1. A Long Career
RCS: You've enjoyed a 28 year career in which, among other things, you've won numerous awards, written a best-selling book and were the first woman to cover the Washington Redskins.
Why have you been able to continue to have success over a such long period of time?
Brennan: Well, that's a nice thing to say, I appreciate that. Twenty-eight years, wow, that's a long time, yet in some ways it feels like it's been about a year.
I certainly think one of the reasons why anyone has success is because they love what they're doing. To be able to cover sports and talk about issues in sports and travel around the world and be able to be at big events is just a dream come true. I know that sounds a bit Pollyannaish for someone who's been doing this since April of 1981, when I started at the Miami Herald, but I love it more today than I did back then. I appreciate what I have, I never take anything for granted. I throw my heart and soul into everything I do. I think for anyone to have success in anything, you've got to have passion, and you have to care deeply about it. Sometimes it has to be all-encompassing. I know for me I don't even use the term 'job' or 'work,' because this is what I love to do and there's not one day that this is drudgery, it's just a delight.
Another reason, I think, is because I've been able to evolve from a beat writer back in the '80s, to covering the Olympics which I love more than anything, to becoming a columnist, as you know. So I've been able to kind of change and do new things and see things in a bit of a different way. I'm not sure I'd be a very good beat writer today, though. I can't imagine covering the Redskins today, day in and day out. I don't think that would be where my interests would lie. So you evolve and you change and you get to do the things you love to do within that wonderful framework of sports media.
I've also been able to do things other than write for a newspaper: television, radio, books, speeches. In some months I do more speaking than writing. I love doing all of that. I've been able to carve it out exactly as I wanted. I often ask students: 'What would you want to do, where would you want to be, what would you want to do with your career?' When I ask myself those questions, the answer is 'This, exactly this.' So I feel so fortunate to be able to have what I have, and I appreciate it and I work hard to keep it that way.
10 Questions with Christine Brennan