Follow Kyle on twitter —-> @Kyle_Phillippi
The sports industry is in limbo.
There’s no clear path, no light at the end of the tunnel, nor is there any sense of comfortability. If you are fortunate to have a job as a sports writer, there’s no telling how long it’ll be until you get the pink slip. It could be tomorrow; it could be in five years.
If you have yet to have a job in the industry, well, good luck.
I was on both ends of that spectrum and saw it all: the highs, the lows and everything in between.
I saw myself climb the ladder rather quickly, from running my own blogs to writing for nearly every major outlet around Philadelphia, including the Philadelphia Metro, NJ Advance Media, CSN Philly and The Philadelphia Inquirer. I even saw my work in Sports Illustrated. I enjoyed every second of it.
Then came a moment, one that was built up over months. I said to myself, “Is this really how I want to live the rest of my life?” There were late nights — when I worked for MLB Advanced Media, I’d get home around 4:00 a.m. thanks to a lengthy commute from New York City. There were inconsistent work days, even work weeks, where I’d find myself having no assignments. There was the pay; some better than others, but none of it livable over time.
Ultimately, there was the industry itself, where offices were being shrunk faster than a Shayne Gostisbehere zone exit and those vacancies were not being replaced anytime soon.
I didn’t want to live a life of uncertainty, waiting for that one opportunity to come around only to know in the back of my mind that the big opportunity I’ve been waiting for could come and go in a minute as soon as the cuts come in. I saw this happen far too much to like-minded individuals and it hurt to see someone get the job of their dreams only to be let go shortly thereafter.
So I made a change, like a complete 180 and took a full-time job in sales and I haven’t looked back. I’ve also never been happier or this comfortable. It’s funny to think that, too, because I’ve gotten to cover Winter Classics, playoff games and historical performances. I’ve walked the same halls as Alex Ovechkin and Claude Giroux, and sat in press boxes where Gary Bettman and Wayne Gretzky dwelled.
But here I am, enjoying life more than I ever did when I was a full-time writer, but being paid like a freelance one.
And, likewise, here I am with Philly Is Flyer. I saw this site develop in its early stages when I shared a few pointers with Anthony DiGrazio. I knew what it was like starting up a blog. It’s exciting, it’s scary and it’s a struggle at times.
It takes time to develop, but Anthony has done a good job in managing it. There’s still so much room to grow, too.
That’s where I see the opportunity. I’m not here anymore to “write for work.” I just want to write for the enjoyment, something that is oftentimes diminished when writing for money because deadlines force your hand and space limitations cut into creativity… and don’t get me started on the click-bait that exists.
I just want to come home from my job, hop on the couch, grab my laptop, and write about a sport I love with nothing holding me back. I saw it all up close and personal. The difference in covering a game from the press box and watching on TV is minimal; quite honestly, I find myself picking more things up watching it from my room where I can rewind, pause and not have anyone nearby talking or laughing.
So what my goal here is, is to just write what I know best about, what I see from the games and my observations. It’ll be different for me, yes, but I’ve enjoyed building up a following of readers over the years and don’t plan on letting those who stood by me down.
I’ll start producing content for Philly Is Flyer this week, and you can already see some work I’ve done in the site design itself, updating the layout to a more conducive theme for what we want to do here.
I’ve learned a lot over the five plus years I spent in the industry. I plan on using all that to help Anthony and the crew build this site up and, more importantly, just to have fun with it.
Because ultimately, that’s where the dilemma kicked in for me a few months back: the fun had been lost in writing.
With that, I’m here at Philly is Flyer refreshed and recharged, ready to get back to writing about what I know and having fun with it once again.