It's common small talk on the street. You meet someone for the first time and they ask what you do for a living. For me, that small talk is usually accompanied by a blank stare from whomever I am talking to.
'A sports information director. What is that?'
You're probably asking the same question, and once I explain it I hope your expression won't be nearly as lifeless.
Being a sports information director, quite simply, is the best possible job in the world. That still, however, doesn't exactly explain what I do. In layman's terms, I am the athletic publicist for Pacific University, a job I have enjoyed since 1999.
For beginners, being an 'SID' (the common moniker for the position) is a very intense and time-consuming job. I am in the office 50 to 70 hours per week, a statistic that doesn't thrill my wife. On the days of games, I could spend as many as 14 hours in the building or on the field.
The job description reads more like a dictionary: Write press releases, produce media guides, keep statistics for all 20 Pacific varsity teams, maintain the athletics Web site on a regular basis, promote events, do the public address, run music at games, line-up halftime entertainment, nominate athletes for awards, sell ads for the game programs.
And, if that wasn't enough, how about write a bi-weekly column for the News-Times?
If your son or daughter didn't get their name in your local paper, the SID is the first person you complain to. Oh, and don't forget that all-important Web site. I had better have the game story and stats online within an hour of the end of the game, even if it means my third night in a row feasting on McDonald's fine cuisine.
'Now wait a minute. What makes this the best job in the world?'
What makes it the best job in the world is that I am living many a man's fan's dream. I am getting paid to watch and write about sports. All day and everyday.
I have the opportunity to walk into my office and spend the day talking with some pretty amazing college athletes. And Pacific athletes are the best kind. Because the school cannot give athletic scholarships, they are here because they love the game and are lucky enough to play a sport in college.
I get to spend two to three, maybe four days a week watching every imaginable sport. Soccer and volleyball in the fall. More than my fair share of hoops in the winter with a little wrestling thrown in. A large menu of baseball and softball in the spring along with, my personal favorite, track and field.
And now I get to share a little of that world with you.
There are a lot of great sports stories in our small community. Many of those come from within the block bounded by Pacific Avenue and College Way. I hope that many of these stories will inspire and that others will give you pause to think.
If you're not interested in Pacific, don't worry. I will stray from the red and black path every so often. But I hope even a steady diet of Boxer bytes will still pique your interest.
If anything, it will give you an idea of why I have the best job in the world.