From the Editors: Generally Managing Reality
Kicking off September 2021
Whether you're an actual NFL general manager (thanks for picking up a copy of the Erie Reader!) or among the millions of fantasy football GMs across the nation, anyone who's ever danced the dance knows that the draft is an "absolute crapshoot."
Perhaps your prized first-round pick suffers a season-ending injury in pregame warmups of the very first game. Or perhaps the long-dependable veteran you were counting on is suspended midseason for a banned substance in his eye drops. Or maybe your star quarterback tears his rotator cuff while spearfishing off the coast of Barbados during the bye week (insert eye roll). Any of these scenarios might serve as reminders to "expect the unexpected," or that "there is no sure thing," or very possibly that you've been a Browns fan for far, far too long.
But more than that, they might bring to mind another oft-repeated press conference platitude — "it's not how you start, it's how you finish." Yes, now and then the league champion will dominate from wire to wire, dodge all the slings and arrows (and wayward penalty flags) of outrageous fortune, and leaves the competition trembling in their wake. But more often, success is predicated on careful observation, patience, and opportunism — by seeing the value in people and their talents before any one else does. It's the late-round gems that fuel championship runs.
Over the years, Erie's stock has tumbled — once a lock as the third-most populous city in Pennsylvania, it's dropped to fifth. But those with a keen eye are bullish about its upside and continue to seek the right combination of playbook and personnel to propel Erie back into the first-round conversation. They're in our corner, beating the proverbial rally drum like Tom Everett Scott in That Thing You Do! (see Liz Allen's 25th anniversary retrospective on the Tom Hanks classic)
One such believer, Tyler Titus, adorns this cover. Emerging from a humble background, the Erie County Executive candidate has nurtured a serious knack for leadership — and by extension, listening. If selected to represent the area in November's general election, Titus hopes to set a new precedent for how local government should be done, seeking to address the flaws in our systems — particularly those that keep marginalized groups behind the line of scrimmage.
In their interview with Nick Warren, Titus cites fair and equitable education (another focus of this month's edition) as our best chance as a community to find daylight and mount a serious comeback.
But in order to achieve that and more, we must better generally manage our reality — a much more stingy opponent than any in fantasy. Its lineup is formidable — COVID-19, poverty and social unrest, misinformation and propaganda, climate change, hatred and fear — and a pretty deep bench beyond that. Coming out on top is all about the team we put together on the frontlines, and the talent we have waiting in the wings.