What’s behind the curtain.

It’s been a rough year on a lot of fronts. The soccer was sometimes okay, but sometimes not okay, and both the Timbers and the Thorns fell short of the results we wanted from them.

For me, it went beyond the on-field stuff. After over a year of writing less and less, and editing more and more, and becoming increasingly disconnected from what made it all fun for me in the first place, I found myself adrift.

I thought the freedom of not being tied to a publication that had become an increasing drain on my mental and emotional well-being would bring the words back. Nope. I was supposed to do a piece about the NWSL Championship, and I still might, but what I wrote at the time was just a mess of words that didn’t mean much of anything. Then I went to Vancouver, expecting to write about the Cascadia Cup returning to the Rose City, but the loss there was crushing. When I should have been transcribing Porter’s post-match, and Jack Jewsbury’s last bit of press while wearing a Timbers badge, I couldn’t.

Those few minutes face-to-face with Jack after his last game will haunt me. What a cruel exercise and what an absolute professional. He answered questions, never making eye contact, and never breaking, though it was obvious how difficult it was for him. It made me doubt the necessity of any of this.

We go, we watch the game, we attend the presser afterward. We ask sometimes awkward questions at inopportune times in order to get a quote that, more often than not, is a rehash of the same things we hear week after week. What’s the point?

I cannot speak for everyone who does this. Some, a rare few, are paid for their work. Most vounteer their time, many hoping that the right combination of words at the exact right time will trigger an opportunity for a paying gig. And some, like me, do it hoping to capture a moment, to see something the others don’t see and put it into words so the folks not in the room may have a glimpse of what’s behind the curtain.

I confess I’ve done a crappy job of it lately. But, assuming they let me back in that room, I’ll do better. And I’ll do it for Slide Rule Pass and for you.

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