American Idol taught me that there is no shortage of talented folks out there, working as waitresses in dive bars, or home health aides for cranky geriatrics, wishing they could show their stuff to the masses, if only they could quit slinging Buds to sadsacks or emptying the bedpans of oldsters.
And frequenting the Forum here at TSS reminds me of this fact, that this nation is littered with people who can articulate themselves extraordinarily well, with impressive insight, emotional depth, stark originality, make-your-gut-ache-from giggling humor...all the qualities which are represented in some of your more able journos.
But these cats, these Forum All-Stars, do it all as a sideline, a hobby. It's astounding, day in, day out, the contribution folks like Radam, DonPuto, Fe'Roz, Mortcola, and two-time winner Brown Sugar have made and continue to make on the Forum.
If I'm being fully honest here, I will admit that these guys sometimes piss me off, in the same way a real belter on "Idol" might irk a weak-piped but telegenic crooner who knows in his heart that the heart, soul, delivery and projection of that waitress from Sandusky, Ohio just put every and all of their efforts to pitiable shame. Yep, sometimes these cats are so good, I snap the computer shut, and resolve to get a job slinging Buds or emptying bedpans.
OK, that's a slight overstatement, as I see the contributions of these Forum giants as an integral part of what makes TSS different, and I dare say, better, than much of the other computer ink being spilled onto screens every day.
I'd like to spotlight one fella this year who irk...who impressed me tremendously.
Here is a recent post from a gent who joined up in Dec. 2010, and has offered substance, blended with a ferocious manner in defending a point with a spine of humility running through all his material. On Dec. 21, the 2013 TSS Reader of the Year wrote:
"This site is an unbelievable vault of knowledge and information. All I know is that I take in more than I provide. I throw out my opinion because I love this sport probably to a fault. However I feel I receive more knowledge than I could dream of providing. My mindset is to have a take and don't suck. Don't let your morals ever be conflicted by lust. Honor and humility will be the only thing you have to offer at some point in life, never lose them. I appreciate the shout out RG and if I don't win ROTY it will be of no consequence to me because there are so many phenomenal people on this site providing me with entertainment and knowledge I could never receive anywhere else. This site is better each year because the members continue to grow and improve."
You, sir, are the phenomenal person we're putting the spotlight on this time around, though.
But of course, the nomination and balloting process featured more frenzied trading than the Bradley-Provodnikov fight, and about four or five persons could have won this award, and the outcry would have been nonexistent.
Regarding some of Amayseng's top traits...Don't be fooled into thinking that aforementioned "humility" equals naivete. I sometimes get caught up in the bubble, and drink the promotional Kool-Aid. Amayseng is one of the Forum faithful that can usher me back to reality, slip me a juiced dental swab, and wake me the heck up. Like he did when he commented on a certain PPV-bound bout that got placed on "free" cable as a "thank you".....
Maybe my vote was swayed some by some of that populist flavor Amayseng stirs into the mix, as when he put his foot down on the PPV model on Oct. 13. "Enough of the ridiculous PPVs anyways, fans need to take a stand. $75 is a joke," he wrote.
Now, it goes to show that somebody doesn't have to be lockstep with all of us nominators to get the W; Amayseng isn't considering a paid membership in the Tim Bradley fanclub, not judging by his Sept. 19 post: "Bradley will be running like a deer until he runs so much he burns his feet and ankles up," he wrote of the Cali boxers' forthcoming tussle with Juan Manuel Marquez, which I thought cemented TB in the top seven pound for pound.
Amayseng excels at both volume (2,304 posts and counting) and accuracy in the Forum.
Thanks, Amayseng, for being a pillar of the TSS Forum, and sharing your knowledge and passion with us, 2.07 times per day.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV