Now that my reign as editor has come to an end, I leave you with the dos and don’ts of a sports writing.
We’ll start with the don’ts because … well, they’re more fun.
1. Never, ever, ever judge a football team after one game. Especially when the team you’re dubbing ‘serious contenders’ lost that game 41-14 and has had two winning seasons in the past quarter century. (I never did write my ‘open mouth, insert foot’ column. Total coincidence, I swear.) Anyway, the whole dozen of you who were at the games this year understand how wrong I was. Actually, maybe you don’t because most of you left at halftime.
2. Never have weekly sports picks against an all-girl panel: It’s a lose-lose situation. If you win, which I would have if someone didn’t call her boyfriend every week for her picks, you beat a bunch of girls and get made fun of for it. If you lose … YOU LOST TO GIRLS! Not only are you ridiculed daily by your roommates, who couldn’t pick their noses if they tried, but you’re open to public embarrassment by anyone who sees you. Congrats Kim.
3. Don’t ever put faith in a Cleveland sports team. Regardless if it’s the low-level soccer team, the Crunch, or the low-level baseball team, the Indians. They’ll burn you in the end. It’s more crucial if they’re in contention. Adding pressure to a Cleveland sports team is like doing drunken somersaults down the stairs at Holly Park: Both crumble immediately. (Strange analogy I know, but that was a strange night and Cleveland is a strange town.)
Now for the dos.
1. Do make sure and bring boxing gloves to interviews with boxers. You would think that showing up at his house in slacks and a dress shirt would show you’re there on business. Not the case. He’s a boxer for a reason: He likes to fight. I ask one tough question and the next thing I know I’m fighting for my life against a former gold glover.
2. Always bring a mini TV with you to a Kent State football game- even if the only channel you get has non-stop reruns of the “Golden Girls.” It’s better to watch four old ladies on the brink of death than a football team on the same path.
3. Do be careful when telling people you’re from Youngstown (aka. Y-town, Yompton, and my personal favorite, the dirty Yo’.) They’re just a little more reluctant to talk, interview or participate in anything else that requires a face-to-face interaction. People, we’re not all low-down dirty fools with a 9 mm in our back pockets. Aside from a select few suburban kids frontin’ inner-city street cred, we’re good, down-to-earth people. We may have a wild side and a temper that erupts at a mere scowl, but we’re still people.
Final tidbits: Charlie Frye will take the Browns to the promised land, the Indians won’t win a World Series as long as I’m alive (and remember, I’m from Y-town, so don’t try anything funny), if you ever have the chance to be a first-round draft pick of the Browns run and hide or put on full-body armor, LeBron James will leave Cleveland and win a NBA title and Kent State football will finally win a championship – when they drop down to Division I-AA. Go Flashes!
Contact former sports dictator Joey Simon at [email protected]