We’re trying something a little different on the podcast this week. Instead of one guest for an hour, I talked to four guests and asked them the same five questions. 1) Who is your favorite person/manager/coach to have covered? 2) Who is your least favorite? 3) What’s your favorite story/moment from the road/from the beat? 4) Who’s your favorite current writer, sports or otherwise? 5) Who’s your all-time favorite writer, sports or otherwise?
I gathered some buddies — the Augusta Chronicle’s Scott Michaux, the Cincinnati Enquirer’s C. Trent Rosecrans, ESPN.com’s Travis Haney and the Washington Times’ Marc Lancaster — and basically, we just told stories.
Michaux (originally interviewed for Episode No. 33) tells the story about how Alice Cooper once stole his golf ball. Rosecrans (originally interviewed for Episode No. 1), who was sitting through a rain delay at the time of our second interview, talks about how helpful and sympathetic Ken Griffey Jr. was when Rosecrans’ mom was diagnosed with cancer. Haney reminisces about a long-ago steak dinner with Bobby Cox and why that was so important to him. And Lancaster remembers a particularly brutal road trip to Philadelphia.
Trent is one of my best friends and the perfect guest to begin this podcast. In our chat, we talk about working a baseball beat – and why his day is so damn long – why the Cincinnati Post was a great paper to work for even though we knew it was going to die at the end of 2007, and how he handles anonymous criticism from what could be the very vocal minority. Plus, why would he go from working at a national website to a local newspaper?
I got a call a few months ago from the Atlantic 10 conference, asking if I’d like to write a few articles this summer for the league’s web site. The A-10 said it’d pay me in money, so, naturally, I said yes. Here’s the first one, a study on why the conference’s schools have been building and revamping their basketball arenas and how much the new construction is helping the A-10.
I figured that if I can talk to St. Joseph’s coach Phil Martelli – who is my favorite coach in the A-10 (at least from a media perspective), followed by Dayton’s Brian Gregory – and CBSSports.com basketball writer Gary Parrish, then, yeah, I said, I can write the story. So, that’s what I did. And Martelli and Parrish made it infinitely better.
And a key fact: for the first time since I started my freelance career in Jan. 2008 after the Cincinnati Post’s demise, this is the first time I’ve been paid before I wrote a story. So, yeah, the motivation wasn’t so high after I deposited the money in my bank account. Actually, that’s not true. But still, I’m happy that I know the money is safe in hand. This is not true for three stories I wrote last August (still haven’t been paid for those).
I watched five seconds of the Michael Jackson tribute this afternoon. That’s all I could stand. Luckily, my cable was out most of the day, so I didn’t have a choice.
Best news of the day, though, comes from C. Trent Rosecrans: after a week of vacation, Thinking Out Loud is back.