I've had plenty of "it's all about me" moments in the past few years, but C.S. is no slacker. When it comes to his job, he relates to events from his own unique perspective.
When I follow sports, I'm all about the drama, excitement, and personal achievement. I'm loyal to my favorite teams and my favorite players, and I love a late rally, extra innings, a game that comes down to the final play, and the unexpected achievements of unheralded players. I'm a fan, pure and simple.
Not so for C.S. When he's working, his personal preferences are subordinated to a single guiding principle: he roots for what works best for him and his schedule. When he's on deadline, he never ever wants extra innings. At the playoffs or the World Series, he hopes for whatever combination of wins and losses will save him another trip across the country. When he covers the Olympics, he prefers the outcome that makes the better story. Sudden reversals and extra innings make for a bad day at his "office."
It's not personal. It's just that he's keenly aware of how the various outcomes affect him and his job. And I feel a little conflicted because I'd rather we were on the same side, even though sometimes what he wants to happen is exactly the opposite of what I want to happen. That's when I tease him with that so-useful phrase, "It's all about you, isn't it?"
Case in point: He's in Toronto for the World Baseball Classic, and tonight's conversation went like this:
C.S. (explaining the rules): Any team that wins twice qualifies for the next round. Any team that loses twice is out, but if they lose once they keep playing and can still qualify.
C.S.: Team USA plays on Saturday, and if they win, they play again on Sunday. If they win on Sunday, they qualify, and they don't have to play again in this round. They can go home Sunday.
J.G.: Got it.
C.S. (whining a little): But I have to stay here through Wednesday, even if there's no Team USA to write about. What the heck am I going to write for the paper if Team USA has already gone home?
J.G. (skeptically): Does this mean I'm supposed to root against my country again?