I got my first job in high school by virture of a neighbor who lived two houses down. He was a retired journalist who owned a local Play it Again Sports franchise. I was the only hockey player within 20 miles of his store, and hockey was starting to get popular in the area. I was always stopping in to look for hockey equipment and next door was the “video game exchange.” One day he sent a letter to the house asking me if I was interested in a job. I accepted, and my first check two weeks later was for $28. My mom still has a picture of it.
He was a good first boss to have. I learned good things, I learned bad things, and I learned that italians listen to country music. What I would come to learn was that my neighbor and boss was at one time the SID (Sports Information Director) at Marquette University and following that, a sports writer for the Milwaukee Sentinel. He was a writer first - an English major with a masters in journalism. He was never more than a participant in youth athletics, but was able to capture and articulate a unique, if not wry, perspective on sports. He would tell some funny stories about the teams and sports he would cover, but he also gave some great insight into journalism itself.
However, he was always looking for a story, even if one wasn't there. He would try to turn, “Joe Montana bought a big mac” into “Joe Montana prospects at the chance to create a McDonalds empire.” He had little understanding of the professional or competitive athlete, and he often rubbed people the wrong way. He was a gifted writer that didn't quite get athletes. I honestly think he would have been a great political writer on the DC beat.
I just read where John Davidson, long time broadcaster, would be the most important hire in Blue Jackets history. Why?