So I’ve hit a bit of a stumbling block in this whole blogging process, and it’s raised a very interesting question for me: can you be a fan and a legitimate reporter (not that I’m claiming to be one) at the same time? I began this blog to practice writing about sports in the hopes of starting an eventual career in it. But I can’t help but be a Boston sports fan, giving preference to Boston sports in my viewing and writing choices. Right now, Boston sports equals the Boston Red Sox, and the Red Sox aren’t playing very well. A number of players are in hitting slumps, and the pitching seems to be off-again, on-again. Beckett and Lester are pitching well, but Penny and Smoltz are not and Bucholz is 50-50 in his two starts so far. The Sox lost 5 of 6 games on their road trip and are in the process of losing to Baltimore as I write this blog entry (even though they could certainly come back). As a fan, it was very difficult for me to sit and watch these games, or even look up the box scores, in order to write about them. Hence my number of blog entries have diminished per week. As a fan trying to write about his favorite team, it becomes very easy to share in the slump that a team is going through. My last post was about the Adam LaRoche deal as much because I couldn’t write about the game that night as it was about the merits of the deal itself. And today I’m tackling a larger issue in writing that could be applied to any subject and its journalists (I’m sure news journalists at some point in their careers have trouble reporting on depressing news).
It would seem that writing objectively about a team you care about is impossible. And yet I hold out hope that as I become more of an experienced writer, I will learn to distance myself from the teams that I care about, at least for the duration of the sports event and the time it takes to report on it. Objectivity may not be possible, not in the purest sense of the word, but detachment is still something I think one can teach oneself in order to become a better writer and reporter.
The obvious question is: why not report on other teams or sport cities? I’ve always believed that passion drives achievement, especially in any sort of artistic endeavor. Writing is no exception. While I’m passionate about sports as a general concept, there’s no doubt in my mind that my real passion lies in Boston, my hometown, and its teams. I believe I would have as much difficulty writing about non-Boston teams as I would about Boston teams who are playing badly. So as a novice writer I face the same conflict every time I sit down to write: how do I balance my love for the subject matter with the need to write about no matter what? Hopefully in my journey as a writer I will someday find the answer.