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From Left Field

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By The Staff

Not everything is newsworthy

I have to admit that there are times when I am embarrassed to be a sportswriter — or a journalist in general for that matter.

During my Christmas break, I traveled into St. Louis, Mo. to spend a few days with Cindy and her family. Things were fine for the first few days until the big family gathering on Christmas Day. An in-law of one of the family members came up to me and asked me when I was going to write my Tiger Woods column. I replied, “Never!” I joked at first, but then the more I thought about it, the more insulted I got.

Why would anyone just assume that I had to write a Tiger Woods story because of my profession? Like my opinion of the greatest golfer of our generation means a hill of beans to anyone but myself. I’m sure Tiger has more important things on his mind than what I have to say, not that I am going to say anything at all.

A ton of reporters have commented that Woods’ private life is of interest because of who he is. What kind of an excuse is that?

So, Tiger is afforded no privacy because of his celebrity status? What a crock!

Tiger is an athlete, the same as any third-string placeholder or poor schlub toiling away in the minors. Why isn’t someone sticking a camera in the face of these guys or questioning their marital or parental skills? Oh, that’s right! Because they can’t draw headlines like the big boys. It’s only when someone lesser-known does something wrong do we even give a hoot about who these people are.

Let’s talk about Tiger when he’s newsworthy, like when he wins a major championship or when his play in the game is the focal point.

Frankly, I’m tired of seeing Alex Rodriguez on the news or on the sports front page because of who is seen with at a New York City club, or who left his apartment at three in the morning. You know what? It’s not our business!

It’s enough sometimes to make me sick to my stomach. I’m tired of people being famous for being famous. And when gossip or tabloid fodder makes it onto the evening newscast, that’s when I draw the line. It has gotten to the point to where people get most of their news from TMZ or bloggers who fail to check their facts or simply post items because that’s what they believe. There seems to be no intergrity in journalism anymore. It’s all sensationalized junk food for the brain.

Everyone wants the next big headline, no matter what the consequences may be. Now we can Twitter something in a matter of seconds and have it posted for all to see around the world. What if the source is not credible? The damage may be far too severe to be repaired.

As this year closes out, I’m starting to wonder if I chose the right profession. Do I want to be associated with a bunch of people who seem willing to pounce at the first sign of weakness? I know this is a festive time of year when we celebrate the birth of Christ, but I have to wonder if my faith in mankind is misplaced, or at least my faith in misguided, spotlight-grabbing, egotistical show-offs who dare to call themselves journalists.

The truth of the matter is, what happens to Tiger or Alex doesn’t affect my world in the least bit. I’m more interested in things that matter, like how I’m going to put food on the table with medical bills from my stroke showing up in the daily mail.

Do you think Tiger worries about me? Then why should I worry about him?