One of my mentors, Jerry Izenberg, who recently retired after more than half a century of sportswriting for the Newark Star-Ledger, offered me a nugget of wisdom: “If you’re in this business long enough,” he said, “you learn that if you’re a sportswriter — a serious, dedicated full-time newspaperman — then you don’t have a job. What you’ve got is a mistress.
“And mistresses make demands. You’ll pay for her one way or another. I paid her price in tons of coffee gulped on the run from plastic cups and in holidays spent away from my family while I was on the road. Mostly, though, I paid her price in loss of innocence through exposure to the evil side of sports in America.”