Amazing, but America is now forced to make a choice. Choice A is some Midwest dude giving you his take from his new home in the big city. The other choice you have is an upstart voice from the Massachusetts suburbs. It isn't Gee Dub and Kerry, though....it's Stacey vs Wes.
This will be a clash of styles. Man vs Woman isn't even the main point of debate here. Neither is at an East Coast/West Coast thing- Wes is from friggin' Iowa, and I was born in Rouen, France. I've been in Massachusetts since I was a baby, though. Throw in French parents, and I may have the silliest accent north of Tennessee. I sound like a non-smoking Carla.
I also hesitate to use the classic: Good vs Evil. Wes seems like a nice guy, and I'm not so bad, either. I have a twisted sense of humor, and I write things like "start hurting Tony Parker" and "You can bet on earthquakes." Still, I'm not Pol Pot, or anything. Besides...evil is gonna win this one.
I guess it comes down to the keyboards. Wes and I have a week to impress America. I read Wes' work, and he's solid. He knows his sports. Like myself, he tends to include a lot of himself in his work. That's what separates he and I from regular sports journalists. We can hop around on tangents that would be out of place in a Dr. Z article. I can talk about my daughter, and Wes can bring fame to whatever starlet he hooks up with.
This is a new kind of journalism, and it is funny that AOL and their judges have put two journals in the finals that are almost nothing at all like contemporary sportswriting.
When AOL contacted me to be in this contest, my first reaction was "do they actually read the journals of people they recruit?" My work is definitely out there. I fully expected to lose my AOL account through a TOS violation. Instead, I'm winning.
Now, the vote goes to AOL users. Will people in Newark feel Wes? How will people from the Heartland view a female sports authority, who might be insane? Will a good-looking young actor beat the 5 foot school teacher? Who gets the Gay vote? Who takes the 18-35 demographic? Will the occasional Master Ace reference (brothers hear me hitting from like 50 blocks away) be enough to wrestle the O.G. vote from "Wes" Coast? Thinking about the permutations makes one's head spin. It should prove tough to writefor a crowd as diverse as this one.
In Massachusetts, students have to pass a standardized test in order to graduate. Many teachers fall into the trap of "teaching to the test"...making all their tests look like an SAT, and eschewing non-traditional methods of educating. They end up with boring classes that many students loathe. They give up on All to reach Most. Sad, but efficient. I could write like that, but why bother?
When I write, I see my Journal as an AK-47 fired randomly out of the window of a high rise building. A lot of my shots miss, but a precious few imbed themselves in the brains of a wonderfully random group of AOL users...and they become My People.
Many years ago in Mongolia, Genghis Khan called his generals to his side. It was obvious that he had something important to discuss, and many expected war to be imminent. Instead, he gathered them around a feast. He asked of them a simple question..."What is the greatest joy in life?"
His generals gave answers like "a healthy family" and "falconry." The great Khan merely shook his head, and issued the quote that will be my Mantra for the remainder of this contest:
"The greatest joy a man can know is to conquer his enemies and drive them before him....to ride their horses and plunder their goods...to see the faces of those who were dear to them bedewed with tears...to clasp their wives and daughters into his arms...to ride from their burning villages to the lamentations of the dying."