Interstate-44 and Big Bend Boulevard is probably just an exit ramp for some, but that's kind of a special place.
That's when I realized sports just isn't for me.
It was a Saturday and I had just finished covering a women's basketball game at St. Louis Community College. Normally it's a day to escape the duties of not only being the college newspaper's editor, but also the only sports reporter on the staff too. But instead of sleeping in at home or enjoying a Saturday away from school, I was on campus covering basketball.
It killed me to be away from my family and always on the go. I was going to school all day and at night I was either putting out a paper or covering sports. Don't get me wrong, I was good at what I did. And after being an avid reader of the St. Louis-Post-Dispatch and all the awesome sports guys' material covering the Cardinals, Rams and Blues — I felt at the time that was my future job.
Eventually it got to me though.
All this time away from family and friends. Time on the road. Busy here, busy there. Odd schedules. It was certainly a life I was entering, but didn't want to live it.
The title of journalist is a great one to have, you get to experience a lot things, meeting tons of people and embrace a lot of aspects.
But there's a couple of title's I'd rather have that would come before journalist — husband and father.
It hit me after I started thinking hard following that moment on I-44.
How could I possibly be a husband and father someday while doing all of the duties of a full time sports writer? The reality is I can't, and I won't.
I'd much rather put in a full day's work covering court and writing features, then come home to my kids excitedly shouting, "Daddy," along with the embrace of a loving wife, as opposed to working at night when the kids are home from school and being on the road while their lives move along without me.
Look at the TV series "Everybody Loves Raymond." Ray Romano played a sports writer, always busy with work, leaving to go on the road often times. It's a funny show, but there's a reality to it too. And it's nothing that I want. I'd much rather baseball stadiums be the place where I take and spend time with my family, rather than a place of work. I want the ballpark to be a setting where I witness something with my kids from the stands, not the place where history happens and I'm then required to tweet and write about it by deadline.
Page 2 of 2 - Sure I have this column, but it's just coffee talk. All of my subjects, all of my chatter, just comes from watching the game at night after a day of work.
Sports writers can get into the Hall of Fame and get many honors.
But to me the Hall of Fame won't be a New York Museum, it'll be a cozy place to call home with a family. And honors won't be a custom plaque, it'll be a happy wife and wonderful children who'll grow up to achieve their dreams and be who they want to be. My only hope is that a little bit of their dad influences them.
Why am I not a sports writer?
Now you know.