Memoir of a sportswriter

By and

To what degree do I love sports? I love playing them, watching them, talking about them and writing about them. Whether it’s football, basketball, baseball, track or golf, it really doesn’t matter to me. I just want to be involved with it.

I love the passion, competition, teamwork, friendships, determination and hard work that are associated with sports.

I love how sports create a separate, fantastical world of standings, statistics, scores and rankings that really don’t mean anything to me personally-and yet they do.

I love how I cry inside anytime Bob Wickman blows a save for the Cleveland Indians, or how I can go down to Provo and talk smack with Cougar fans during football games, even though I am not actually a part of the team.

Really, there’s a lot to love about sports. Inevitably, that’s what made me decide to become a sportswriter last May. What could be better than making money while plunging myself into the very culture I had grown to adore being involved in so much?

Quite honestly, I haven’t been disappointed by my choice, but I have had my eyes opened to things about sports and the behind the scenes happenings that I never understood before taking this job.

In a way, I was sheltered when it came to sports. I was so obsessed with them while growing up that I never saw some of the negatives, and that was mostly because I had never seen what happened with players after games or what life is like for an athlete, other than what ESPN decided to show me.

I never paid attention to how fans really acted or how sports could influence some people in making unreasonable decisions or taking unreasonable actions in their life just because of a game.

It’s those things I have come to be disappointed about when it comes to sports.

I hate it when I go into a locker room after a professional basketball game and see that many of the players are more concerned about what there is to eat rather than how they played in the game, while fans are sorrowing over the loss or celebrating the victory.

I hate when the game becomes a job or a duty, so the players lose passion and give a pitiful effort.

I hate it when fans treat athletes poorly. Sure, there’s fun in giving opposing athletes a hard time when they visit your home court, but there is a point where it needs to stop-like cheering when a player gets injured.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen plenty of things that have made this sports writing experience a fun one.

There’s nothing quite like talking to an athlete right after they achieved something spectacular. Actually, interviews with athletes have really been one of the best parts of this job.

I think my favorite interview was with Meghan Dyer of the U softball team. It was only over the phone, but it was spectacular.

She had just thrown a perfect game against UTEP-11 strikeouts, no hits, no walks. Perfect. I got her on the phone while she was at a restaurant in Texas, right before they were going to the airport to come back home to Utah.

What made the interview special was her zeal for the game, her excitement for her achievement and the feeling that she loved what she was doing and couldn’t have been happier about what she had done. She was grateful to be interviewed and couldn’t say enough about how much she loved her team.

That was great. That made me remember why I loved sports so much.

Sure, it’s just a game, and it’s important to remember that, but as long as they bring out the good in people and allow people to reach for lofty goals and expectations, I say, long live sports.