Wednesday, October 6, 2010
(The blurry Blackberry picture I took of the tunnel at AAC; I didn't want to get busted in all my dorky glory so I didn't use the flash.)
I have a confession to make. As you may have read on this blog, I was a music journalist in the past. I loved music. I went to shows every night. And then, after a few years, I became bitter. I felt like I had been there and done that. No one could impress me. I basically existed just to rip into bands and hand them their aspirations on a plate.
So I stopped doing it. Then I started this blog. I loved sports. Specifically, I loved the Mavs. I would write about them even if no one read it, which was the case for many months. Then I started getting a little attention. Not much but just a little.
But with that attention, also came that feeling that ripping into teams and athletes and shaming them for actual losses or perceived failures was the key to personal success. And guess what? It sucked the fun out of sports for me again. My sense of Dallas sports fan entitlement told me that if my team “only” made it to the playoffs then got knocked out in the first or second round, they were losers. Burn down the stadium. Sell off the team.
So I stopped blogging about sports. In the meantime, I became a columnist for Quick. A nightlife columnist, if you want to get specific. And through that, I was offered the chance to write the 2010-2011 Mavs Season Preview. You will be able to read that preview on October 21st.
Today I went to Mavs team practice to interview players and Coach Carlisle. Like a kid from a high school paper, I stood outside the Mavs office during practice with clammy hands. I looked over my list of questions approximately 12.5 million times. Which ended up being fruitless since my questions pretty much went out the window the moment I opened my mouth.
Now all of this would have been an undeniably awesome sports moment for someone who started a Mavs blog out of sheer fandom room four years ago. But as the other members of the press and I waited to be given access to the players, we all huddled around a small TV to watch the Rangers game. I know it’s fashionable to downplay ones enthusiasm and to apply a liberal coat of indifference to writing about things like this. But you know what? It was fucking awesome. Waiting to talk to the team I have loved for decades while watching a team I have grown to love? It was a moment I probably won’t forget any time soon.
Then we were ushered into practice. I’ll save most of that for the article. I hope that it wasn’t too obvious that I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I remember looking down at my recorder while Carlisle was talking and realizing that there were still beads of sweat across the screen from my nervous hands. I am as noob as it gets. It probably showed. My voice didn’t crack, as far as I remember.
I know I should be cooler about this. I should have asked some sort of hardball questions of the players. I should have been the young, snarky blogger who was there to call someone out. But it never crossed my mind. I’m a fan and I will give this Mavs team a chance and enjoy the basketball they give me and any games I am able to attend.
Because as I sit here at my desk listening to the Rangers play their first playoff game in 14 years (and lead it 5-1), I am just about as sports happy as a girl can be. If the Rangers can make it to the playoffs after all they’ve gone through this past decade, anything is possible. Losing my grip on sports cynicism is almost certainly a detriment to my career as a blogger. But the world needs one more cynical, armchair quarterback blogger like…….well, like the Lakers need one more ring.