Once upon a time, there was a newspaper that I received at my house on a weekly basis. It was called The Sporting News, and it contained thousands of glorious, beautifully written words, mostly about the game of baseball. I eagerly anticipated Thursdays, because on Thursdays I knew that the mailman would be delivering the latest issue of TSN to my mailbox, and upon retrieving the paper from said mailbox, I would spend hours diving into every article.
The eloquent prose used by these writers, as well as those at Sports Illustrated, brought an elevated sense of intellectualism and intelligence to the game. But more than that, writers like Frank Deford and Rick Reilly communicated their love and passion for sport. Despite being impartial about the winners and losers of the games, it was clear that these men adored the institutions of baseball and college football with an unmatched intensity. They believed that sport was an integral thread in the American fabric and they treated it with the appropriate seriousness and reverence. Sports writing was seen as a noble endeavor, one in which writers like Hunter S. Thompson, John Updike, and Norman Mailer frequently indulged.
As I grew older, a combination of nagging injury and a frustrating lack of elite talent kept me from pursuing sports professionally. But, thanks to the written word, I maintained my interest and passion for sport. And as my children now compete at the top amateur levels of their chosen sports, I find myself again interested in the written word when it comes to the sporting world—only this time, it’s as an author. In fact, you may find my words on the pages of a rather popular sporting website near you in the near future.
However, the real reason that I’ve written this excessively long introduction is to complain about this miserable generation of auto writers. I can almost forgive this group of Under 35s for being poor dressers, generally slovenly, ugly, out of shape, and just generally, well, poor.
But I cannot forgive them for their apathy toward their profession and their subject. Unlike the aforementioned sports writers, they don’t love their subject. In fact, they hate it.