Perhaps because of their onetime status as news monopolies, newspapers have never done a very good at explaining the job responsibilities of their writers.
That's why so many people who read articles and columns, and beat writers and columnists, don't know the difference.
I'm an opinion columnist. I write columns. Often I get emails talking about my ``articles'' and questioning why I think I have the license or gall to write my opinion.
Again, that's probably the fault of my industry. We just assume readers know the difference between opinion writing and news writing, and the difference between a columnist who is required to write opinion and a news reporter who is for the most part required to avoid opinion.
In modern media, we've also blurred the lines. A talented beat writer will sometimes be asked to write the occasional opinion piece or will earn the license to opine.
This is my long-winded way of getting to a couple of nice stories. I've been writing a lot about the Twins lately and I think we've all had enough of that for a while.
So, this morning, I'd like to introduce you to or remind you of two happier stories.
1. Dwane Casey could still make the case that he is the best coach in Timberwolves history. In 2006-2007, he had the Wolves at 22-22 before he was fired. The Wolves went 12-28 the rest of that season and haven't had a winning season since.
Casey helped Dallas win an NBA championship as the Mavericks' top assistant, then became head coach of the Toronto Raptors, traditionally an inept franchise.
His victory totals as the Raptors' coach: 23, 34, 48, 49, 56. And now he has won two straight home games to tie the Eastern Conference finals at two games apiece with the obviously superior Cavaliers.
Casey wasn't just a good coach when he was here; he was a friendly and honest guy. Winning two games against the Cavs is a testament to his coaching skills, and the effort level of his players is a testament to his personal skills. His players sell out for him.
2. To prepare a story about local amateur Sammy Schmitz qualifying for the Masters, I spent a weekend in Palm City, Fla., following Schmitz and his friend Jesse Polk as they played in the International Four-Ball.
They flew in on Thursday, squeezed in a quick practice round, started slowly, then surged to victory with an impressive performance on Sunday.
I followed Sammy at The Masters and was amazed by the support he drew to Augusta National. The guy has a lot of friends and supporters.
Last weekend, Polk and Schmitz won again, this time shooting a 62 on Saturday and a final-round 68 to win the 2016 Minnesota Public Golf Association Four-Ball Championship with a final-round 62. They won by four strokes at Emerald Greens Golf Club.
That's my dose of sports happiness this week. Casey, Schmitz and Polk. All three are easy to root for.
-Today at noon, Roy Smalley and I will do the Roy Smalley's Chin Music Show at Hell's Kitchen in downtown Minneapolis. You can find all of the shows, with Smalley, Michael Russo, Viking Update's Tim Yotter, Jon Krawczynski and my weekend wrapup show at MalePatternPodcasts.com.