When I was an aspiring sports writer in college I loved reading columnists like Bob Ryan and Jay Mariotti and Joe Posnanski for their incendiary verbiage. I envied the sharp brevity and the fearlessness of their opinion writing. I took a few stabs at the style in my sports college for the college paper, and, not surprisingly, came off more mean than informed. I didn’t persist.
To a young person full of self doubt, commentary feels powerful. Having a take wins you respect, and the force with which you assert it matters more than its substance (this is the appeal of Jim Rome among 20 and 30 something men).
But I think I’ve aged out of that passion for commentary. Now what I want to read is insight. I’m less interested now in what you think than in what you notice. Share your observations, please–about politics, sports, religion, culture, yourself–and explore those observations with context and analysis. There is a lot going on in the world, all at once, so there’s no shortage of subject matter.
The opinion column is too constraining for the world we now live in and the people we now are.