Memories of a sports writer

Well, we made it to 2014. Considering I was born in 1955, this was not a given. But I’m happy to be here, still kicking. And still writing.

Writing is a passion for me. I enjoy it; I’m much better at expressing myself through the written word than the spoken word. That probably comes as no surprise to those who listen to me on radio.

I’ll be 59 soon and as much as I love this job, I don’t want to do it forever. So I’ve started thinking about retirement and what I might do to stay busy when I’m no longer doing this. It’s scary to think about, honestly, but a little exciting, too.

I have close friends who have retired and they seem to be doing OK. I think they miss having more on their plates from time to time, but they are a long way from despondent about their retirement.

Doing nothing has no appeal. There has to be something going on, something that provides a challenge. I hope League 42, the youth baseball league for underprivileged kids that I’m involved with, will afford me opportunities for many years. That’s the plan.

And I cannot imagine not writing. I’ll continue to write for as long as I live, even it’s in a personal blog that 11 people read. Or 10. When it drops below 10, I’ll have to consider something else. Maybe a soup kitchen.

You’re just lucky that, professionally at least, I keep my thoughts mostly to sports. Because my thoughts and opinions extend well beyond sports.

But I’m not paid to share those opinions, so for the most part I don’t. Sometimes I get outside of the lines, but readers are quick to point out that I probably don’t know what I’m talking about unless it’s something sports-related.

I suppose they have a point. But I fancy myself as someone who isn’t completely out of my league when I switch to other topics. You should have a beer with me sometime; that’s when I have a tendency to stretch my beliefs beyond professional boundaries.

My interests are varied. Music, movies, Wichita’s downtown development, restaurants, national politics, television, reading, collecting memorabilia and travel are just a few that come to mind. I also am more devoted to family time than at any other stage of my life. It’s called getting old, people. Just wait, it’ll happen to you.

There was a time in my life were I was all about sports, 24/7. A sports nut, if you will. Sports, sports and more sports, please.

Sports are still in my mainstream, trust me. I love sports.

But I’m no longer obsessed with them, except when it comes to baseball and the St. Louis Cardinals. And covering college basketball is something I will greatly miss after I retire. I enjoy the variety that being at Wichita State, Kansas and Kansas State games allows. I’m very much looking forward to this weekend – covering Oklahoma State and K-State on Saturday in Manhattan, then the Northern Iowa-Wichita State game at Koch Arena on Sunday.

I still get excited by the games and the stories that accompany them.

Hey, it’s hard for me to believe that retirement looms in the not-too-distant future. My time as a reporter and columnist has flown by. Four decades seems like forever until you’ve been in the same job for four decades. Then it seems like a blip on the radar.

As I write this, I worry that I’m making it sound like I want to retire tomorrow. No, no, no. First of all, I couldn’t afford it. Secondly, I still love what I do and consider myself lucky to be able to do it.

No, a career in journalism never allowed me to buy that mansion on the hill I’ve always had my heart set on. But it’s been a comfortable existence and one spent doing something I was absolutely meant to do.

Trust me when I tell you that while I have varied interests, I do not have varied talents. It’s not like there have been 100 other options for me.

I enjoy sharing my personal career thoughts on Thursdays here on my blog. I hope you enjoy reading them.