Thursday, March 03, 2005

Intern Idol.

Bill Simmons, the great Page 2 columnist over at is currently running an "American Idol" style search for his new intern. This involves the contestants writing short columns on given topics with some being eliminated in each round. Anyway, the Round 3 entries are up and I thought "getting to know you sports-wise" questions asked this round were interesting enough for me to try my hand at it, too. So here goes...

1. What was your favorite sports moment that you've seen in person?
While I've accumulated a number of favorite moments over the years, the only one I've seen in person is somewhat bittersweet to me because it involved my favorite team on the losing end. But it was in the summer of 1991 when I was interning as a photojournalist at the local rag and I got to cover a Dodgers game in which they hosted the Expos. Dennis Martinez was pitching for Montreal that day, and from the photographer's well on the third base side I got to watch El Presidente hurl his perfect game. And immediately after the game, I got to see him sitting in the dugout, surrounded by hordes of reporters, and crying tears of joy. What a rare and wonderful moment.

2. What's your favorite sports movie ever and why?
Hands down, it's "Bull Durham" because it so perfectly captures the beauty of baseball and the passion of athletes who compete for the love of the game, not for fame or riches. Not even the presence of Kevin Costner can spoil it.

3. Who's your favorite athlete ever and why?
Oh, lordy. My answer to this has changed so much over the years. To narrow it down to one for the purposes of this question, I'd have to go back to an early childhood favorite and say Pete Rose. Despite all the disgrace he's brought down upon himself in the years since, he appealed to me even at an early age because of his fierce drive and relentless work ethic. He wasn't the best natural hitter, or the fastest runner, or even the prettiest face, but he worked his ass off to make himself one of the best of all time. He even ran out every walk he drew just because he couldn't tolerate slacking on anything. As I grew up, I began to realize what the dark side to that type of personality can do, but as a kid that made a huge impression on me.

4. What do you think was the funniest moment in sports history and why?
So many of the intern contestants picked the old Knicks/Heat brawl that featured Alonzo Mourning mixing it up with Jeff Van Gundy, but I've never seen the clips of that, so I can't pick it. This is another question that's hard to narrow down to one answer, but I'll have to say it's that clip I've seen so much of that minor leaguer (I forget his name) who literally ran through the outfield wall chasing a fly ball.

So, do I get the job?

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