Almost anyone who's written columns for any outlet, large or small, will agree that the greatest challenge can be the constant churn of ideas that are an absolute must.
Columns, for those who don't know, are different than standard articles. They're opinion. They can be rooted in real, on-location reporting, as mine are, but the ultimate objective is to build and, ideally, support a specific stance on a subject. As a result, generally speaking, most columnists write no more than three a week. Four at the absolute max.
Of course, most of them didn't run off and start their own independent ventures and apply all kinds of additional pressure to themselves, so I write five. Or more.
I don't often struggle with ideas. We cover three teams here, and all three have thick backgrounds, as well as surrounding issues -- including their sports and leagues -- that present plenty from which to choose. My common approach, as I hope shows, is to just go to a game or event and react of whatever happens. I enjoy that a lot more than the start-from-scratch ones.
Anyway, this is my long-winded way of letting you know I don't have a Grind today. But I'll have one tomorrow since I'm going to PNC Park tonight to cover a baseball game. Which hopefully will overflow with column fodder!
[caption id="attachment_817212" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Fort Wayne Rail Bridge, Downtown. - DEJAN KOVACEVIC / DKPS[/caption]
• If you missed yesterday's Brewing, I ran the above photo and asked readers to identify their favorite bridge inside Pittsburgh city limits. Those comments have been carried over to this file below because they were way too fun to cut off. Thanks to everyone who contributed already.
My own favorite(s) are the Three Sisters as a whole. I never separate them, and I hate that PNC Park's construction meant turning the Sixth Street Bridge into the Clemente Bridge with a completely distinct set of lighting. We're blessed to have the only side-by-side-by-side matching bridges in the world, built in 1925, 1926 and 1927, in order.