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Dealing with pro athletes every day not for me - Doug Gorman

I'm often asked what I like best about my job

It's an interesting question, and one that's hard to answer.

On the outside looking in, working as a sports writer is glamorous.

The first reaction most people have regarding my line of work is "wow, you get to go to games for free."

Many outside the business regard that aspect of the job as a perk. For us, it just goes with the territory.

In addition to covering games, we write features and stories for special sections. We also design and layout our own pages.

As a sports editor, it's my job to also do damage control and convince some mom or dad that we really don't have it in for her son or daughter's team. Springtime is especially tough because it is the busiest time of year for a staff of three writers who are responsible for the coverage of two daily newspapers.

There are 15 GHSA teams in the Daily Herald and News Daily coverage area. That translates to nearly 150 teams playing spring sports (Two soccer teams, two tennis teams, at least one golf team, two track and field teams and one baseball team at each school).

It's enough to keep us going without sleep for days at a time.

Still, I wouldn't trade my job as a community journalist for anything in the world.

I love the variety that comes with this job. Here we get the chance to cover everything from high school Ssports, to Clayton State, to NACAR races, to the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship.

When I first entered this business in 1988, I had stars in my eyes. It was my goal to work at a large paper and cover the pros or major college sports.

Now, I thank God I don't. I can't imagine being a beat writer for a pro team.

I don't think I could deal with these overpriced professional athletes who are treated like royalty just because they can hit a baseball, shoot a basketball, throw a football or run really fast.

Watching the Barry Bonds press conference earlier this week was tragic. I don't know if Barry Bonds used steroids, but I do know he has a gigantic chip on his shoulder.

He wants to blame the media for his downfall, and that's tragic. He even put his young teen-age son on display to act as a buffer.

There will always be unscrupulous members of the media, just like there are dishonest people in any line of work, but the media isn't responsible for Bonds' on or off the field problems.

Bonds doesn't seem to realize, as a high-profile athlete he can't dodge the spotlight. He chose this line of work and the pay that goes with it. Granted, there will always be irresponsible journalistxs who print half-truths, and that's wrong.

Printing something negative about Bonds if it doesn't make that journalist evil or mean if its accurate, including asking him about steroid use. He's a public figure and that goes with the territory. If he doesn't like it, he can retire and live out the next 40 years of his life away from the spotlight.

I sort of hopes Bonds comes back. It would be exciting to see him surpass Babe Ruth and maybe Hank Aaron as the all-time home-run hitter.

However, if he returns, I hope he does so with a better frame of mind.

(Doug Gorman is sports editor of the Daily. He can be reached at dgorman@news-daily.com )