Would I do it again?

That was the interesting question a friend posed to me. Knowing what I know now, would I still have gone into journalism? Aside from having a high tolerance for pain and stupidity, I’d have to say yes for one simple reason – I love to write. I love to be curious about things and figure them out. I love to talk to people and hear their stories. And I love to write stories. (unlike some other vertically-challenged sportswriters, I even like my stories to be true.)

I am still always going to be a writer, working on projects, doing freelancing, you name it. I see the law as a parallel path to my skills. I am leaning more things, which will let me write about more things.

There is no safe profession. There is no magical solution to avoid companies having issues right now. If anybody had told us that GM was bankrupt, say 10 years ago, we would have laughed ourselves sick. Being an engineer at GM was the safest job on the planet. No more.

We all must change, and adapt, to what’s going on around us. It doesn’t make things good, or bad. Just different.

Big changes….

And it’s all good. I had not planned on writing about this yet, but I have gotten so many emails, texts and phone calls in the past 24 hours that I thought this may be the most efficient way to handle things.

Yes, my last day at the Detroit News is June 14. I have been blessed to have a long and amazing career at the newspaper I grew up reading. It was a thrill to see my byline in there, and even more of a cool thing to report and see the things that have transpired. Sydney, Beijing, the Women’s World Cup, Wings and Pistons championships, etc. All pretty tremendous stuff. I’ve met a lot of amazing people along the way.

But all things come to an end, and I’ve made the decision to stop being a full-time sports writer and attend law school in the fall. I’m approaching this as a great opportunity to expand my skills, and hopefully come back to sports media/administration to use all of my talents, experience and smarts.

I am still going to be writing. I plan to freelance as much as possible (if you need a freelancer in the Metro Detroit area…email or call me! I’m game!) and also continue to be very active in the Association for Women in Sports Media. And I am still doing custom painting, so let me know if you need a piece! (Go to the Cats Meow Design tab)

These are very tough times, and the newspaper industry has been particularly hard hit. A lot of very sad stuff has happened to a lot of good people in the last year or so.

I do not walk away from the Detroit News, with my “voluntary layoff”, lightly. This is going to be a big change. In the end, I hope and pray, it’s going to be good for my life and my career.

More skills and knowledge never hurt. And you never know where life takes you.

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us…” Joseph Campbell.

So thanks for the support, love, concern. Means a lot. Peace.

Sitting at Metro again…

I actually like getting to the airport early, as there is nothing better than the people watching. What a collection of humanity.

This is what I have seen so far:
– 5 members of the Detroit Shock basketball team, one of which was wearing 4-inch heels – and kind of tottering through the concourse.
– a bombshell-figured woman wearing a bikini top, a very sheer “shirt” and shorts so short that you could see her bikini bottom sticking out. And yes, she was getting quite the good amount of attention.
– and older couple arguing with TSA that they were allowed to bring bottles of the wine on the plane in their carry on the last time they flew – which was, by their hazy recollection, sometime in the mid-90s. I, of course, was stuck right behind them in line.
– some guy wearing a 1989 UM basketball NCAA championship shirt.
– a cool dad letting a 3-year-old girl “surf” on the rollaboard he was schlepping. She laid on the suitcase, held on to the top handle, and surfed. looked like fun.

The world is upside down…

In a normal world, you would want the most talented, smart, ethical journalists working for your hometown newspaper. Sometimes, those people can be young. But many times, like in a lot of lines of work, having some experience serves the journalist – and the paper – well.

Apparently, that business model has gone out the window. I am reeling with anger and disgust over having amazing writers like Missy Isaacson of the Chicago Tribune, Mechelle Voepel of the Kansas City Star and Rick Maese of the Baltimore Sun laid off (aka fired) to save money by their corporate parents. And those are just three off the top of my head….there are thousands more.

Every paper in this country has been diminished by the loss of amazing writers, copy editors, etc. And the bleeding of talent shows no signs of stopping.

What’s making me so angry is the lip service from the editors, etc. about how these losses won’t affect the quality of the paper, that better journalism is coming, we’re you’re local watchdog! Are we?

In a raw sense, how do you serve as a watchdog of anything when you have no dogs left and no money to do anything?

The public knows. They see what is happening. All I can do is pray for everybody who has been caught in this crossfire of a bad economy and greedy/incompetent corporate parents. I pray all of those who have been laid off will go on to bigger and brighter things, and I hope they know their loss is noted.

Chilling a bit…

Howdy – been off since last week, and have been trying to mentally recoup. And one of the ways is my staying away from computers 🙂 However, look for additions to the website in the coming days: I will be adding a Cats Meow page to show off my painting venture, some more additions to the land of lists, and some photos and links. All in due time. As they say, stay tuned. Or Hang Loose. Or whatever.

Who needs sleep?

… You’re never gonna get it….for those who know Barenaked Ladies…you get my joke. For those who don’t….good tune. Was I surprised Michigan State got smoked? No. Carolina is just that good. Some odd observations from the Final Four: 1) Ford Field has some amazingly unintelligent people working security. Some doors were wide open for access, others were acting like Jack Bauer and being too good at their jobs; 2) Why did they drop maize and blue confetti at the end? For TV purposes? Nothing says fun than trying to write on deadline while pieces of paper attack you from the sky; 3) The national media whines too much. I am sorry it snowed. I am sorry the shuttle busses were late. I am sorry for the potholes. I am sorry some of the rooms in the Ren Cen weren’t clean when you checked in. Carry on; 4) I worry for Tom Izzo’s vocal cords. I hope he can have a voice in like 10 years; 5) Ford Field makes really yummy oatmeal cookies; 6) Dick Vitale has a very big heart and understands he has had a blessed life; 7) 8 Mile is a mythical place for out-of-towners, seemingly disappointed when it’s not bombed out in on all sides of Detroit; 8) And I vow to get to bed before 2 a.m. and not work 7 days per week following tall people around and listening to their cliches. Seacrest out.

One shining moment…

So the Final Four has started here in Detroit, with Michigan State facing UConn. And where am I? After going down to the floor to see if I could find Billy Schrage – and I did – I decided to go back upstairs to watch on TV. I gave up my courtside seat to let my colleagues working the game have a better view. I am not writing on this game, doing the second game. I could go up to the press box, but watching a basketball game from 7 stories up ain’t fun. TV is better. So I am here, watching it the same way you do at home – on TV.

watching a curious scene…

Sitting here, again, too early in the AM, in yet another airport. This time Logan in Boston. Watching something interesting. This is apparently the last day Northwest will be known as Northwest. Delta everything kicks in today in Detroit and tomorrow elsewhere. A lot of the gate people here seem to be very sad. There is a lot of hugs going on, and some are wearing flowers on their lapels. They’re leaving this terminal in Boston and will all be Delta tomorrow. Mergers have a funny way of erasing the loser. It used to be Northwest Orient. Then Northwest. And now, only Delta. Northwest and I have had a love-hate relationship: love when they upgrade me, hate when they lose my luggage and never find it and never take responsibility for 5 months. But losing your company identity, especially if this is where you’ve worked for a while, is sad. Bye Bye NWA.

The hard side of the job…

Sports is about emotion. Winners, losers, the fans, etc. It’s fun being around people are so happy, such as the Villanova basketball team last night in Boston. They were giddy, with everybody from the coach to the players acting like little boys on Christimas. But being around the other side, the heartbroken Pitt team, was awful. The last thing they wanted to do is be dragged up on a podium, have bright lights trained on them, and have a bunch of reporters ask what went wrong a mere 15 minutes after they lost the game. You feel guilty. Or should I say, I FEEL guilty. You want to let them have their moment of agony in private. Instead, you have to be the person with the sharp stick poking them with questions. It’s the job, blah, blah, blah, and yes, the teams understand the drill. But it’s still a horrible moment to be a witness to. I’d rather stick with the happy people.