Monday, July 6, 2009

Reporting to duty for Year 28

Indulge me and my memories, folks. It was the week of July 4, 1982, that I began my journalism career.

During my rookie year in the business (with AP in Milwaukee), I was lucky enough to help cover the Brewers' only run to the World Series. I didn't have a laptop computer to use - hardly anyone did back then - so I had to dictate my stories via telephone to an editor.

Given what we know has happened technologically, it's hard to believe that things were so primitive barely more than a quarter-century ago. I mean, we might as well have been using chisels and stone tablets, right?

But you know what? No matter what method I had to use to submit my stories, it was absolutely thrilling to be a just-turned-22-year-old kid who was part of such a big event. My heart still races whenever I recall that feeling of urgency I experienced in October '82.

Later that year, I covered a Marquette Warriors game in which coach Hank Raymonds and point guard Glenn Rivers (you know him as Celtics coach Doc now) got into a shouting match. Actually, it was a one-sided argument, with Rivers basically telling Raymonds to sit down, shut up and leave the players alone.

Sure, Hank was semi-deaf and might not have heard what Glenn was saying. But can you imagine one of the Celtics saying such a thing to Rivers now and getting away with it? (That was one of the few times during these last 27 years that I covered anything involving my alma mater. I've become far too big a fan to attempt it again.)

After Milwaukee, my career took me to AP stops Madison, Minneapolis and Chicago and then to my dream job as columnist for the Copley Newspaper chain, which was bought two years ago by GateHouse, which decided in January that the only way it could survive the recession was to eliminate the Chicago sports columnist's $88 million salary.

Even though I'm now unempl ... um, between jobs ... I wouldn't have changed a thing. It's been a fun, fulfilling 27 years, with incredible assignments, travels to faraway lands and vivid memories.

Back in 1982, I was at the dawn of my career and didn't mind that I lacked a computer to use. Now, I have all the techno toys at my disposal but not so much of a career. I'm not sure if that's irony or just a kick in the crotch.

Still, as hard as the business seems to be trying to eliminate its workforce, it can't get rid of this stubborn clown so easily.

I thank AP for taking me back (as a freelancer this time) and my readers for keeping The Baldest Truth relevant.

I probably don't have another 27 years in me, but I'm not done yet.


  1. keep up the good work, you funny man...

  2. Seems like yesterday doesn't it? Keep it up and 27 more years is not out of the posibility!

  3. Big congrats. The economy really sucks when good, hard-working people have so much trouble finding a job. Hope this works out for you.