Playing the long game (year-end thoughts).

The revelation came, as the best often do, over burritos and tacos.

It was Thursday night. News about Greyson Allen's suspension from the Duke basketball team was the top story of the day. Konheiser and Wilbon were talking about it on PTI. I was looking at Twitter, at my response to Gregg Doyle's excellent column about Allen's suspension (long story short: It's a fabulous column, but it's hard not to think about what the reaction would be if this was a black athlete).

I was thinking about what I wanted to say about this, on Twitter or even in this space, when I looked up.

My daughter, 6 years old, was finishing up her taco quietly. Contentedly.

Something was very wrong here.

The phone went away. The blog post forgotten.

Because really, who cares what I have to say about Greyson Allen's suspension and the media reaction to it? That's not to say such discourse isn't valuable. But in this moment, the story and the reaction felt incredibly small to me. Especially in face of that small person sitting across from me.

In the next few months, this blog turns 7 years old.

It began while I was in grad school as a sort of rough draft of my research. It's evolved from that to what it is today. I'm always thinking about what this blog will become, what it should be and what it can be. I've never wanted it to be a blog where I felt like I had to write about a topic (the Greyson Allen story fits this category).

I'm in love with my podcasts, The Other 51 and The Flip Side. I'm looking forward to digging deeply into my research into the history of access to sources in sports journalism and the institutionalized nature of access to sources and sharing what I learn here. I'm looking forward to reading and thinking more and tweeting less.

Since the election, I've been thinking a lot about the idea of the long game. We're obsessed as a culture with a short term, with what's happening right now. It's understandable. News is what happens now. The fear is right now and it's real, and doing anything but openly raging against it feels like a betrayal, like acceptance, like (ugh) normalizing. First they came for the Jews, and all that. But that doesn't feel ... what, right? Healthy? The idea of the long game - of thinking in terms of the long haul, of years and lifetimes rather than seconds, brings me a certain degree of comfort. It brings a certain clarity of purpose, a roadmap for proper action. Let others fight about the stupid ephemeral stuff. We're playing the long game here. We're playing for keeps on a bigger level.

If there's a defining idea for my blog in the coming year, it's that. Let the others fight about the stupid ephemeral stuff. We’re playing the long game here.

For the most part, I've resisted the idea that I need to define what this blog is. It can be whatever it is today, and that can change tomorrow. Certainly, I can talk a big game here but then if Bill Simmons says something stupid in a few weeks, I may be here ranting about it. I suppose this is probably "inconsistent branding" or some rubbish like that. But at the end of the day, I want this blog to be interesting and fun for me. Because if it is, there's a good chance it will be interesting and fun for you, too.

The year is ending. I'm taking next week off from this blog, from most of social media, to take a vacation with my wife and that awesome, taco-loving 6-year-old of mine. I'll see you on the other side. Thanks for reading this year.