February 25, 1998
Rob & Va Reverse Roles
By Robin Davidson
This week, Vanessa and I would like to discuss an area of athletics not often chronicled - the life of the sportswriter. As a sportswriter, I hesitate to turn over my sacred quill and papyrus to my surly yet sultry co-columnist, Va. But I realize, I must. May the force be with us.
Va: Yes, finally I have the power.
Robin: You're going to seriously abuse this power, I can already tell.
Va: You've got me all wrong, Robin. I've always wanted to be a hard-hitting journalist. Plus, doesn't my name appear first this week?
Robin: On second thought, maybe we should change the topic.
Va: Shut up, it's go time. If you mess with the bull now, you get the horns.
Robin: OK, first question.
Va: Robin, what's it do for your personal self-image to always be the storyteller and not the story?
Robin: Well, Vanessa, I never thought of it that way until now.
Va: Well nanny-boo to you too - how do you think of it?
Robin: I just like to bring the story to the people. Capturing the true drama of sports for the masses brings fulfillment to my life. And don't call me nanny-boo.
Va: Don't you get paid, too?
Robin: Yes, but not enough for a burrito and a Coke.
Va: Mmmm, burritos.
Robin: Focus here. I was just going to say that the real reward of my work is the quality time I get to spend with you.
Va: Yeah right, and you're the wind beneath my wings. Next question: When did you know you'd reached the beginning of the end, oh, I mean, when did you know you wanted to be a sportswriter? And tell the truth. I want to set a new precedent for this column.
Robin: It was an overcast day in May, a day like any other. I was strolling past the IM fields on the way to the library when out of the blue, a lawn dart struck me in the ear. As I stumbled to my feet and the captain of the lawn dart team carefully extracted his best dart from my ear, I knew my calling. I would bring the drama of lawn darts to the readers. And then I decided maybe I'd write about other less-enthralling sports too.
Va: I have nothing to say to that.
Robin: Well you have to say something, you're the interviewer.
Va: OK, I think you're story is bull. My freshman roommate was on the lawn dart team, and they don't have a captain. Their leader is called the Titan of Toss.
Robin: Alright, you caught me. I was just trying to be funny. I'm used to asking the questions.
Va: It's OK if you're not funny. You have lots of other good qualities, like, you spell really well.
Robin: Yeah, and I'm good at pinball too.
Va: Oh, nanny-boo, let's move on. I know when I get nervous I try various techniques to get over those nerves. When you're interviewing a well-known sports figure, like Kate Starbird for example, do you get nervous? And if so, do you imagine yourself in your underwear?
Robin: How would that help me? Wait a second, are you imagining yourself in your underwear right now?
Va: Yes, but that's not strange. I do it all the time.
Robin: Alright, to answer your question, if I think I'm going to get nervous I just try to be extremely prepared.
Va: Well that's not interesting at all. Maybe you should start making things up again.
Robin: You told me I couldn't do that. I don't want to get the horns.
Va: Good call. In my experience, reporters have asked me and my teammates lots of dumb questions that you can't answer. What's the dumbest question you've ever asked?
Robin: I'm beginning to think it was when I asked you to do this column.
Va: Fair enough. But could you give our readers a couple more examples?
Robin: Well, my mom once told me there's no such thing as a stupid question, but I have heard some doozies in my day. I once heard a sportswriter ask a player what it felt like to break the Stanford record for three pointers in a career. Like anyone really cared.
Va: Hey, wait a second. They asked me that question.
Robin: Oh, my bad. Well it's also really pathetic when they don't know or understand the vocabulary of the sport. For example, asking Kristin Folkl how many kills she had after a basketball game.
Va: Well the dumbest question I ever heard, surprisingly enough, came from you. I couldn't believe you didn't know where the bathrooms were in Maples.
Robin: Look, I really had to go.
Va: Well, then it's kind of excusable; my mom always told me it's bad to hold it.
Robin: Do you have any more questions?
Va: What is a question really? A need to know? A hidden desire? A thirst for knowledge? . . .
Robin: On that note I'm ending the column. Next week, to Vanessa's chagrin, I will be back in charge, asking the questions.
Va: That's what you think, nanny-boo.
Vanessa and Robin would like to remind fans that Saturday's 1 p.m. game is Senior Day. Go watch Vanessa cry in public while she and her fellow seniors are honored in their last home game. Bye-bye, Doobie.