Writer’s Block: Sleep, yeah right(!) – for a new parent

Sleep is definitely not overrated.

Jason Olson
Jason Olson

As the proud father of a seven-week-old baby girl (as of March 24), I’ve quickly learned to embrace the beauty of a nap.

Although I’ve been in a constant haze since early February (due to the lack of sleep), becoming a first-time dad is nothing short of amazing.

If you’re a mother or father, you can relate. If not, good luck to you, and remember to sleep while you still can.

I would attribute the lack of sleep to nothing overly productive, like back in college when a sleepless night meant either an all-nighter working on a project in the computer lab or a crazy, fun time with friends away from the classroom.

This lack of sleep goes beyond projects and parties. Feeding, changing or cuddling a baby means any (or all) of those things happen at anytime.

Beyond the lack of sleep she’s been a great baby and this will be the last time I bore you with the details of being a new parent. Of course, she’s cute, showing us her smile combined with a random giggle once in a while. Lots of babbling and for some bizarre reason, she’s most smiley when we change her diaper.

I feel very lucky to work for a company that values family time enough to allow new parents to take up to six months leave. As a result, I’m going to be stepping aside from the paper from mid-April through mid-October. Staff writer Sue Austreng will take over for me with her very capable writing and photography skills.

She will cover as many events as possible, but here’s a shameless advertisement: we’re looking for a couple of writers to help her out. If you have any interest or background in writing about sports in our area, shoot me an e-mail or leave a message at 763-712-3507 and we’ll be in touch.

A few other thoughts:

• Tim Tebow heading to the New York Jets came out of nowhere. I could have seen him going to AFC East rival New England as a safety valve for Tom Brady or to be used in special situations but to the media circus of New York? Not a chance.

What about Mark Sanchez? He’s a decent quarterback who seemed to have a solid spot under center for at least another season, after reaching the AFC Championship game in 2011. I guess he’ll be used as a change-up-the-pace quarterback in their Wildcat or pistol formation and back up Sanchez for the time being. We still have some two dozen weeks before the 2012 season starts. I’m sure Jets coach Rex Ryan will be asked no fewer than 300 times between now and then about the quarterback situation.

I would have thought a return to northern Florida and the Jacksonville Jaguars would have been the logical choice, based on the lack of ticket sales and the Joe Mauer-like following for the former Florida Gator, but maybe that would have been too easy of a decision.

I have a couple of friends in the northern Florida area who are season ticket holders for the Jaguars and they agreed that Jacksonville doesn’t need Tebow to win, but it would help sell tickets.

• Did you know we have a professional soccer team based in Blaine? The renamed Minnesota Stars FC (formerly known as NSC Minnesota Stars) won the 2011 North American Soccer League (NASL, as in the relaunched soccer league from the ‘70s and ‘80s) in dramatic fashion last fall. Minnesota Stars FC plays its home games at the National Sports Center in Blaine and is a second division club (think AAA baseball compared with Major League Baseball) and opens the season April 7.

The season opener will be at Metrodome and includes lots of pre-and post-game revelry that begins at 4:30 p.m. April 7 in the picnic area southeast of the dome near gate D. The Stars host the regular season league champion Carolina RailHawks in what is called the Challenge of Champions. Opening whistle is set for 7 p.m. and tickets range from $5 to $20. Visit minnesotastarsfc.com for more information.