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Roleplaying as myself
Maple eats me at the end.
I spent the bulk of last weekend in the familiar confines of Kroger Field’s press box, doing something I’d done for each of the last seven Decembers: watching high school football.
There’s not a better sport to write about than football. As a dedicated beat writer, the week-to-week schedule can’t be topped: you always know from whence you came and where you’re headed, but with room to breathe between destinations. The number of players within a program makes for a laundry list of potential feature topics, about 95% of which you’ll never get around to writing because you won’t have the necessary time or access. And then there’s the actual sport: it’s chess, but with a non-zero chance that bones could break each of the 150 times pawns are moved each game. There’s no higher drama.
For three years, I had the privilege of writing about college football. It was a blast, and if I were a single man, I’d still be doing it. It’d be dishonest to say I don’t miss it, but I quite enjoy my burgeoning career away from journalism, and enjoy even more the personal time that arrived with it. For better or worse, I was all-in on my past job in a way that I knew was unhealthy — for me, my wife and the kids we’ll someday have; ripping off a bandage was better than removing a tattoo. I’ve been and felt more present in the last six months than I have at any point in our relationship. The trade was worth it; I’m like Andrew Luck, except far less financially secure.
But, still, I do miss it, so when the opportunity to scratch an itch is put on the table, it’s easy to say “yes.” Freelancing is a lot different than being a beat guy; the assignments are often less glamorous, and you’re almost always getting dropped into a situation where your familiarity with the teams is likely less than that of anyone in the facility. It’s a unique challenge, but knowing the lay of the land helps a bit.
If you’d told 15-year-old me that he’d be a sportswriter, he would’ve laughed at you. That teenager didn’t watch sports — at all. But I am, and always will be, even if it’s for a few weeks a year instead of 52.
Thanks to the Lexington Herald-Leader for paying me to have fun on Friday and Saturday. Please consider subscribing to their website, Kentucky.com.
One of the coolest plays I’ve witnessed
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Watched: A Prelude
For the last half-decade or so, I’ve kept a list of movies I watched — at the cinema and at home — in a note on my phone. More recently, I’ve added TV shows. Over the last couple years I’ve used a slap-dash series of indicators to show with whom I watched what (spoiler: Stephanie is my most frequent screen-sharer). There’s an app basically for doing all that, now. Just call me old-fashioned.
Occasionally, I’d share year-end reflections/opinions/whatever on those movies in a Twitter thread and/or on Facebook. Quacker will be the home for those, now. I’ll start sharing them in the next newsletter and throughout the remainder of December.
I have never watched any iteration of Masters of the Universe, though the Kevin Smith-helmed MOTU: Revelation piqued my interest before quickly falling off my radar. Maybe it’ll be on next year’s “Watched” list?
However, skeletons are awesome, and so Skeletor is awesome. These action figures were on sale for under $10 recently and I bought them both because “what’s impulse control?” They brought the grand total of Skeletor action figures in my collection to four, which is four more than I should probably have considering I have zero relationship with the character beyond “he looks cool.” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Must’ve dropped some Fancy Feast on my sleeve.
Y’all be good.