Sports Writing And The Hemingway Lie

Dayne DurantiCorrespondent IJune 28, 2009

There have been a lot of articles on B/R this week that showed other sides to some of the finest writers.

Articles that showed heart and soul, and that weren't necessarily just about sports.

Fantastic articles by Patrick Cwiklinski and Graham Brunell inspired me to want to come clean a little about things. And the journalistic catharsis that I am going through right now.

For as long as I can remember Hunter S. Thompson has been my hero. In writing and in life.

His razor sharp wit and intelligence could make the Pope think twice about being Catholic. His writing was pure, honest and life changing.

He was without a doubt one of the finest sports writers ever to live.

He wasn't known for his sports writing and that was unfortunate, because it was wonderful.

He began his writing career as a sports writer, and he ended his life as one.

I remember I interviewed for a job at a boating publication once and they asked me who my journalistic heroes were, and I told them H.S.T

"We drug test." Was their answer.

I was disappointed. Unfortunately those who were not in the know thought of him as a drugged up pop icon, not a serious journalist.

That is a travesty.

Thompson's life and love of excess was the stuff of legends. And it is what he was known for.

Through my love of H.S.T I also discovered the wonders of Hemingway and Bukowski. These three became my heroes.

My holy trinity.

Their love of excess became my love of excess.

I felt that if you were going to be a "writer" you had to be screwed up in the head and abuse one or more substances at a time.

This is what Stephen King calls "The Hemingway Lie."

It got to the point where I drank a lot and wrote very little. Excusing it because it was what my heroes did.

Then I found Bleacher Report.

I never knew such a community or "fan journalism" site existed. I have written for sporting blogs before, but nothing like B/R. 

I have found some of the finest sports writers in the world and I am able to interact with them. It is incredible.

I read people like Tom Edrington, Larry Burton and Paul Augustin Jr. and I am honored to be a colleague, if not professionally, at least at night when I turn on my Mac I can be.

These people just to mention a few, are my new heroes.

Through Bleacher Report I am learning the true power and responsibility that goes along with quality sports writing.

They are lessons that I am learning and will continue to learn for no doubt a long time. But alas, I am learning.

And I want to thank you all for it.