Originally published in SLAM 68
The 6th Man: There are a lot of ways for me to do this, and I’ll be damned if I can think of one. No, I don’t have any earth-shattering revelations for you—it’s not like I’m quitting the magazine biz to become an exotic dancer in Kalamazoo, MI (not that the idea hasn’t crossed my mind)—it’s just that I’m having trouble coming up with the proper thing to say here.
I know what you’re saying to yourself: “Hard? Hard!?! I make my living working in a coal mine [according to our last reader survey .000008 percent of our readers are coal miners—Ed.], and this idiot is complaining about writing a lousy 350 words?” To which I reply: “Yeah, whatever—if you could do it, your biggest job concerns would be writer’s block and carpal tunnel syndrome instead of cave-ins and black lung.”
But I digress.
There are easy ways to fill this space, to be sure. The easiest, of course, is to briefly sum up what’s in the new issue. Well, to be honest, the cover generally does a pretty good job of that. And there’s really not much more I can say about Allen Iverson anyway, except for if he doesn’t make the Olympic team, someone is going to have a lot of explaining to do. What else? There’s a Spud Webb Q&A that was long overdue but well worth the wait (not because I wrote it or anything), as well as a Hype opener that tracks down forgotten heroes of March Madness past. But heck, unless you turned straight to this page (yeah, right), you’ve already seen the TOC.
So what else can I use this space for? Telling everyone how great we are? Y’all know that already. So what do other editors do? OK, bad question. This being SLAM, I can’t really get away with discussing my latest clothing purchase (but, if you’re curious, it was a Mitchell & Ness 1985 Chicago Bulls shooting shirt) or dissing The Sauce or rambling incoherently about coal miners. (Whoops.) I guess the best thing to do is just say peace.
P.S. This is my 30th Sixth Man. No, I can’t believe it either.