The world of sports is a strange one, one that’s rife with the sort of adversarial relationships that journalists love.
But if you want to be a successful sports journalist, you have to make your relationships with your peers and fans a bit more honest and open.
For Dan Sussman, a journalist for the Chicago Tribune, that means writing a lot of stories that focus on athletes, and then reporting on them in a way that allows you to actually get to know them.
“I’m trying to do that on my own time,” Siegel told me in a phone interview.
“But I’m trying.
I think that’s really important.
And I think I’m a good journalist.
So I’m going to keep doing that.”
In 2016, Siegel was hired to cover the NCAA basketball tournament.
Since then, the Chicago-area paper has won three Pulitzer Prizes, the biggest of which went to Sports Illustrated for a story on the men’s basketball team.
Siegel also worked on a number of sports-related projects, including an in-depth look at the National Football League’s decision to allow players to use performance-enhancing drugs.
“I was in a good place, but I was also really stressed about writing about sports, because I know a lot about sports journalism and what it takes to write about sports,” he said.
“So I think a lot was going on behind the scenes, and I just wanted to write something I could get behind.”
That first story about the players on the Chicago Bears, which ran in the June 25, 2017 issue, is a good example of Siegel’s willingness to take risks, despite being in a newsroom where many people have little interest in sports.
The story, titled “Peyton Manning, The Boy Genius, Is Still Not The Most Important Player in the NFL,” detailed Manning’s journey from high school to the NFL and his rise as a quarterback.
The article went on to highlight the fact that Manning’s father is a sports-talk radio host, and he was given the nickname “The Man” by his dad.
“He had this huge amount of respect for him, which is not something I think you see very often,” Sussmann said.
But it also came with a lot to say about the way the NFL handled the story.
“This was a guy who was being paid millions of dollars to write an article about a guy’s life, and it seemed like the NFL didn’t care if he was doing something good or bad,” he continued.
“It just didn’t matter to them.”
Siegel found himself being called out for not doing enough to help the story and then for his role in covering it in the first place.
“When I was writing this story, I wasn’t thinking, ‘Hey, I’m covering this guy for a newspaper, so I can’t do this, so that’s not going to get published, but it is getting published,'” Siegel said.
In the story, the Bears were down 14-0 at halftime, with quarterback Jay Cutler leading the team on a 23-yard touchdown run.
Cutler was also credited with a crucial fumble recovery, but the play was called back when the referee ruled that the ball bounced too far and was not recovered.
The play led to a game-winning field goal, which was overturned by the referees.
“And that’s when my dad gets on the phone and tells me, ‘Look, Jay’s playing well and you’re not covering this story because you’re on the sideline,'” Sussillos said.
After the story was published, Sussberg received hundreds of emails from people telling him how their favorite player was unfairly maligned.
“People were like, ‘Oh, my God, you’re a racist, you are a sexist, you don’t care about him,'” Suckerman said.
Sussinger told me he didn’t see it as unfair.
“For the first couple of months, it was like, I hope he’s happy,” he told me.
“Because people were telling me that I was a racist and that I wasn`t good enough, but at the end of the day, I was the guy that got a story published.
So if I didn’t write about him in the story at all, I really would not have gotten the story published.”
One of Sussermans biggest fears about his role as a sports journalist was how his story would affect his future.
Sucker, who is white, told me that while he’s always admired athletes, he worried about how he would look if his story was written about him.
“The stories that I’ve been writing, the ones that I do really good at, I think they are not going away, but if people are going to write a story about me, then they should at least be aware of my background,” Suckeman said.
The Bears were not the only team that Sussher was