OK, I’ll admit it. You get to do a lot of cool things when you’re a sports editor.
Well, they seem cool if you happen to love sports. And if you like writing 600 words or so on deadline. And if you can handle working a lot of nights and weekends while your wife is at home wrestling with three kids.
But, yeah, you get to do some cool things.
Such as covering a Tonya Harding boxing match and discovering that the media work room is also the dressing room for Butterbean. Trying to wax lyrical on deadline while a 400-pounder is shadow boxing nearby — “PFFFT-UGH-PFFFT-SHHHPP-PFFFT” — isn’t the easiest task in the world, but, hey, I’m a trained professional.
And covering a Super Bowl, forever lamenting that the one Super Bowl you get to attend happens to be in Detroit. Couldn’t be Miami or New Orleans, of course; it had to be Detroit. And while the Seahawks’ loss to the Steelers turned out to be a dud, you’ll always have those memories of the Rolling Stones press conference that turned out to be the highlight of the week.
(Side note: It’s always fun to speculate about what rock stars would be doing if they weren’t rock stars. After watching Mick Jagger take command of a room, I’m convinced he would be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company if, you know, he could have gotten some satisfaction.)
And watching Brandon Roy score 52 points to beat the Suns, or Nicolas Batum score four in the final 0.9 seconds to beat the Spurs, each magical moment reminding you that life is fun when the Blazers are interesting.
And witnessing Washington knock off third-ranked Washington State in triple overtime in the Apple Cup, reminding you that the final score is the one that goes into the record book regardless of how bizarre the finish is.
And seeing Union’s Jordan Chatman throw in a 3-pointer from about 85 feet away, or Prairie’s Ashley Corral score 38 points to beat Skyview in the most scintillating basketball game imaginable.
Sports, you see, are all about the outcome. In a world in which there is a thin line between process and results, sports offer conflict and resolution. At the end of the day, there’s a cut-and-dried outcome that tidies up what typically is a messy world.
That is the appeal of sports, and you never know what twists the road will take on the journey to that resolution.
Which brings us to one of my favorite oft-repeated theories: Sports are the best reality TV.
You see, there’s nothing real about reality TV; it’s pre-packaged pabulum, acted and edited for the purpose of manipulating the audience. Sports, on the other hand, offer real drama and real triumph and, quite often, real failure.
I like to think we’ve been able to reflect that in the Sports section of The Columbian over the past 13 years. As I change desks to become the paper’s Opinion editor after today, I’m confident that new Sports editor Micah Rice and his staff will continue to reflect the drama that is inherent in sports.
In the meantime, thank you for reading. I’ll see you over on the Opinion page.