Someone once asked me how I could write great pieces that uplift and glorify a player’s career in one hand and then smack talk him in the other. I was never sure how to answer that, but as I’ve read and consumed more media, I’ve come up with an answer.
Other writers or content creators I’ve read or watched always started with some inherent bias (For the record, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that and can many times enhance the experience). But as for myself, I have always lacked something. Some inherent quality of character that lets me identify my personal identity with a group of people without reservation. Whether it be by country, region, town, ethnicity or age group. This inherent lack has always made it impossible for me to watch regular sports, as for as long as I’ve remembered, that was the way people sold it to me.
Support our local team as they are representing us, our town, our state, our country. That inherent lack of ability to identify with that along with the pure tedium of league games (I don’t get excited unless someone’s tourney life is on the line) meant that I never watched any competitive sport for the vast majority of my life.
But since I don’t have this natural inclination for my country or my team or my people, what do I have? In return, I think I’ve gained a natural empathy for all people from every walk of life. Which has led itself to narrative-driven pieces as well as constant never-ending trash talk. I can empathize with a player’s struggles and losses, but I also can write some real nice smack talk too.
It’s how I can glorify Flash and Jaedong on the one hand and revel in their losses in the other. For me, at least, it all comes from the same place.