Friday. I had a couple of things added to my itinerary last-minute. Well, sort of.
On Thursday afternoon, I was asked by my boss to go in on Friday morning and work some OT – some course planning that suddenly fell on my lap. I accepted.
I also received a text from Charles Harris, a former sports executive now teaching sports management courses at the university level in Southern California. I had previously reached out to him to see if he could be an interview subject for my next book. He texted me Thursday afternoon to set up a time for Friday at 9 a.m.
So, I used the local Blenz as my “home office” to call Mr. Harris – and then after that, I showed up for work. Turned out to be a long, exhausting Friday indeed. But – that’s the life of a writer. … well, a part-time writer anyway.
Just the other day, I was commenting on sportswriters from Toronto being unresponsive and unhelpful. Thankfully, not everybody is like that.
On Tuesday, I reached out to sportswriter and author Jeff Pearlman to see if he was interested in being interviewed for an upcoming book that I am writing, and Jeff was gracious enough to say he would definitely help out. Hopefully, we will be speaking in the coming weeks.
As for Wednesday, well, I had a call set up with Darryl Dunn, the CEO/GM of the Rose Bowl Operating Company, for 10 a.m. That was perfect, because I then had a work lunch at noon. So, the plan was to make the call from home and then head out for the work lunch. But alas, early in the week, the lunch got moved up to 11:30, so I figured I would make the 10 a.m. call on the way to the lunch venue – in case the call took much longer than expected. (I mean, you try to plan some extra time just in case.)
Fortunately, it worked out as I did the call en route. And Mr. Dunn’s responses during the interview will be used in that future book. Of course, I arrived at the lunch venue on time – actually, a few minutes early and I was there before the others.
Glad that that part of it worked out – and then it’s time to keep pushing!
This past week, a local sportswriter abruptly passed away – at a relatively young age – and many people expressed sadness about it on social media.
From the looks of it, this sportswriter was a mentor to aspiring sportswriters too, so, good for him.
I never interacted with this gentleman at all, so I didn’t know him. However, my past experiences with sportswriters from other cities haven’t been great.
Now, I should say that there have been a few who have been gracious and responded to my emails, such as the legendary Bob Ryan (who responded to me on three separate projects I was working on), L.A. sportswriter J.P. Hoornstra, and a couple other writers from the Boston area. There were a couple other national writers, Bob Nightengale and Mel Antonen. There was even a historian/author by the name of Todd Denault who responded to me.
I certainly appreciated the fact that these writers took time out to correspond with me and give me quotes for the books I was writing.
Then, there were those who couldn’t be bothered to respond back – and, interestingly, they’re writers from Toronto.
When I was writing the Tom Candiotti biography, I emailed several writers from Toronto who were around when Candiotti pitched for the Blue Jays (and those writers are still active today). Not one of them bothered even to respond back.
Then, when I was writing about the Boston-Montreal NHL rivalry book, it was the same. Now, I received replies from the Boston reporters I reached out to, including the aforementioned Ryan. But nothing from the writers in Toronto who covered Pat Burns.
That’s disgraceful. A Hall of Famer like Bob Ryan reaches out to me – and he’s a legend – and yet lesser likes couldn’t be bothered.
So, I mean, just like many athletes, I’m leery when it comes to sportswriters. None of those Toronto-based writers ever reached out or cared about what I was doing.
Not even a “Sorry, I am unable to assist you.” Just no response.
I’ll tell you what. If I became a successful writer, I wouldn’t be like those Toronto-based guys. Those guys are no role models. They’re not like the sportswriter who passed away this past week.
There was some controversy in Philadelphia over the weekend when former Eagles QB Donovan McNabb opined on CBS Radio on Saturday that the franchise should consider drafting another quarterback if Carson Wentz couldn’t lead the team past the second round of the playoffs in the next two seasons.
Of course, in this day and age of social media, McNabb’s take drew criticism from others, including eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson on Twitter. Johnson then went on a radio station on Sunday to call out McNabb and other former Eagles players for criticizing current players on the team.
Now, I have to say that I don’t blame McNabb for giving his honest opinion and insights. McNabb, after all, guided the Eagles franchise to seven playoff appearances and a trip to the Super Bowl following the 2004 season. He was a proven winner in Philadelphia and in the NFL, and the fact that he played in the league for as long as he did certainly proves that he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to evaluating what he sees.
I mean, what he sees on the field would be valuable analysis – that’s precisely why networks bring in former players to do commentary.
It’s better than an athlete being a homer and with Donovan McNabb being asked a question on a radio show, he gave his honest assessment and shouldn’t be criticized for that.
I remember early in the 2018 season when poor place-kicking cost the Minnesota Vikings a game, and ex-Vikings great Cris Carter was on television passionately saying the kicker needed to be cut right away. That emotion probably stemmed from Carter’s own experience in the 1998 season when his 15-1 Vikings lost the NFC championship game after Gary Anderson missed what would have been an insurance field-goal attempt late in regulation.
That would not be what I would like to see or hear from an analyst when it comes to sports takes, having emotion cloud his judgement.
But that’s just how I see it – so shame on those who criticized Donovan McNabb over the weekend.