We've long retold our story of interviewing then-Michigan Wolverine Robert Traylor 10 years ago and his glee at making balding beat reporters in the locker room try not to stare at his un-toweled Tractor while asking him questions; it was one of the many reasons we realized the life of a sportswriter was not for us.
Well, on Jim Romenesko's Media News letters page, reporter J.D. Smith recounts a similar tale of why sportswriting can be demoralizing as well:
David Hirshey, a now ex-sportswriter for the New York Daily News, tells about his departure, as recounted by Alan Richman in "The Death of Sportswriting": Hirshey had heard that Reggie Jackson of the NY Yankees fantasized about harmonizing with the O Jays and decided it was worth a column. "I walked up to him at his locker, and asked, 'Reggie, I know you can carry a team. Can you carry a tune?' He was facing me. He turned around lifted a leg, farted, and said, 'How's this tune?' It was shortly thereafter that I left sportswriting."
In case any sportswriters were wondering what their place in the sports pecking order was, well, that pretty much sums it up.
Why He Got Out Of Sportswriting [Romenesko's Letters]