TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Oct. 31, 2022 — Remembrances of a weekend

Your Founder spent parts of Friday and Saturday immersed in events surrounding the National Women’s Soccer League’s 10th championship final.

The numbers of scarf-clad supporters coming from all 12 league cities are a testament to the staying power of the league, in direct contrast to what had happened in the previous two USSF-sponsored Division I leagues, the WUSA and WPS. Both of these leagues had only about six or seven teams, and they had front offices with little clue as to how to build a long-lasting fan culture amongst people in the host cities.

I saw some folks I had not seen in a while, people who I have been in the wars with while watching games involving two iterations of the Washington Freedom, the Washington Spirit, and the U.S. women’s national team.

But the most surprising and pleasant reunion I had over the weekend was with a member of the Kansas City Current’s front-office staff, who was a lacrosse player of fine repute when I was in the dailies. She would go on to play Division I soccer at Loyola College in Maryland.

“I still have all of these binders of articles you wrote about me,” she told me.

I take a lot of pride in that. I worked for a decade in the world of daily journalism in the smallest city in America with two competing daily newspapers. We had to get our information out in the morning, and we had to get it right. We got scoops on each other and we found ways to make our coverage in the sport better.

Today, the newspaper I wrote for is a shell of its former self. Journalists file stories from home with little of the accountability required from being in a newsroom for eight hours or more. These days, it’s all turnkey journalism, where box scores are automated and very few newspapers are printed since the data is now all on the World Wide Web.

My mind goes back to a staff meeting in 1995 when the publisher of the paper (il capo de tutti capi, you might say), told a room full of writers and editors, “People don’t want to read a newspaper on the Internet.”

That was a fateful misstep.

I feel lucky to be in this space, pretty much being able to write as I please, take an historic view of the sport, and break new bounds in scholastic sportswriting.

And I’m proud of the body of work done in the last 24 years.

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