Monday, April 10, 2006

Genesis of HHC

While sitting in church, our pastor was midway through her sermon when she mentioned finding what one's heart craves spiritually. That worked out well, because I had been thinking I owed a better explanation of this blog's origin than what was explained in the Intro.

Though there won't be any talk of spirituality, Pastor Abi's lesson does run parallel for my reasons for starting the blog.

As you see in the post below, I and two colleagues took a five-day trip to Indianapolis to cover the Final Four. Before we left, I was hesitant; our workload was going to be heavy. In addition to covering the hell out of George Mason - the reason we were in Indy in the first place - we had several other responsibilities to get people to visit our website.

Among the additional duties were to record and download interviews, if we happened to get one-on-ones (which anyone in sportswriting knows is damn near impossible at an event the magnitude of the Final Four). Still, for atmospheric pieces and such, that wasn't a problem at all.

Another key duty was to blog. The only instruction we got from our web boss was this: Write whatever. I believe her exact quote was, "If you think this idea sucks, then write it: This blog sucks."

To my surprise, it didn't.

In fact, it was quite liberating. In a less formal format, there was no need for the typical catchy lede-nut graf-quote-body-catchy wrapup one sees in most published sportswriting. But in the blog, the options were limitless. So I wrote about the atmosphere (figuratively and literally, since we had some severe thunderstorms and possibly a tornado on Sunday night), the apparent frustration of downtown drivers during Friday's "rush hour" (rush hour in Indianapolis and rush hour in Northern Virginia is a laughable comparison), an off-day trip to Indianapolis Motor Speedway and myriad other topics that would have never made the actual paper.

There were no deadlines. There were no inch counts.

Once I got back from Indy, I realized a personal blog would be fine way to sink my teeth into some creative writing, something far different than what we do during a typical day at work. That's why I hope sports is only a small portion of what this blog turns out to be; I write about sports every day and frankly, there's a lot more of the world than what happens in and around a field or a racetrack.

While I suppose I'm a bit late to cash in on observational humor - buried when comedians made jokes about observational humor itself - the writing here goes beyond that. It's an outlet for me, one that I hope everyone enjoys and one that I hope finds an audience outside of people I know. But if it doesn't, it still will have been worth it.

Until now, I was content to stop and look at life's proverbial roses. Now I get to write about the roses too, without worrying whether I buried the score or got some kid's first name right.

And that's a pretty cool feeling - a liberating feeling. Perhaps, in a sense, this is what my heart craved.

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