“Forgive me if this reads like a blog,” wrote the Kansas City Star’s Jason Whitlock (shown above, before hitching a ride to
Alaska Florida) last Friday. “I promise it will get more masculine from here.” And while Big Sexy didn’t quite keep that particular promise, let’s indulge the columnist for a moment or two in his insistence that he’s “desperately trying to go cold turkey on everything: sports, cell phones, television, laptop, newspapers, Gates short ends, car and Rev. Wright…quite possibly the most difficult thing I’ve ever attempted.”
It all started a couple of weeks ago when I began reading the book Into the Wild, a well-reported chronicle of a 24-year-old kid who chucked everything ” money, family and belongings ” and walked into the Alaskan wilderness hoping to test and discover himself all at the same time. He died within a matter of months, and author Jon Krakauer retraced his last days on earth.
I™m here to recharge. I need a short break to figure out what™s really important and recover from an incredible run of great stories to document. You know, I™ve been bouncing from one sporting event to the next pretty much nonstop for 18 years. I™ve been glued to a TV watching games for three decades.
I miss having nothing. Now I have two cell phones that ring and text all the time. I have multiple e-mail addresses that never run empty. There are a thousand blogs, newspapers and Web sites that distract me hourly.
I™m constantly analyzing rather than enjoying the games. That™s what I™ve figured out so far, after taking a brief step away from sports. Sometimes I™d rather be you, a fan free to turn my brain off and just cut loose.
I doubt there will be much sympathy for Whitlock, but much like any other creative endeavor, I can totally see how the daily
rigors of self-promotion analysis of sports would run the risk of burnout. But what’s up with the last sentence, Jason? Being a fan and having a functioning brain aren’t mutually exclusive.