You’re a hack

The other day one of my Twitter followers told me I’m a hack.

Actually, “hack” was the kindest adjective. He said I’m as yellow as piss; that I’m a National Enquirer guy who brings tabloid mentality to sports. I’m no worse than the lowest form of scum, and all I aspire to do is bring people down.

It wasn’t the first time I’d heard such.

Of all the criticisms I’ve received, that’s the one that hurts the most. I actually understand the perception. It started, obviously, with John Rocker in 1999, and only caught some fire a year later, when Dave Wells tore me to pieces for a seemingly flattering SI piece that he found none to flattering. When I wrote a tell-all book about the ’86 Mets (one members of the team seemed to love) and another one about the ’90s Cowboys (again, generally loved by the players), it enhanced my rep. Then, with the early says of Sweetness, well, yeah.

Thing is, we’re at an odd time in journalism. Lots of homers, lots of softies, lots of “journalists” who aspire to be famous, not righteous. I can honestly say I have never gone after a player to go after a player; I’ve never thought to myself, “Let’s see how I can be flamboyant and obnoxious.” But, at the same time, this profession is about telling true stories, not stories dipped in gold coating.

I always wanted to be a real journalist. That’s what I aspire to.

9 thoughts on “You’re a hack”

  1. I’ve never understood the mentality of someone that, when faced with an article/book/blog post that they disagree with or feel is disrespectful to something they like, respond by writing some of the things that you have sited today and in the past. I mean- I know it happens. I understand that people are offended if 100% of the population does not have the same stance as they do. I understand the whole internet tough guy mentality (and remember your own column where you go after a couple of these guys).

    But I just don’t understand the whole mentality of letting someone else’s opinion enrage you so much that you seek that person out on twitter, their blog, or email them just to write that stuff. Are their lives just that empty and unfulfilling? Are they really that enraged by these things that a response is not only warranted but necessary? And in a time when people are getting lazier and lazier, when the easy path is to either not pay any attention to it or laugh it off, they STILL do these things…

    I just don’t get it, Jeff. It must be tiring for them to be so angry and upset to the point where they take the time out to do these sorts of things. Or maybe their immaturity is just so overwhelming that to overreact and get so upset is as natural as breathing.

  2. I’m a prick and I hate most things.
    But you’re not a hack. You write pretty good shit and your books have been awesome.
    btw, I thought the Payton book was too long and had too much background stuff at the start. But the stuff about his life, his struggles, was fascinating. Weird – and a big credit to you – that you uncovered so much about a guy who was written about so much in his time.
    The phobia thing is really annoying. You need a shrink and you need to go often. But it doesn’t seem to impact your writing much.

  3. Stop whining and produce quality material .
    Your SI material has been on the weak side lately,
    Get creative and think before you look at a keyboard
    The material is within you.
    Thanks

  4. Actually, you are kind of a hack.

    …and you pride yourself on not ‘going after’ a player, yet your books popularity come from sensational issues you bring up.

    You also chased down people in an article who wrote badly about you.

    I woudn’t say ‘hack’ as much as you are a bitch.

    That better?

  5. You’re a dying breed, Jeff.

    The line between journalist and celebrity has become irrevocably blurred, and I fear we’re never going to get back on the right side of that line.

    Please. I beg of you: Stay impartial and write only the stories that are worth telling.

  6. You cannot be surprised by this labeling, can you? I’d estimate 85% of your work that I’ve read has been spent calling someone a druggie, adulterer, evil, racist, sexist, or homophobic.

    According to your writings, your hometown is filled with racists, your alma mater is a racist institution, Belmont (I think) is homophobic, every Christian and/or conservative is evil, and on and on and on. Really, it gets old. But I guess that’s your shtick.

    Is that Jillian Harris?

  7. In ye olde days when a ballplayer responded to yelling from the other side we would call him “rabbit-ears.”

    Plz don’t fall into that trap. As a retired (after 40 years) Pastor who always had some hecklers, I admit it hurt but it did no good to become defensive. Keep your head up and your words fresh!

Leave a Reply