Bleacher Bits: How to be a strong role player
When conducting an interview a couple of years ago, the person I was writing the story on asked if before I began asking him questions, he could ask me one.
Since he was gracious enough to consent to the interview — which I did in his home — I told him to ask away.
He asked me, "If you could do what you do for a larger paper in a larger market, would you go?"
It was an interesting question but not one I had to give a great deal of thought to before answering him with a definitive, "No."
I suppose if I was 20 or 25 years younger and embarking on what I hoped to be a long and rewarding career in sports journalism, my reply would have been different. It is no secret that young reporters keep their best writing in portfolios they hope will interest bigger newspapers into giving them a look for possible employment.
It's supposed to be part of the American Dream to climb all the rungs in your chosen profession until you are at the top of the ladder.
But I maintain that no ladder stands strong without the necessary support provided by the various rungs, and I am content being a rung.
Would I get more exposure if I wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle? Absolutely, but at this stage of my career, I am not interested in how many people get to read my words of wisdom. I'd rather know that the people I write for respect what I do, no matter how many or how few of them there are.
Certain players on any sport team are more likely to see their names in headlines because they are scoring points, runs, goals or whatever. It is the "role players" on offensive lines, the pinch hitters or bench players who make the contributions that go unheralded but are equally as important.
That's kind of how I see myself. I'm the guy who — with some outstanding help — pulls together the schedules, stories and photos for the counties that make up the Tri-County Newspapers readership.
That's my job and it's important to me because it's important to you. My wall is not full of supposedly prestigious sports reporting or journalism awards, but that's OK — because that's where family pictures go.
Some sports reporters who have worked for Tri-County Newspapers have gone on to do great things for some national media outlets, and I applaud their efforts.
I think we do great things too, and I know I'm on the only team I'd want to be on while we do it. Not everybody can be a superstar, but we can all recognize our roles and do our best in whatever they are.
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or email@example.com.