Deseret News prep writer Scott Taylor is sort of like Superman--and not because he handles dozens of sports at dozens of high schools throughout the state almost single-handedly.
Just like Superman hides inside mild-mannered Clark Kent, another extraordinary individual hides inside mild-mannered Scott Taylor. But in Taylor's case, it's an extraordinarily unusual, off-the-wall individual.This may come as a surprise to most of the people Taylor deals with. When he's at work on a story or covering a game, he's all business. But many times a different Scott Taylor appears when he's off the job.
Scott began his Deseret News career in September 1984 as a staff writer in the Utah County Bureau. For the first couple of months, his alter ego remained hidden. But after becoming a bit more comfortable with the staff in Provo, the maniac was released.
Visitors to the bureau office might have occasionally found Taylor up on a filing cabinet imitating a gargoyle. Or with a mouthful of water doing his fountain impression. Or jumping from desk to desk. Or starting a rubber band fight. Or sticking pencils up his nose. Or throwing water out the second-story window at other staffers on their way to assignments.
Taylor was also the Utah County sports director and even acting bureau chief--or "acting-up bureau chief" as he puts it--during the summer of 1986. His memos became legendary; he signed them as everything from a Gestapo chief to Christopher Robin to Mr. Rogers. In his calmer moments, he could often be found wearing his Groucho Marx nose and glasses.
In last week's Utah people, etc. feature on a Deseret News staffer, Utah County bureau told how she came to work one day and found her desk had been covered with paper-maiche. Guess who did that?
The mild-mannered Scott Taylor is in charge of keeping track of what's going on in prep sports at all high schools throughout the state. "You should see my phone bill," he says, adding that he makes as many as $110 worth of calls to talk to coaches every month.
And it isn't always easy to keep track of what's going on. During football and basketball season, Friday nights on the sports desk often resemble a madhouse. Coaches call in results and Taylor tries to weave all the information into a roundup. That's in addition to covering one or two games himself.
And then there are the all-state teams. Football is particularly fun. Tabulating votes for more than 800 players from more than 80 coaches. Getting teams picked and stories written. Making sure more than 100 player photos arrive on time. Then dealing with coaches and parents who feel their players have been slighted.
"I enjoy that kind of stuff; organizing, putting all that stuff together," Taylor said, "despite all the hassles. You just can't make everybody happy, though."
When he's not getting ready for a game or heading for a game or watching a game or writing about a game, Taylor can be found at home with his wife, Cheryl--who thinks she doesn't see enough of him--and his two youngsters, 5-year-old Austin and 3-year-old Jenna. Though even his kids sometimes think he's wierd, Taylor is a devoted father who likes nothing better than spending time with his children.
Taylor's been working out of Deseret News' Salt Lake, headquarters since September, but he has yet to display much in the way of bizarre behavior. "Oh, give me a couple more months," he says. "I'm still scared."