This past weekend, I admitted to myself that I could not be the greatest sports fan ever.
It was a thought that came out of left field but one that had been lingering over the past couple weeks and months. I’ve never pursued the goal of being the god of consuming sports content and enjoying every minute of it. As the days went along, I grew more and more doubt that in fact even if I were to suddenly to pursue such a lofty goal I even had it in me to do so.
I don’t and never will.
As someone who runs a sports website, the very site you are reading this on because why the hell would I be posting this anywhere else, it is my duty to understand the wide world of sports and all of its happenings. Since Spor Repor can have produce content pertaining to any number of sports or leagues I’m not afforded the luxury of having to focus on a set number of teams and individuals; whether it be a single league or the teams located in a particular geographical area.
However, after focusing the last two and a half years on covering University of Oregon athletics and other Eugene area sports teams, I’ve come to another conclusion: I can’t focus on that small set of teams.
I sort of blame this conundrum on my schooling (mom, this is where you skip to the next paragraph). In America, we are taught many different topics, primarily english, math, science, and history, throughout our schooling with other subjects like the arts, foreign language, and physical education sprinkled in as well. This is all fine and well to create a well-rounded education but the problem for myself is I might be stuck in that buffet-like mindset of learning. Even though college allowed me to focus on my interests of journalism and business (and not architecture thanks to the university), I was still forced into this mindset by taking “electives” which boiled down to the pick your own poison version of english, math, science, and history education.
In relation to sports, its tough for to focus in-depth on one team for too long. I’m too scatter-brained. Rather than saying “this is boring” or “I’m too busy” when asked to write an in-depth preview for an upcoming game, I ask “why does this matter?” I don’t understand why you need to read a dozen different stories between, for example, one Seattle Seahawks game and other in the middle of the season. To me, that’s like eating two entire bowls of free breadsticks before your entree is served.
On the flip side though, trying to keep track of many leagues and teams and players can end up creating a Netflix queue in your head. You have so many damn movies and tv shows that fall into the “I wouldn’t mind watching that” category that an hour later you find yourself not having watched anything and having found another dozen or so movies thrown into the queue, promising one day you’ll watch it. That doesn’t work in sports. It’s Tuesday; why would I now write a game recap for the Clemson vs Miami football game last Saturday? There isn’t one.
I’ve come to the conclusion that no sports fan, no matter how avid they think they are, can accurately stay up to date on more than four sports league at a time. For example, it is fall. Currently the World Series is going on in MLB. The NFL is about to approach the midway point of its season. NCAA Division 1 college football is at its midway point of the season. The NHL is a few weeks into its regular season. The MLS is just about to start its playoffs tomorrow. The Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A, and god knows however many more European soccer leagues are in the early parts of their respective seasons alongside tournaments such as Champions League and Europa League. The Rugby World Cup final is this Saturday in England. Don’t even get me starting on minor league sports or sports like lacrosse or cricket.
Now, tell me you know the relevant story lines in at least four of those leagues and if you know more than four than you’re lying. I don’t know what game it is in the World Series. I have no idea whose leading the standings in the NHL. I had to look up who was playing in the Rugby World Cup final though I did know at least it was going on. I had to look up Sunday who made the playoffs in the MLS after not watching any of the final regular season games Saturday or Sunday. NBA is still in preseason so no one cares how teams are doing yet. The usual suspects are on top of each European soccer league (excluding Chelsea).
The only leagues I can say unequivocally that I’m up to date on is the NFL and NCAA Division 1 college football (though I’d count MLS as well excluding the last few weeks I’ve been away from the league for various reasons). That’s three leagues. That fourth spot is not being left vacant for NBA when the season starts because #SaveOurSonics so therefore I can’t really muster the respect to give that much attention to them. I might be interested in the Indoor Football League having moved back to Yakima which is an hour away from the Tri-Cities Fever three hours from the Spokane Shock who just moved into the league for the start of the upcoming season in early 2016.
In the end, my brain can’t be its own encyclopedia of up to date sports news. I don’t think anyone can. While writing this, I think I’ve come up with a way to describe who I am. I have the mindset of a comedian with the skills of a journalist.
All the content I make has its roots in some form of journalism having the just graduated with a bachelors in it more than likely. Yet, I think like a comedian. Each comedian has their own specialty with mine is sports but a true comedian knows they can’t stay on one specific topic for too long or else the jokes fall flat and lose all humor (take the hint Foxworthy). Comedians are thus very much a bunch of scatter-brained individuals like myself.
That’s why I’ve yet to keep a large-scale consistent schedule for Spor Repor’s content output because the journalist and comedian in me are constantly fighting over the pace of the website. As a journalist, I know a constant schedule of content creation is key to expanding my audience and giving you guys, my readers, a schedule to follow when you enjoy a particular type or series of content. As a comedian, I don’t want to run anything into the ground by doing it too often.
Carnac the Magnificent didn’t make an appearance every single Thursday. Jon Stewart didn’t poke fun at Arby’s every single episode. Jimmy Kimmel doesn’t have celebrities read mean tweets once every week. Hell, Jimmy Fallon’s Thank You Card segment every Friday is the only thing with a consistent schedule I can think of that’s proved successful. Boy, it’d sure be nice to create the next Thank You Card skit…