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The Toughest Decision I Make At Work

I love my job. I’m not just saying that either…I really love my job. I’m a sportscaster for a television station. That means I go to work everyday and talk about sports. While most people would get scolded for watching a sporting event at work, or maybe reading sports articles online, I get a pat on the back. That’s all part of my job. I honestly never wake up on a Monday and think to myself, “Damn, I have to go to work today.”

I’ve had the privilege of meeting several amazing people. Some are professional athletes you see everyday, while others are downright inspiring (like a local high school basketball player who plays on a prosthetic leg). I’ve also been to hundreds of major sporting events across the country and there are hundreds more in my future. Being a member of the media, I can get into any game I want to. Those are just a few perks of the job. It’s amazing that I get paid to live my passion everyday.

As a Sports Director (that’s my official title), I anchor the Monday through Friday sportscasts, but I also make all the calls on what we cover on television and online. Usually the decisions are pretty simple, but that’s not always the case. There are some really tough calls I have to make as well.

Over the last week, three college athletes in my area were arrested. Two Washington State football players were nabbed in a drug bust (police found 38 marijuana plants in their house), while one Idaho football player was arrested for Driving Under the Influence. If these guys are guilty of their crimes, they made really stupid decisions. The biggest thing is…who knows if they’re guilty?

I hate reporting on these stories. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the two examples I just shared are serious situations. At the same time, I was far from perfect in college. I made really stupid mistakes…I was just never arrested. When I look back on it, I was just a kid being a kid. That’s why I have sympathy for these college athletes who get in trouble. You can argue that they should know better, but I should have known better too, and I still did the things I did. 

Instead of being the first one to break these types of stories (which the media takes pride in), I’d rather have all the facts first (even if it means I’m not the first to report it). There’s no reason to ruin these kids by plastering their names and faces all over the TV and internet if they don’t deserve it. We have great power to build people up in the media, but we also have the power to tear people down. I don’t think many of the people in my same position across the country think about that. 

The media is always out for a juicy story (just take the Brett Favre sexting scandalas an example). Instead of taking into consideration that these kids are “innocent until proven guilty”, we start dragging their names through the mud. That just doesn’t seem right to me. Take Baylor basketball player LaceDarius Dunn for example. He was recently arrested for allegedly punching his girlfriend in the face and breaking her jaw. The only problem is, his girlfriend says he didn’t punch her in the face, she never had a broken jaw, and she doesn’t want to press charges. I don’t know what the real story is, but I’d rather let the courts decide than the media.

Professional athletes are innocent until proven guilty as well, but I don’t have as much sympathy for them. These are grown men making stupid mistakes. They should know better (especially being in the public eye). I can look back on the things I did in college and see how stupid I was. I won’t make the same decisions ever again. I’ve grown up a lot. Adults should know better, especially when they have a multimillion dollar contract with their name on it.

I’m sure this article will stir some debate. There are people on both sides of the issue. I totally understand that. If you’re for or against me, I would love to know what you think. You can leave a comment below, get in touch with me on Twitter @lewissports, connect with me on Facebook, or email me at tim@timlewissports.com.

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