You know how weird it feels when you find yourself doing about the last thing you ever thought you’d end up doing?
Well, I have crashed the world of sports.
I use the term “crash” literally.
It all started ages ago when I was a (child) reporter for a little weekly newspaper, covering everything from gardening to tractor pulls. This included high school sports…. until the day I became collateral damage at a high school football game because I was too busy looking through a camera lens instead of at a huge play coming right at me.
I tried to run, but as usual, I was too slow.
It was a perfect tackle, catching me right at the ankles.
I went down hard.
Got up fast.
Sports writing career over.
Fast forward too many years to admit – all the way up to 2001.
I succumbed to a Tom Sawyer-like entreaty by Southern Pines (NC) Pilot Publisher David Woronoff to have a great vacation in the Sandhills helping his news staff cover the U.S. Women’s Open Golf Championship.
He was right! I have never had so much fun “whitewashing a fence” as I had with his team that summer.
I went back for more in 2005 covering Tiger and the boys in the Men’s Championship in Pinehurst.
Anyone who has ever worked as a writer for a weekly newspaper will complain of burnout at least once during that career. While job benefits, including long hours, stressful deadlines, no vacation, and microscopic salaries often drive journalists out of the profession, they are not enough to drive the profession out of journalists (Ha! Thought you could get through this without a cliché? Not a chance).
So, after leaving a long career with the North Carolina Press Association, I succumbed to the cliché, had a relapse of writing fever, and started looking around for freelance jobs.
I had not written in (ahem) a FEW years, and the only samples I had available were from my golf days with The Pilot.
I had unwittingly cast myself as a sportswriter, and now I am in the world of sports, writing a column called “Who’s Got Game” for The North Raleigh News, a weekly zoned section in The News & Observer (www.northraleighnews.com click on the link to “saylor”).
In it, I cover local sports and write occasional features.
This new chapter in my career has snowballed. I am almost typecast as a sports and fitness writer now, even volunteering as the Media Chairperson for the North Carolina Roadrunners Club (www.ncroadrunners.org).
This blog is a spin off from my exploits in sports writing and my feeble attempts at playing sports…but those are stories for another time.
Enjoy the tales. Some are tall; all are true, though I may digress from the sports beat from time to time just to mix it up a little bit.
Oh, by the way, talk back to me. The blogosphere is a big ol’ lonely universe when you are out there all by yourself.