Congratulations, Bleacher Report...you aren't just for jocks anymore.
Prior to today, I had read about 1,500 articles on Bleacher Report. There were 16 about the Red Sox and 23 about Barry Bonds' testicles. There were 32 about NFL cheerleaders, 16 about the World Wrestling Federation and 1,162 about how awesome the Yankees are (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5...1,162).
There were articles about CC Sabathia's weight and Mary Lou Retton's lack of weight. Articles about Tom Brady's girlfriend's ass and the St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders' breasts. There were stories about A-Rod cheating on his wife and Bill Belichick cheating at football.
Every sports junky had his fill of baseball, football, NASCAR, Formula One Racing, and Ultimate Fighting Championships.
But today...Bleacher Report graduated. We...they...are finally relevant.
Today, I read two articles that have taken us off of the bench and into the starting lineup. Bleacher Report has taken a huge step to be on the same playing field as ESPN The Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and Foxsports.com.
We now have swagger. We have had our Sportswriting Bar Mitzvah. Our Sports Confirmation, of sorts.
We are officially adults.
You see, today I read two articles that proved that we are "Big Boys" now.
One was by Lisa Horne and was her usual well-written piece about college football. But this time instead of talking X's and O's, Lisa talked about X chromosomes and Y chromosomes. In her article, titled Female Reporters in the Locker Room: Does It Work?, Lisa took us not only inside the men's locker room, but inside the men's locker room through the eyes of the female reporter.
Through Lisa's experience, we were able to feel what Lisa feels. We felt her heart beat and we saw the beads of perspiration form on her upper lip as she exited her safe little world of the sidelines and entered the Men's Sanctuary for the very first time.
For today, we were women. Not only were we women, but we were women inside the men's locker room.
I turned the metaphorical page and thought I was seeing things.
I stopped and rubbed my eyes. Could it be real? Am I seeing things?
I proceeded to read D.D. Harding's article titled Jim Rice, Barack Obama, and MLK: To Be Black in Boston.
Here, D.D. has the guts to talk about racism, The Red Sox, Barack Obama, Jim Rice, Martin Luther King Jr. and how this week must feel through the eyes of the Black person.
I'm not black. I can't be black. I'll never be black. But today, after reading D.D.'s article, I felt as if I was.
I felt proud to be Black, proud to be an American. Proud to be part of a country that finally has the balls to right our wrongs. In reading Harding's story, I felt shame, when I thought about what we put our black brother's and sisters through from the first day that slaves were brought here from Africa to Next Tuesday.
I felt fear when I thought of the Molotov cocktails being thrown at Boston school bus windows in 1974. I felt strength when Jim Rice took the field and when Barack Obama takes the office this Tuesday. For one brief moment in time, I was black. And proud.
Time to pop open a fine bottle of Dom Perignon (OK, Mondavi Chardonnay) and, instead of pouring it over the editor's head or shaking it up and squirting it around the locker room, I think I'll sniff the cork, swish it in my mouth, and pour a glass for my wife and I (in my Carl Yastremski sippy cup, of course).
For Bleacher Report has now fully arrived.
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