I couldn’t help but take notice of the incident where the little girl was struck in the head by a golf ball at a Utah golf course last week.

This, of course, because of my little run in with a golf ball earlier this year.

Her situation — an errant drive that struck her as she was sitting in a golf course off one of the tees — was what might have been for me. Sadly, she was the one who died from her injuries.

The even sadder part was that it was her father that hit the errant shot.

I can’t imagine what he’s going through right now.

I just pray that he’ll find comfort and some kind of solace, although this has to be the worst day of his life.

* * *

Rain outs can be irritating for everyone involved.

But when you learn of a game being postponed for the first time when you get there, after having driven an hour or more to get there, it can be really frustrating.

I’m sure that’s the feeling many fans and area media representatives were feeling over the weekend when they made the trek to Milo, a small community southeast of Des Moines (a 120-mile trip one way), to watch the Audubon baseball team Iowa Class 1A district baseball championship game against Southeast Warren of Liberty Center ... only for severe weather to roll through the area and force officials to postpone to Monday.

Just thinking about it, though, I can do one better.

I was covering the North Scott softball team in 2003 when they were on their way to an eventual state runner-up. Their first scheduled game was postponed, but — keeping in mind this was still a couple of years before Smartphones and instant notification via social media — I didn’t find out until I arrived at Harlan Rodgers Sports Complex ... and I had driven 275 miles to get there.

Not packed for an overnight trip, I made the four-hour trip back to the Quad Cities ... no doubt grumbling all the way.

(Fortunately, my mother’s car, which I borrowed — a 1993 Cadillac — was reliable and could take the extra 550-mile round trip with no major issues.)

Just glad this wasn’t the 1970s, when gas-guzzlers weren’t that reliable and gas was expensive, or one of those years when gas skyrocketed to the $4 mark.

* * *

As you know, the high school summer sports season wrapped this past weekend, and again we’re in the process of — in between juggling RAGBRAI responsibilities and the Cass County Fair — compiling those all-area teams.

I just want to say thanks again for all the nice comments and compliments for our work this past year. You don’t know how much it means.

I know it doesn’t necessarily mean everyone’s completely happy with our reporting or coverage all of the time. It’s just like the old saying, “You can please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”

That said, thinking back over my sports reporting, both here and at previous stops, I can recall a few people who were really roaring angry about our work.

One of those incidents was in Williamsburg, and it concerned a mistake I had made in my reporting, wherein a line in my story was interpreted as that a caller’s son didn’t play at all at a state boys’ basketball tournament. (He had gotten into a game earlier in the tournament, just not the particular game.)

She called, and in tears and screaming at me like a banshee, demanded an answer as to why I reported the story that way. She claimed I was out to hurt the kid’s self-esteem and that he’d flip out if he caught wind of the story.

I don’t think anything I could have said would have appeased her or soothed her feelings. We made a mistake, but to her it was the end of the world and the worst error we could ever make, as though we accused him of murder or worse.

Just thinking about it several years later, I wonder if this was a troll, asked by someone to call and pretend to be upset.

Either that, or a mother who gets way too involved with her son.

I’m guessing the son saw the story, the one she swore she’d guard against him ever seeing ... and -- the way it usuaully ends -- shrugged his shoulders, ‘cause I never heard from him.

I realize our children our precious and we would do anything and everything to protect them and nurture them and so forth. But that incident after the state basketball tournament several years ago was way over the top, in my opinion.

Thankfully, parents like her are few and far between.

It still makes my blood boil, though, hence why I’m writing now.

We do try our best to be fair and report accurately sports stories. When we actually do err, we try to correct it. But let’s be civil and fair and rational when talking about it, not going off as this parent did.

To reach Brian Rathjen, send correspondence to sports@ant-news.com or phone (712) 243-2624.