In my former life, I was a reporter at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and my first “beat” was covering the Dallas Cowboys. This was 1995. The Cowboys were on their way to winning a third Super Bowl title in four years. Barry Switzer was in his second year as head coach.
About one month into the job, I’m walking down the halls of the Cowboys training facility in Valley Ranch, a subdivision of Irving, Texas. I hear a familiar voice behind me say, “What are you, a cornerback.. a running back?”
It was Switzer, obviously joking. In 1995, I was pretty much the same size I am now: 5-foot-9, 170 pounds. I was still 10 years away from running my first marathon, but I was in shape, though maybe not in football shape. But Switzer could still see I was probably in better shape than most of the sportswriters who’d he’d ever come across.
Fastforward to the twitter era, to Wednesday. Something made me remember Switzer’s comment to me in that Valley Ranch hallway, so I decided to tweet that if you were to pick a football team from all the reporters (not including former pro and college athletes who turned into reporters) who’d ever covered a Barry Switzer team, I’d be the starting quarterback.
And voila, Switzer retweets my tweet.
Later in the day, I was retweeted that some of Switzer’s former athletes who turned into reporters – Dean Blevins, Troy Aikman, Deion Sanders – were more athletic than I was. And of course they were. But those retweets totally misunderstood the spirit of my original tweet.