A little more than three years ago, I made the decision to become a sportswriter. Not old enough to legally drink yet here I thought i knew what i was getting myself into; in some ways, i was right, in others, way off.
I went into it thinking- no,knowing- it’s more than ‘just a game.’ How much more, i’m still trying to figure out. Every now and then, the sports world reaches beyond highlights, scores and statistics to touch upon what we sports writers call ‘the real world.’ Most recently, it’s through the words of former-Yankee Gary Sheffield (yes, my opinion is affected by his previous pinstripe-days) regarding the decline of African-Americans in the Majors.
Rather than throw in my two cents on what he actually said, which is quite interesting, it’s the response and attention given to the "incident" that made me sit and think about what it is I got myself into. It’s the vast spectrum of opinions I’m sick of hearing. But on the other hand, that’s part-and-parcel of this gig: you have to have an opinion on any and everything sports.
Does it get old sometimes? Sure. Does it ever get boring? No.
So Sheffield said some things that surprised people. Since when is it the first, or last, time we sports writers take something and run, sometimes literally (to our computers) with it? It’s neither. If not Sheffield, we’re trying to squeeze the drama out of some other athlete’s comments. When I wrote my very first article as a college student stringing for a local newspaper, it was under the impression I had to be unbiased (as all my stories continue to be) and make sure not to step on any one’s toes with my words, so to speak.
Now a couple years out of college and fully imersed in this wacky world of sports media, it’s clear how thin the line between passing judgement over others and seeing the world objectively is.
And the tendency to cross that line is as uncontrollable-sometimes, please see: Fisk in Game 6 (oh yeah Sox fans, can you feel the smile spreading across your faces?)- as willing a baseball to land in fair or foul territory.
In no way am I anywhere close to being a seasoned veteran of this industry, but the short stint still has me waxing analytical of everything but the numbers.
In other words, I’m my own judge and jury. But I’m also a sports writer so that makes me the same of athletes.
Ah, Sox are down 3-0 in the top of the seventh, more reason to question the world.