Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Knowing my place on the food chain

I'm about a week late with this, but I really think it's deserving of mention. My buddy and fellow blogger Brian would probably prefer I not write about this (and maybe I should've run it by him first), but it was so amusing - and impressive - that I just had to make note of it.

As you might (and should) know, Brian runs what is the authoritative blog on northern college baseball, Big Ten Hardball. To me, this is exactly what blogging should be: see a void, fill the niche. Brian wasn't getting what he wanted about Big Ten college baseball from any newspapers or websites, so he decided to create the damn thing himself. Since he was offering something no one else was, it was only a matter of time before he drew the readership he deserved.

Anyway, Michigan baseball held its annual "Meet the Team Night" last Monday, and since I live nearby, Brian asked if I wanted to join him. Even though I know very little about Michigan baseball, other than they use bats and mitts and play at Fisher Stadium, I tagged along. For one thing, I enjoy learning about a sport that's new to me. That's what made me a sports fan in the first place, and I've come to miss that feeling.

Plus, Michigan has a good team coming back, but baseball isn't the giant monolithic machine that football is, and it was nice to see people be invited to support and take an interest, and have a chance to meet the players. There's still a feeling of amateur athletics to it. But frankly, I just wanted to see Brian get to work the room and enjoy yielding some benefits from the work he's put in.

Not only wasn't I disappointed, but I got a little reality check, as well. I'm gratified by the readership I've been able to generate at this little blog you're reading here. It's worth all of the effort. But no matter what this site becomes, I will never expect athletes - amateur or professional - to walk up to me, shake my hand, and tell me they enjoy reading my blog. (Oh, and their parents love the site, too.) But that's exactly what Mr. Big Ten Hardball got to experience on Monday night.

And there are a lot of fantastic blogs that cover University of Michigan athletics, but I don't think it's likely that any of their writers will ever get much chance to chat with Lloyd Carr or Tommy Amaker. (I hope I'm eventually proven wrong on that, of course.) Yet there was Brian, getting 5-10 minutes of quality time with Michigan baseball coach Rich Maloney.

Affirmation, baby. In comparison, I'm just a song-and-dance man. Treating Brian to munchies at Cubs AC seemed like the least I could do afterwards. And I can tip my cap here. Kudos, my friend.

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