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It was long-time dream of mine to be a sports journalist, but for the most part, it's been one big bust. I've had every crappy job for every crappy paper you can think of, and my current status isn't much better than where I started almost ten years ago. Most recently, I took on a job writing for the New York Ledger.
Unfortunately for me, this is not one of the major publications in the city. Rather, it's a free paper you find at the library or perhaps your local supermarket or dentist's office. Being a sportswriter for this paper is not glamorous, but at least I am working in the city on most assignments. That's the way I look at it. I could have more responsibility writing for a larger paper in a smaller city. I'm a New York City guy who would just love to have a career right in the place where I was born and raised.
Now for my assignments. Where do I begin? It's been mostly high school beats like track or basketball. I love sports, but I have absolutely no interest in high school sports. I couldn't say anything to the editor, since I wanted the exposure -- any exposure -- of writing in the big city. I just did what I was told and took on these inane assignments. Once, I had to cover a women's soccer game -- and I really don't like soccer. Well, let me tell you one more thing - I love soccer now. Correction - I'm a big fan of women's soccer now.
A couple of months ago, after being with the Ledger for only a few weeks, my editor gave me what I thought would be the worst of all assignments. I was to cover some international indoor soccer competition being held at Madison Square Garden. I love MSG, and I've been there a million times, but never as a reporter. This part excited me - going to the locker rooms, being where all the great hockey and basketball players have been. Walking the same halls as some of my favorite rock stars sounded cool, too. But soccer? Not my thing, but a job is a job.
I spent the better part of a week covering about a dozen matches. Some were actually exciting, as far as my interest in soccer goes. I got to see many different countries competing, and my job was simply to make all of this sound interesting. I don't know how much of my material was going to get used for the paper, but I was getting paid to cover it for the entire week, so I did my best.
The championship match was between Brazil and China. I sat there with my drink, pad, and pen. I took notes throughout the match, like I did for the previous games. I think the crowd was in favor of the Brazilian women. I know I was, I mean from a guy point of view. The Brazilian women have such a beautiful, sexy skin color to them. Of course, they also have those famous asses, the muscular kind that look like they were sculpted. Now as athletes go, soccer players in Brazil are like rock stars, and they are known by just their first names. The best players from Brazil were Cecilia, Maria, and Graciela.
During the game Cecilia scored the early go-ahead goal for Brazil. The Chinese answered that with a goal of their own, but Cecilia scored again just a few minutes later. In the closing moments of the game, the team from China threatened again, but a spectacular save by Selena, the goalkeeper, preserved Brazil's 2-1 lead. When the referee blew the whistle, signaling the end of the game, the Brazilian team had won the match by the score of 2-1.
I hated to admit it, but I actually enjoyed myself. Unfortunately, I was not there for the fun of the game. I made my way to the locker room, to try to get an interview or two with some of the players. I left my seat and walked through the tunnel, flashing my press credentials whenever necessary. I followed the handful of reporters that were heading my way, and found the Brazilian locker room.