How to Make it as a College Hoops Humor Writer (Seriously, How?)
Warning: This isn't your ordinary "How to" piece. Those have something helpful - answers.
But I honestly don’t know what constitutes making it as a college hoops humor writer.
Uh, Dave . . .
Yeah I should and I do, or at least I did, or might, I thought.
Uh Dave . . .
A couple years ago, I began posting college hoops jokes on Twitter. I remember the one that garnered my first retweet: "Just clarifying that UT-Martin's Fatodd Lewis pronounces his first name Fa-todd Lewis, not Fat Odd Lewis."
A pathetically exciting moment that diminished when I discovered the retweeter only had one follower. And it was me.
I kept plugging and picked up a few more followers with a joke after Zion's shoe exploded:
Nike CEO: Why can't my employees make a sneaker that doesn't fall apart?
Nike Employees: Because we are only 6 years old.
Well, I'd like to think it was the joke. But there are a huge number of idiots on Twitter who believe that if everyone follows each other we'll all hit the big time. How do I know that? I'm one of those idiots.
Regardless, buttressed with something that could generously be considered a fan base, I reached out to Lindy's Preseason Magazine. I let them know that I had the best college hoops humor site on Twitter - an indisputable fact until another is created.
Then it happened. I got a thumbs-up from Lindy Davis himself. As soon as the magazine came out, I checked my website to see all the new "hits". Nothing. Are you kidding me?! I don't think such emptiness was even experienced by Geraldo Rivera.
Yet I persevered by penning the somewhat uniquely titled article, "Is Dan Dakich Better Than Taylor Swift?"
It told the story of my efforts to convince my Swift loving daughters that ESPN's number one curmudgeon is a more enjoyable listen. To support my contention I mentioned that Dakich says helpful things like, "If the dog didn't stop and take a dump he would have caught the rabbit." I'm nearly certain that no such nuggets of wisdom can be found in any Taylor Swift lyric.
And you know who agreed with me? Dan Dakich. Yes siree, the one and only Dan Dakich retweeted my article. Whoo hoo! It happened! I’ve definitely made it.
Turns out, a retweet from Dan Dakich isn’t really a life changing event. You know, as opposed to a retweet from say Taylor Swift. She, by the way, deftly opted to remain silent.
But the article made its way to College Insider. Not sure how, but my guess is probably because I sent it to them.
They had me interview Oakland University’s Coach Greg Kampe about bettering the transfer portal. One suggestion: change the transfer portal to a transfer port-a-potty. Any kid wishing to transfer must enter a port-a-potty and stay there until another team picks him. Coach Kampe wanted it known that this idea was not his. And I want it known that this idea made him laugh.
More importantly, it made College Insider laugh, and it seemed like they were set to offer me a full time gig to commence once their post-season tournament finished. The problem is their tournament has yet to finish. Or better put, it never started.
I decided to try to keep the dream alive by writing the story about how my daughters and I refused to let the Covid “Grinch” steal our Selection Sunday. I just I needed to determine where to send it.
“Gee Dave, seems like a perfect fit would be Fantasy Magazine.”
I was thinking The Athletic or Bleacher Report or . . .
No. Not Highlights. I decided to go a bit higher.
No – Basketball Times.
The morning after I emailed it, I found a reply in my in box. Seriously?! I figured they’d at least give me a few days to live with the delusion of having a chance.
Upon opening the email, I noticed that not much had been written. Must just be an auto-response. Then again, how many words does it take to say, “You suck”?
I made it through the first seven: “OK, that was entertaining. We’ll run it.” I guess this means I have no need to worry about social distancing for a bit. Why? Because I was riding high on Cloud 9!
It got even better with the last two words: John Akers. That’s right, John Akers, publisher of Basketball Times, liked it. I guess there could’ve been another reason for including me: I’d single-handedly decrease the average age of his writers by about 25 years. I’m going with the former!
My elation subsided yet again when I noticed that Amazon has Basketball Times ranked #12 in Basketball Magazines. If you are wondering what Amazon had as its #1 Basketball Magazine it was, of course, Mountain Bike Action.
Basketball Times deserves the top spot if for no other reason than it’s amongst the few magazines left that you can actually hold, and more importantly, store under a roll of toilet paper.
Yes, there is a digital version, but if I read that before the hard copy comes, I feel like I’m cheating. And I really think that since I’m going to feel guilty, it might as well include some porn.
Amazon did make up for that clear error by having Basketball Timesranked #94 in Boating Magazines.
I defy you to name even 10 boating magazines, well, other than Basketball Times.
So what more do I need to make it – ESPN, Sports Illustrated? My buddy Gary just told me that he knows someone who knows someone at SI. This begs another question, “If my buddy Gary ‘just’ told me that he knows someone who knows someone at SI, how good of a buddy can he be?”
And maybe Sports Illustrated isn’t enough to make it, and I have to go all the way to the top - Mountain Bike Action.
But we’re talking about Basketball Times. I mean, I’m in the same magazine as Hoops Weiss, Dickie V and Bob Ryan. Have to say, I now know how Ringo felt.
Yup Bob Ryan, “the” Bob Ryan is now a colleague of mine. Though I’m not all that sure he knows that.
It’s not like we talk once a week or have communicated in any way whatsoever. Hey, who knows, maybe we will, and maybe I’ll end up writing a best seller called Tuesdays With Bobby.
I do know this: he recently wrote about Jim O’Brien’s Basketball Yearbook and said, “O’Brien annually assembled a powerhouse group of writers and when I first made the cut I was beyond thrilled. Kinda like writing for Basketball Times today.” I should probably divulge that those words appeared in Basketball Times.
So I had to get my dad on the phone. When I was a kid, he would actually read Basketball Times to me. No “Good Night Moon”. No “Hop on Pop”. In the Barend house it was bedtime with Basketball Times.
“Dad, you’re not going to believe this. I just got an email from John Akers. It says . . .”
“Isn’t John Akers dead?”
“What?! No. I jut got an email from him. He said . . .”
“Yeah he had a stroke. Probably because of IBM.”
“Don’t you remember? Akers screwed up IBM then Gerstner came in . . . “
“No Dad. John Akers from Basketball Times. He emailed me and said . . .”
“That’s nice. Though I think I would have been more impressed if it was the other John Akers.”
“Just because he ran IBM?”
“No, because he’s dead.”
And back to wondering whether I made it or not. For some reason, I felt compelled to get an assessment from my other parent.
“Mom, you’re not going to believe this. I’m going to be in Basketball Times. It’s considered the Bible of . . .”
“You’re in the Bible?”
“This is incredible! In the Old Testament or the New Testament?”
“Mom stop. No. There isn’t going to be a Book of Dave.”
“But you said . . .”
“I’m going to be in Basketball Times which I call the Bible of . . .”
“You can’t call that the Bible!”
“I’m not saying it’s the actual . . .”
“Call me back after you go to Confession.”
I decided to call my wife instead. Well, I yelled to her, which is a form of communication she has enjoyed never.
“It happened! I actually made it!”
She cut me a little slack and even said we could have a celebration that night. Who hoo! I told her that maybe she’d be able to write an article entitled: “How To Make It With A College Hoops Humor Writer.” It didn’t happen.