Eye of the Tyler: Let's just say we didn't get first place in outdoor media challenge

  • Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sully Witte (front) and Christel Newton (in back) represented the Moultrie News in the canoe part of the relay race. PHOTOS BY SARAH REYNOLDS


In sports, you either win or you lose. Ties are ridiculous, so don’t even go there.

The Moultrie News participated in the second annual Ron Burgundy media challenge this past Thursday afternoon at James Island County Park lake. It was in relay form with a two-person group in a canoe going first, then a one-person kayak and ending with a one-person standup paddleboard.

We didn’t win first place. Or second. Or third. And that’s where it gets muddy. There were five participating teams from local media organizations, by the way.

Wiser Time Publishing – which publishes James Island Messenger and West Of community newspaper – won first place. Traveling Ink was named the best-dressed team, thanks to Ron Burgandy-like attire. If you’re not familiar with the movie “Anchorman,” think 1970s-80s television news clothes.

Editor Sully Witte and business manager Christel Newton made up our fearless team in the canoe. I manned the kayak. And, premier sales representative Lisa Quick competed in the paddleboard portion.

Seconds into the race, all canoe participants embraced chaos. The Moultrie News, like other teams, played bumper cars, whacking boat hulls and paddles and ultimately resulting in most teams getting well off course. That’s where the separation between teams began.

Teams traveled around three buoys before tagging the kayakers to continue the same course. Here’s a Sully’s Scoop question I have: where can the Moultrie News get tips on how to dominate in a canoe? C’mon, now.

Like I said prior to the race, my only real concern was making sure my speed in the kayak didn’t cause too much wake in the lake. I, Speedy Gonzales, made good time until a fellow competitor from The Catalyst – the Medical University of South Carolina’s internal newspaper – messed things up.

Keep in mind, folks, that The Catalyst and the Moultrie News work together to publish The Calalyst. So, we’re kind of on the same team. But, not here.

This Catalyst lady invented a new aspect of the race where you don’t actually paddle, but instead splash your neighboring racer. That ain’t cool.

My segment of the race was like LeBron James in the playoffs: great first three quarters but absent in the fourth.

Sorry, news team, I lost the closing stretch battling a splash fest.

Don’t you dare come up with a Sully’s Scoop question for that.

Paddleboarding capped the race with our team rounding the first buoy in a race for second to last.

Lisa won’t get any sarcastic comments from me, because she was willing to take that part of the race when the rest of us were too scared.

Lisa and a member of The Catalyst rounded the final buoy in a dramatic let’s-not-be-last-place paddle.

It’s unclear who won, since there was no specified finish line. Again, there’s no tie allowed. So, um, we definitely won the second-to-last race.

But, we can settle on another Will Ferrell movie line – this from “Talladega Nights” – if you’re not first, you’re last.

Email ideas for upcoming Eye of the Tyler columns to theffernan@moultrienews.com.

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