One might argue that the day I stopped being a writer was the day I moved to D.C.
No more press passes. No bylines. My days of sitting courtside at the Carrier Dome, sadly, were over.
I had been a sports writer for seven years -- 2 at Ithaca College and 5 at The Citizen newspaper in Auburn, NY. That’s nothing compared to the decades my father has spent in the business, first in front of a typewriter, now a laptop.
But to me, seven years felt like an eternity.
Now, it’s been nearly three months since I’ve written anything more than an email. I’m officially an “assistant editor” at my new job in Washington, which is a fancy way of saying I proofread press releases and add commas to text when needed.
But any writer will tell you -- you never really stop being a writer.
For four years I wrote columns at The Citizen, mostly about Syracuse football and basketball. Column writing is tricky -- it’s typically an opinion, which means you’re probably going to piss off at least a portion of your readers, if not a majority.
Luckily for me, I am highly opinionated on all topics. I am undoubtedly my father’s son, who taught me long ago that the louder your voice gets, the more you know about any subject.
So column writing was perfect for me, because even if I know nothing about a topic, I can convince you that I do.
My final column at The Citizen was following Syracuse’s second-round exit in this year’s NCAA tournament. I spent 904 words trashing Scoop Jardine, the junior point guard who nearly single-handedly corrupted the Orange’s season. It was ruthless and possibly unfair at times.
But it was pure passion on the page.
I loved it.
And it wasn’t something that had just occurred to me at the time -- it was a thesis that I had developed throughout the season. I didn’t just suddenly turn on Scoop. I had seen, and predicted, that Syracuse’s demise would be at his hand. And while I remain an Orange diehard at heart, I did take some joy in being entirely correct. (Which is what we writers do. When we finally get something right, you’re GOING to hear about it.)
I haven’t turned any opinions to text in recent months, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been crafting columns. I write them in my head nearly every day -- in the shower, on my walk to the metro, when I’m laying in bed at night. I formulate expansive opinions on everything, from Tiger Woods (you can’t ACT like Old Tiger when you’re PLAYING like New Tiger) to the weather in D.C. (It’s freaking Ecuador here. I seriously haven’t stopped sweating in two months).
So it’s time that I put these words to paper, or in this case, on the Internet.
Nobody may read this blog, and you know what, that’s fine with me. I always contended that I wrote columns purely to entertain myself, and if I can make myself think, or make myself laugh, then others may do the same as well.
I have no hopes of turning this blog into The Big Lead or Barstool, despite the visions of Ryan Patenaude, who apparently is my business manager as well as my close friend.
My goal of this blog is pure and simple -- to write. So I’ll pen a few columns about Syracuse football and basketball. I may tackle a few issues within the NBA and NFL. I may also write a bit about TV and movies, or about the D.C. metro which is going to give me an aneurysm sooner rather than later.
Basically, if I construct a column in my head, I’m eventually going to share it on this forum.
And from time to time, we’re going to have a few guest bloggers as well -- John Day has expressed an interest, as have my former colleague Kristin Wolford and one of the best dressed men on Capitol Hill, Todd Garvey.
I won’t be writing daily. And I won’t have any breaking news or inside information. If you want that, follow Adam Shefter on Twitter.
But what I will have is a venue to vent. It’ll be my own personal therapy.
Hopefully it’ll make you think or make you laugh. At times it may do both. At times it may do neither.
Either way, I’ll be able to write again. And that’s what I do.