I grew up in Indiana and turned to journalism in the eighth grade when it became clear I would not be an NFL linebacker. My first journalism job was covering high school sports at my hometown paper, where the owner did not allow bylines. I graduated from Indiana University and still watch every Hoosier basketball game I can. On a quick trip to St. Petersburg in 1983 the Times hired me as a green reporter and I proposed to my wife on the Howard Frankland Bridge as we drove back to the airport. Very romantic. We lived for nine years in Tallahassee, where I covered the state capital and our two daughters were strategically born between legislative sessions and in non-election years. After spending years as a reporter and editor on the news side, I wondered whether I would have enough opinions to write editorials. It turns out I did.