos said.
Indeed, the eel was caught on Cottonwood Lake - the one near the town of Cottonwood, not the one in Windom.
Doorenbos said the eel had quite a trek to make its way into the lake. Eels spawn in the Sargasso Sea in the North Atlantic region.
"It likely swam all the way down the east coast, around the Gulf of Mexico, up the Mississippi River into the Minnesota River and then the Yellow Medicine River watershed. That's how it would have gotten into that particular lake."








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