This is at Gamehaus Gastropub in McAllen.
I originally had some pretty good verse on here, but for some reason the entire 30 minutes it took me to write it, even after saving the draft, has been erased.
I’m going to stew for a while before I muster up the energy to remember what poetry I first typed on here. OK, it wasn’t really poetry, but stay with me…
UPDATE: OK, this will be a different version of what I originally posted (or didn’t post), but you’ll get the gist of it.
I live on the border, about 15 miles or so from the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. I’m of Mexican descent, as are about 90 percent of the population here. So, naturally, when the World Cup comes around most sports fanatics here put on their green jerseys and rooted for El Tri — as in El Tricolor, or three colors of the Mexican flag.
Finding fans of the United States national team wasn’t so apparent. Few would come out publicly and support our American brethren.
While there is still a large backing of the Mexican national team this year, the support for the US team has swelled in deep south Texas and no doubt among many Americans of Mexican descent.
I posted a video yesterday that shows a beautiful account of what used to be support for the Mexican team, but this group isn’t cheering for Mexico. Most were dressed in either the men’s team’s uniform polos, waved flags or anything that resembled the USA.
The bar in that video Tweeted earlier:
Not as busy as it has been for #USA games; still plenty of tables & seats to see the #MEX game.
It’s a small peak into what I think is changing around what was mostly a Mexican-dominated society. I think it speaks more than just sports. It could be that this culture could be assimilating more not with it’s bloodline, but with its true homeland — the United States of America.
And I think it’s about time.
This is the first time I “pen” something since dropping the mic and walking away from my nearly 17 year career as a journalist at a daily newspaper in my once hometown of McAllen.
It wasn’t sad for me to do so, especially so suddenly, and especially doing so without a new job in line or any prospects. I was tired. My body was wearing out. The joy of being a journalist was broken. It wasn’t any one issue that made me pull the trigger on my exit, but a series of things that I didn’t like where this business was headed.
It was years in the making.
There was a final straw — the same one that broke the camel’s back. I won’t get into details because that would be unprofessional. I will say the profession, at least at our daily, started to become more of a product that a newspaper.
Now, I’m not a dummy. I know newspapers’ primary goal is to make money. But I have always felt that was the advertising, marketing and classified ads departments’ responsibility. I didn’t think that, for every idea I had I would need to come up with a way to sell it to advertisers.
OK. I lied, I did get slightly specific.
The mood in the newsroom became, if you could paint a picture, a scene from the walking dead. Namely the part where the zombies are walking around speechless. It just no longer became fun. So I left.
It’s scary now. I’m trying like hell to find freelance jobs (it’s too early for me to enter an environment with cubicles, punch cards and meetings), but they’re coming slowly. Too slow, although it’s only been two weeks.
The first 10 years of my time there were a joy. I worked my way from sports freelancer, to part-time writer, to full-time sports writer, to deputy sports editor to sports editor to presentation editor to this odd title of “Director of Visual Content and Operations (including sports and new media).”
Basically I absorbed the duties of my good friend and former Director of Sports and New Media, and a colleague that was the Director of … I don’t remember what.
It was, for the most part, a wonderfully challenging profession. But I just couldn’t continue. My heart wasn’t in it. Perhaps I need a different environment. Perhaps I need a different career. Perhaps I need to win the lottery.
I’ll spend the next month trying to figure that out.