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Sep 7 / Hector Diaz

Writing has changed how I watch sports, and listen to fellow fans

Hector DiazFor the Love of the Page is a series in which Bleacher Report Sportswriting Interns explain why they write and what they’ve learned.

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Writing has taught me a lot about how others think of sports.

Upon enrolling in the Sportswriting Internship with Bleacher Report, the staff asked me which sports and teams I would like to cover. I’m a huge fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, Arizona Cardinals and professional wrestling, so it wasn’t difficult.

The assignments, however, were.

I’ve learned there is a huge difference between being a Lakers fan and a Lakers writer. There has to be! How else could you write about the Lakers’ recent moves not paying off? Or, as a Cardinals writer, how quarterback Kevin Kolb is scared of being in the pocket?

I’m forced to take an unbiased approach to teams and topics I’ve been biased toward my whole life. By playing devil’s advocate, though, I slowly taught myself to remove the fan hat and put on my writer’s cap.

The process was slow at first, but I’ve begun to understand that, in order to form a convincing argument, I must anticipate as many different perspectives as I can. Just because I am writing doesn’t mean readers will agree with me. B/R and the internship are definitely helping me get there.

I have to keep reminding myself that the average fan (like me) can be very passionate, which could lead to criticism. Readers also know when you write a lazy article, and they will definitely let you know it.

If my work receives a comment that I don’t immediately agree with, I don’t just brush it aside. I try to use it to improve my voice. At the heart of the comment could be something I overlooked, or a commenter may have misinterpreted something I wrote. Maybe I could have been clearer or more concise.

They took the time to read what I wrote. The least I can do is take the time to read their response to it. Who knows? Maybe their point of view is just what I need for an upcoming article.

People may not always agree with you, but if you give them an entertaining and logically formed argument, they’ll at least be satisfied with the time they’ve spent reading it. And through the process, you can learn about yourself as well as the vastly different perspectives of your readers. You’ll need every one of them.

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Hector Diaz is a Bleacher Report Contributor. Follow him on Twitter: @iamhectordiaz

  • Ben Rosenthal

    “At the heart of the comment could be something I overlooked, or a commenter may have misinterpreted something I wrote.” Great way of looking at it.