"Just a reminder, Ben Cohen is Deadspin's summer intern," A.J. wrote in May. "His time at Deadspin... is part of his educational and life experience. So consider yourselves all mentors." Well, I thought then, this should be fairly catastrophic.
Ten weeks later, and today is my last day on the job; I'm already reflecting on this so-called internship with something close to reverence. At some point, I'm going to have to write up a recap of my summer vacation for school, so A.J., being the conscientious boss that he is, suggested I get a head start by sharing with the world the wisdom I've accrued.
I thought for days. Asked my friends. Consulted a Magic-8 ball. Considered a tutorial in fiction-writing.
Finally, I turned to Stephon Marbury. He suggested the format of Esquire's "What I've Learned," with him serving as the invisible interviewer. I said I would write up the answers without bothering him to ask the questions, but by that point, he was already ranting about Canadian healthcare reform and had forgotten why we were talking in the first place.
I didn't! So here's what you spinpeople have taught me. I now pronounce myself sage from your guidance. Who wouldn't be?
> More athletes should livestream their triviality. That way, my day wouldn't seem so mundane.
> One time, the sky decided to leak and I had forgotten an umbrella. Fifteen minutes later, my jeans weighed five pounds, my shoes mistaken for a swamp. "You coming in today?" I asked the boss. "Nah, not yet," he said. "Gonna wait for the rain to stop."
>If newspapers don't exist in any form, Deadspin doesn't, either.
> My favorite e-mail of the summer? The Joe Devanna Letters — quick, someone scoop up the book rights — were delightfully inspiring. Then there was the kind tipster who started her note: "I know you guys don't read The New Yorker, but..." Actually, we do enjoy the occasional pursuit of literacy, as long it's sporadic. The dog cartoons help.
> Good writing is collaborative, which is why I can't claim any of those mildly insightful witticisms to be mine. They belong mostly to the people I sit next to and the ones I Gchat incessantly.
> The duds were theirs, too. All of them.
> There's a difference between bleeding blue and white and wearing blue and white face-paint.
> If your boss offers to send you to Los Angeles to profile a certain ESPN personality, ask when the flight leaves. You never know what will happen two days later.
> Choi shook my hand for 10 seconds. I'm never going to wash this hand again.
> Note to the next intern: Introduce yourself to the site by lauding Greg Paulus. Everything will work out just dandy!
> These days, most jobs in journalism are tagged with the caveat that candidates be fluent in an amalgam of technobabble. Sometimes, though, it's the rudimentary MS Paint skills that catch the attention of Keith Olbermann.
> Every morning, I opened my laptop with almost no idea what to write about. Most of the time, I closed it with a combination of self-loathing and dissatisfaction; that's a writerly thing to do. But then there are the afternoons when you think you've found the right word or turned the right sentence, and the world seems slightly better because of it. I liked those days.
> And, most important: Mutton always wins.
Be nice to the next-tern, and hopefully, I'll be back on the sheep soon. Good night, sweet ladies, good night!