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Wild Days
at The Sports Desk


Page 2 columnist



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It will come as no surprise to anybody who has ever had to work for a living when I say that there are Fast days and slow days in Every business. It is a Universal Truth that only a certified Moron would deny -- not even the Filthy Rich who have never worked a day in their lives and still believe in Santa Claus, if only because they can afford to think that way.

Not even professional Journalists can deny a thing like that with a straight face. It is an open secret on any newspaper that the Sports Desk will see more Action, on any given day, than any other Desk will see in a month. ... That is why Sportswriters are almost always the lowest-paid people on Newspaper staffs: They are charter members of the Too-Much Fun Club, and they like it that way.

"Why should I work for a living," they say, "if I can get paid doing something I love?"

And who will argue with them? Not me. I am a Natural-born Sportswriter. I have a knack for it, a God-given talent. After I first learned that it was possible to sleep late and go to work at Two in the afternoon, and still get Paid for it, I never did anything else.

  It was Beer that finally ended my career as a full-time Athlete -- first Beer, then Girls, and finally a brief fling with Crime. That is a fatal mix for any star athlete, and for a while I thought I was Finished.  
  

You bet. Some people call me lazy, but they are Wrong. If I am lazy, then so is Chris Berman of ESPN and Bob Costas of NBC. Both are members of the Too-Much Fun Club, and they both learned their trade from former New York Yankees Hall of Fame shortstop Phil Rizzuto -- who went from Playing baseball for a living, to talking about baseball, for an even better living. Rizzuto was my hero as a youth, and I wanted to be just like him when I grew up. I too played shortstop for many years -- (in Louisville's version of what is now the 'Little League') -- until I was struck down by Acne and Baby Fat.

It was Beer that finally ended my career as a full-time Athlete -- first Beer, then Girls, and finally a brief fling with Crime. That is a fatal mix for any star athlete, and for a while I thought I was Finished. I went into shock when I no longer heard cheers. My life turned weird overnight, and people snickered when I lumbered out on the Diving-Board. It was horrible.

But not for long. The shock quickly wore off, and I soon found a home at the sports desk -- any sports desk, from the Louisville Courier-Journal, to the Tallahassee Democrat to TIME magazine and the Brazil Herald to the New York Herald-Tribune. They all have a sports desk.

(To be continued soon ...)

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's books include Hell's Angels, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, The Proud Highway, Better Than Sex and The Rum Diary. His new book, Fear and Loathing in America, has just been released. A regular contributor to various national and international publications, Thompson now lives in a fortified compound near Aspen, Colo. His column, "Hey, Rube," appears each Monday on Page 2.



hey, rube! 


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Thompson: The Derby & other gambling disasters

Thompson: The Fourth Stooge?

Thompson: Bad craziness at Owl Farm

Thompson: Notes on the wrong way to gamble

Thompson: Notes on the wrong way to gamble

Thompson: Where were you when the Fun Stopped?

Thompson: Memo from a gambling victim

Thompson: Cat scratch fever

Thompson: Gamblers, beware the ides of March

Thompson: A crime against nature

Thompson: XFL, R.I.P.





 
    
 
 
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