Don’t Do It … Unless …

In the wake of the recent round of firings at ESPN, I see plenty of hot takes.  Some are better than others (anything saying ESPN had this coming for its liberal agenda immediately goes into the “shit take” category), some are well meaning and some aren’t.  But it’s a public business, so invariably people want to sound off on it … regardless of how much understanding of the situation they personally have.

I can relate to the folks who’ve been laid off, the people who survived and have survivor’s guilt, the ones who received the extra special “gift” of demotion, and even the fortunate climbers who might somehow benefit from these moves.  I can relate because I “enjoyed” each of these experiences throughout a 15-year run in the sports communications business.

And this isn’t a woe is me tale, because for whatever it’s worth, I’m very much at peace with where I am right now (which is out of sports entirely).  I don’t blame any former employer or hold any grudges, because that would be stupid (and I really, really don’t believe in burning bridges … finding work is hard enough).  Moreover, I feel as though I’ve been more fortunate than most.

But I’ve seen one particular refrain in the aftermath of today’s carnage that I thought I could and should address, because maybe my own experiences in the business can help someone.

That sounds nice.  And it’s a convenient thing to say to someone if you want the conversation to last 140 characters or less.  But as with most things in life, the reality is much more nuanced than that.

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Getting “Truthy’ about Movies

My wife and I recently got back to talking about “The Big Short,” which I will reiterate as being one of my favorite movies … well … ever.  The context of the conversations has mostly been in regards to gift giving (not terribly relevant here) but also a little about how accurate/truthful the story seemed to be (definitely more relevant here).

So it was with great interest that I discovered this link today, a scoring of major Hollywood films that portray “true” stories … and how true to life the movies actually are.

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Communication is hard

I am reminded of how hard communication is on a daily basis, both in professional terms (How do we produce content people want … and how do we make sure they see it?), and in my own home life (How do I tell my wife something that accurately conveys how I feel?).

That second one is sometimes harder than it sounds, because well, our feelings don’t always make a whole lot of sense.  And if they do, they’re complicated.  It’s not as simple as, “Me angry. You do better.”  Usually (always?) it’s more convoluted than that.

Which is why I am sympathetic — to some degree or another — to any goober who makes an ass of themselves on social media.

A former Kansas State student did just that yesterday, and she did it in an entirely upsetting way.  Racism is not a good look, nor does it reflect particularly well on my alma mater.  This is frustrating to me, as an alum, but also as a human being who wants to see the best in other people.

Continue reading Communication is hard