Perhaps the worst part about being a sports journalist is seeing a player go down with an injury. For a vast majority of games, players stay healthy and are able to play week in and week out at a very high level. But every so often, a player goes out with a serious injury that makes it hard to watch as a reporter.
Watching games from home takes away from the intensity of play that athletes exhibit when they go against each other. The hits are bigger, the speed is quicker and the strength of these men and women athletes are more evident than ever when you are right on the sideline seeing first hand. As a sports journalist, I have only seen a few injuries up close and personal, and it is by far the worst part of what I do.
Kevin Ware, Derick Rose, Giancarlo Stanton and as of Sunday night, Victor Cruz are some of the most recent athletes to suffer serious injuries. Some injuries take a week or two to recover. Others, maybe a few months or even a year. But for some, it can be truly devastating. The great Bo Jackson, the only athlete to be selected to both the Pro Bowl for the NFL and the Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, had his career come to a crashing halt after being tackled on a cold January playoff game in 1991. He suffered a hip injury which ended his career in both baseball and football.
Having to watch a players reaction to an injury can be gut-wrenching. The following silence from the stands and fans, as they realize the situation, is the next worst part. But having to report on the injury, especially when the news is devastating, is the worst part of a sports journalist job in my opinion.
Injuries are a part of the game. It is a risk that athletes take every moment they are competing. Although they cannot be predicted, it is our job to report on the findings and give an accurate description of what happened and what the injury is, no matter how difficult.