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Still a sports fan?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by sporting_guista, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. Maybe it's a dumb question, but maybe not so much.

    After spending any amount of time covering sports--in particular around a pro team--are you still a sports fan? There are a lot of miserable bastards holed up in press boxes who don't seem to realize they're being paid to watch ballgames. Yes, it's a lot of thankless work often for little pay, but it's not a bad gig.

    Personally, I still love sports, but not with the naive joy I had as a kid or even as a teen-ager/young adult. Not surprisingly, I'm jaded about athletes and events, and sadly sometimes, I'm not that upset if I miss the start of a playoff game or don't give a damn about the Summer Olympics the way I used to.

    Just a conversation starter...
  2. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    sporting - Sometimes I'm miserable not because I don't realize that I'm "being paid to watch ballgames." I'm miserable BECAUSE I'm "being paid to watch ballgames." As time goes on, I want more than that. Everyone is different, of course. The grizzled dean of our staff would be happy to cover 365 games a year. He gets miserable because he has to do anything else. When I covered baseball, the games were the good part. I was miserable (relatively speaking) because of all the incidental stuff - getting there all those hours early, trying to come up with news every single day all summer long. Trying to think of things to talk to guys about.

    Also - there is a degree of frustration to being held at arm's length at all times. By having people run interference on you. By always being an outsider when you're present. By having nobody trust you. Ever. That dynamic is wearing after a while. The more time you spend on the beat, the more you want to have it wired for sound (figuratively). But except for the top-shelf elite beat guys, that's never easy.

    Anyway ... I'm still a big sports fan, but in a different way than I used to be, and a way that a lot of friends and family can't really relate to. I'm a much more cerebral sports fan. I watch a game the same way I play a game of chess or Texas Hold 'Em (though more passively, of course). I turn it inside and out. I want to know who each of the players are, how they rotate them in, who had the coverage on that play, which members of the bullpen the manager has an option to go to in the seventh inning and who has pitched already the last three days. I can't watch games or follow sports casually whatsoever. I'm a very active viewer. I often keep a scorecard when I'm watching a baseball game at home, or a little scoring sheet during an NBA or college game. If I escape, I have to escape fully.

    Yet ... I see them for what they ultimately are. Entertainment. It doesn't ruin my evening when "my team" loses. I don't trade good-natured barbs back and forth with fans of a rival. Our next house will have a basement, and I'm looking forward to that because I'll finally be able to hang sports items on the walls again. It just feels silly doing it now.
  3. Montezuma's Revenge

    Montezuma's Revenge Active Member

    When I'm immersed in having to cover something full-bore, yeah, I can get kind of sick of it. I get to where I don't even want to read what anybody else is writing. But whenever my schedule slows down, I find myself wanting to watch and read.

    So yeah, I'm still a fan. I just need a break from it sometimes.
  4. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    I cover college/university. I often wonder if I really want to cover a pro team, which was always my ultimate goal.

    By covering college/university, I feel I can still enjoy the pro game as a fan.

    In all honesty, there's more pure joy exhibited by the student-athletes and they, their coaches and fans seem to appreciate the coverage more.

    And, I find there's less "interference" and "politics."

    I've covered pro stuff, even worked for a pro team. What I do now seems to be perfect.
  5. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    Not a BCS conference school, huh?
  6. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    Pringle: Nope. Not that bigtime.

    Like I said, pretty much perfect. Very close to a major market so I get my pro fix. A university that's, for lack of a better term, average in every sport.
  7. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    That's what I figured. Not criticizing at all. It's just that my college is far more controlling than the pro team I used to cover, which let their athletes be grown men.
  8. andyouare?

    andyouare? Guest

    When I started in the business, a jaded sports writer told me that he didn't watch sports at all. He said he was totally burned out on it and I would be, too.

    Well, I didn't get totally burned out, but it definitely changed things. You realize that a big win or a big loss is just another story. It's another clip in those big binders that keep past issues. The next day, it's over.

    I watch a lot less sports, but I think the pleasure/heartbreak is the same. It just doesn't last as long, good or bad.

    Also, I think, as you get older and you get married, kids, buy a house, etc., sports becomes less important in the grand scheme of things. Something you thought was crazy when you were 22-23.
  9. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    I don't dislike my profession. I quibble with its pay and the retarded moves it seems to want to make, but I don't dislike it. The problem is if I go to a basketball game, if I'm not taking notes, I feel naked. Sports has become work -- a tolerable work, to be sure, but work all the same. Even though I don't cover major colleges or the pros (and it's looking more and more like I never will), watching those games feels like a chore. Like you're talking shop on your down time.

    But then how many magicians want to go watch Penn and Teller for a night on the town?
  10. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    i feel the exact same way as pringle. being a sports writer made me into a more cerebral sports fan now that i'm not in the business any longer.

    three of us guys could be watching a game at someone's house and when something tremendous happens, my two buddies jump up and high five each other and scream. i nod to myself, duly impressed and wonder about things like how often they practice that play, if it was a busted play and if so, did someone just get lucky or is it a case of a fraction-of-a-second adjustment that only the best players can make. etcetera.

    and like pringle said, no one can relate to my not getting all jazzed up, not talking about my favorite team as "us," not trading barbs with fans of rival teams.
  11. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    If you worked in the porn industry, would you still like sex?
  12. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    I don't attend many sporting events outside of the ones they pay me to see. When I do go, I find it easier to transition into being a fan if I have a beer to take the edge off.
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