Those who scan this blog with any regularity have noticed that the tenor of the site has rambled from whimsy to outrage even as the number of postings has dropped off precipitously. Some of the inconsistency is to be blamed on the post-election brain fur that has fogged my every thought since last November, but some has also been due to my continuing efforts to find the right medium in which to indulge my ambition as a writer.
Here’s the update: The two plays I’ve written recently have apparently not rocked the theatrical world. Languishing. Languishing. The last two novels stalled out completely as I continue to read really original and imaginative work written by my betters. The last unexplored frontier remaining? Sports writing.
I’d long thought I’d like to write about sports. I certainly like to read about sports, and, whereas I rarely have anything to say about the condition of the wider world, soul-crushed as I am this year, I find myself holding passionate opinions about the relative strength of SEC football and Big Ten football, the chances of the Dodgers next season as compared to those of the Indians, and the demotion of Eli Manning from franchise quarterback to benched backup, opinions nobody in this household wants to hear.
So, I began writing for Fansided, a network of sports and entertainment related sites ranging from those following the NFL (Dear god, the Browns actually made a good decision) to endless discussion of Game of Thrones (Emilia Clark dyes her hair blonde).
After submitting several examples of my sports blathering, I was welcomed to several of the Fansided channels, beginning my sportswriting experiment with GBMWolverine, a site dedicated to University of Michigan athletics and to Michigan football. In my short tenure there, I wrote something like twenty-four articles, some fulminating as a fan and some analyzing with precision exactly where the fifteen million dollar a year coaching staff had missed the mark. My last opinion piece is exactly the sort of subject that kills conversations in all but three living rooms in the universe – “Has John O’Korn crushed Jim Harbaugh’s legacy at Michigan?”
You don’t want or need to know.
Eager to spread my sportswriting wings, I have moved on to the Fansided newsdesk, from which assignments reflecting breaking stories are dished out to reporters hovering like harriers over a field filled with scampering rodents. I’m the lowest of the low, a bottom feeder, dished stories such as “Scott Frost and his staff will coach UCF in the Peach Bowl”, and “Giancarlo Stanton will not be a Giant next season”.
My last piece was “Herm Edwards stunned by size of ASU game jerseys”, an assignment I mangled as I am unfamiliar with the bells and whistles necessary to the publication of a media friendly posting, Search Engine Optimization, and so on. It was that piece that has convinced me to let other, more savvy digital experts take on stories of that sort. When assigned, I begged to explore the many and improbable aspects of Herm Edwards’ appointment as head football coach at Arizona State University, but my editor wanted 300 words on jerseys – no less, no more. Should you wish to know why my fascination with Herm Edwards remains unslaked, please watch this, his first press conference as head coach.
I’ve been swatted when submitting articles with attitude or, as the editors describe my relentless fits of whimsy, “editorial content”, but that’s what I intended to offer in writing about sports. Real reporters are breaking stories, hoorah, and I’m sitting in my living room in southern Oregon fulminating.
All of which is to explain why an occasional goofy sports piece might wash up in these pages, unwanted as they are in other settings.
Army plays Navy this weekend, Tiger’s playing golf again, NHL players won’t appear in the Winter Olympics, Marvin Lewis has to go, Russia is barred from the Winter Olympics, How can LeBron not be MVP this year, the US may not participate in the Winter Olympics, Dennis Rodman reports on Kim Jong Un’s true intentions, if Baker Mayfield wins the Heisman Trophy (he will), Oklahoma fans want to erect a statue representing Mayfield’s planting a flag on the Ohio State logo – more than 4000 petitions have already been collected.
And that’s just today’s sports news.
Stay tuned, sports fans, it’s time to explore the wonderful world of sports clichés. If you got ’em, send ’em my way. After all, it’s not over until a good defense beats the best offense.