I have two days left in my career as a full-time professional journalist. So naturally, I’ve been thinking a lot this weekend about what I’m going to miss. Unlike most people, I’ve had a job and a career that I’ve loved, almost every day that I’ve done it.
Here are a few things I will miss about this wonderful ride of being a sportswriter:
— The adrenaline rush of deadline. Nothing like it. Hard to explain it to people who haven’t experienced it. But when you’re covering a game and it’s close and you’re writing furiously and the clock is ticking and you’re not quite sure you’ve nailed the lede… but then you do and hit “send” on your story and you make it by three minutes, it’s an incredible surge of energy.
— Meeting famous people. I’m never been the starstruck type, even when I was first starting out. But a few people left me in awe, and had me nervous as I approached them for the first time: Billie Jean King and Dean Smith are legends in their field, but they couldn’t have been nicer to me. Martina Navratilova, ditto. There were a few jerks I met along the way, too (I’m looking at you, Andre Miller and Sterling Sharpe), but for the most part the famous people I met were nice.
And gave me stories to tell my friends (my buddy Andrew liked a particular story about Derrick Coleman in the locker room, for example. Let’s just say I saw more of Derrick than most fans.)
— Getting a tip on a great story, and then doing the interviews for it, and it turns out even greater than you’d hoped. That’s happened to me a few times, and you just sit there thinking “Man, this person is doing such a great job telling me their story. I just hope I don’t screw it up.”
And honestly, that’s a lot of what writing is sometimes: Getting out of the way of the material when it’s incredibly good.
–Free food in the press box. Can’t overstate it enough: Feeding the media is the No.1 thing teams can do to make us happy. I’ve had some great free meals over the years at games; a lunch at a football game at Navy one year was maybe the best one I ever had.
— The lucky feeling when you know you’re at a huge game. Thousands of people would’ve liked to have been in my seat at a few Duke-UNC basketball games in the late 1990s, sitting courtside. I never forgot how fortunate I was.
— Really nice parents of athletes you write about. Ninety percent of them are great; I once met a guy on an airplane in North Carolina who couldn’t thank me enough for a story I wrote on his son, like two years earlier. I felt terrible that I couldn’t even remember writing it, to be honest. To have such an impact on people’s lives is something that journalists don’t stop and think about often enough. You write a story about someone, it takes you a day.
They’ll remember it for a lifetime. And I thought that was always kind of cool.
OK, I’m sure there’s more but you have things to do besides read this blog all day.
Tomorrow, a list of the things I won’t miss.Vodpod videos no longer available.
**So Mitt Romney continues to get all kinds of attention as the front-runner in the race to be the Republican presidential candidate that gets slaughtered next fall. And ole’ Mitt’s idiotic comment last week that “I’m unemployed, too” while speaking to a group of possible voters reminded me why I love the phony so much.
So I thought I’d bring back one of Mitt’s greatest hits: This was from the 2008 election, as Romney hung out with a bunch of African-American kids in Jacksonville, Fla. Yes folks, this is the whitest man in America:
**So this is pretty impressive. Tomas Jurco is an 18-year-old hockey player who was just taken in the second round by the Detroit Red Wings in last week’s draft.
Check out the wicked-cool moves young Mr. Jurco can do with his stick. It gets really good about the :50 mark:Vodpod videos no longer available.