My name is Michael Whitlow. To answer your question, I don't care if you call me Mike. That works, too. Virtually everyone but my parents and relatives calls me that, so feel free.
Oh, you actually had a question about my last name, didn't you?
You probably recognize my last name. It's been a part of the Michigan City community for quite a long time. My father, Warren, played football and baseball at Michigan City Rogers High School, while he and his siblings ran wild all over the city during their younger days.
(If there's any stories about Warren you have, please assume I don't know them. I'd love to hear them.)
The reason why you probably recognize my last name is because of a man named Allan, or Al for short. You may call him Allan or Al, or even Coach. For me, he's just Grandpa.
I'm proud to be a Whitlow and I'm extremely excited to begin this journey for the sports department at The News Dispatch. My father and his siblings' time in Michigan City ended many moons ago, but my time is just beginning here. I'm eager to get going in the place where much of my family grew up. It's a new experience and one I hope leaves plenty of lasting memories.
I never really realized what it meant to be a Whitlow here until I got older, learned how to drive and started spending more time in "The Region" with my family.
When you're out with Al, it's like walking around with the President.
"Al, how are you doing?"
"Al, good to see you! How's your wife?"
These questions come from every direction imaginable. It's like he's on the campaign trail. Those are just the basic questions, on top of the 20 to 30 other topics he talks about with people.
It becomes a game for me when we're out in public. "OK, how many people will Grandpa run into this time out?" I enjoy it.
It's like walking around with Barack Obama in Chicago. I always tell people back where I'm from back in Fort Wayne, "He could run for mayor of Michigan City and probably get 100 percent of the vote. They love him. He's like if The Rock actually ran for President of the United States."
He's a popular guy. He's also a genuine guy and someone that I truly admire. It's cool to be able to meet so many people around the city and the area, and not one person has a bad thing to say about him. That's what I aspire to be during my time here with you all.
This is all new for me. It's my first job fresh out of college. I know very little about the business compared to many I've met and I know a minimal amount about the area.
But something I do know is that these communities here are filled with some fantastic people and many have some wonderful stories that I hope to help tell someday down the line. I'm not the story and never will be. Well, except this one and it's not really a story. I'm just saying hello to you all. You fine folks are the reason I even have a job.
If you'd ever like to discuss a story or two with me personally, I'm a sucker for a delicious hot dog and some french fries at Carlson's.
(Being that Carlson's is closed for the fall/winter months, I won't say no to a meal at Top Dog. Just ask Al.)
Reach Michael Whitlow at or (219) 241-4169. Follow him on Twitter @couldbelikemike.