If you asked me in high school what I wanted to do with my life, I think I’d have said radio DJ or TV sports reporter.
In college, I probably answered sports reporter at a newspaper or a job with a team.
So, Plans A and B were a job in sports. There was no Plan C.
None of those careers panned out for assorted reasons ranging from drive, talent and commitment. I had a few meetings over the years, mostly of the courtesy, “informational interview” variety, with the Astros, Pistons, Nuggets, and Rockies.
Now I realize it’s a good thing I never had the opportunity back then to work for a pro sports team. I had a cancel-out combination of sports enthusiasm to spare and little skill or experience. Sure, I knew I could write well enough but I didn’t have interest in anything beyond sports, music, and “The Simpsons.”
So, had I lucked my way into an entry-level job with the Detroit Tigers I can’t imagine it would have been an ideal marriage. My workday focus would have been on the sports part, not the work part.
And, in the interest of transparency, part of the job’s allure would have been to see my name on a business card with the Tigers’ logo on it.
Anyway, I have no doubt that I’d be a much better fit for a job with a sports team today because I have less interest in sports and more experience and interest in the work (assuming for a second I know what the work is). As a man of a certain age, I’d dutifully focus on the job and not the cool factor of working for, say, the Phoenix Suns.
So, after all these years do I still want to work in sports? Nah. That ship, and the one carrying the journalism, radio and TV career paths, left port long ago.
Despite not having held real jobs in media, thanks to the internet I’ve written about the Tigers online and in books and magazines, hosted a podcast on which I interviewed a legendary broadcaster and got to talk baseball with friends old and new.
In many ways, I’ve checked almost all the career boxes I’d dreamed of — even if I don’t have the paystubs or business cards to show for it.
I guess I did have a Plan C after all.