In another life, my professional world would be blowing up today.
One of my former beats - the pro baseball beat in Binghamton, N.Y. - came into the national spotlight on Monday when the New York Mets announced that Tim Tebow would start this baseball season with the unfortunately named Rumble Ponies. This is the organization I covered from 2006-2009, when I was a sports reporter for the Press & Sun-Bulletin and the team was the Binghamton Mets.
And I’ve got to say … I’m a little jealous.
I’ll be honest. The thought of covering Tim Tebow sounds like one of the most fun things in sports journalism.
For one thing, everything I’ve ever heard about Tebow is that he’s a truly great guy. Nice to the media. Good to be around. A positive person. In a sports world full of jerks, it’s always good to cover a good guy.
Plus, everyone’s going to read your stuff. People care about Tim Tebow’s baseball career. Whether they should or not isn’t the point. They do care. Which means they are going to read your work.
If I was covering the team, I’d write about Tim Tebow every day. I’d create “The Daily Tebow,” and have a short update on what he did in the game, what was happening around him.
But it’s there’s one thing I learned covering that beat was that the majority of my readers were not local residents who came to the games or cared who won or lost. A majority of my readers were die-hard Mets fans from out of town, who cared about Fernando Martinez and Mike Carp and Mike Pelfrey and Daniel Murphy. They were the readers who cared intensely about how individual players were doing. That’s where I focused my blog and my online coverage.
That’s not that far off from how you could cover Tim Tebow. He doesn’t have to be the focus of every story, every day. The novelty for the local audience will eventually wear off. But news is what people care about, and people care about Tim Tebow playing baseball.
If nothing else, it’s a fun story. And if you can’t have a little fun covering minor-league baseball, you probably should get out of show business.