I walk a pretty unfamiliar path in journalism. I'm an Eritrean sports journalist in America. Ever heard of that? Probably not, because we aren't very common. At all.
As far as I know, besides myself, only one other person is a sports journalist in the U.S. with Eritrean blood. For those who don't know, Eritrea is located in east African directly above Ethiopia. I often scolded several times a week by friends of my family for my profession, and it's one of the most difficult things that I go through.
In Eritrean culture, you're expected to be married with kids, wear religion on your sleeve and become either a doctor or successful business person. There are other jobs that satisfy and please the needs of people within the culture (a lawyer, nurse, or loaded version of a doctor), but a sports journalist? What's wrong with you!
I hold a very rare occupation among the culture. Like, Carmelo Anthony finishing with 5 or more assists type of rare, but I'm not alone, there are many others out there with different career paths that have the same problem as me.
Besides taking care of my father and trying to balance school as a commuter (I live 30 minutes away from my school campus), maneuvering between my Eritrean culture and American sports journalist culture is honestly the most challenging aspect of my career. What's tough is finding a healthy balance and constant bond between both of them. It's really hard to remain positive when I get told that I don't make enough money, or that what I do is "too much" (I can't stop laughing at this because doctors work longer than I do). I can go on for days telling stories about the dumb things people have said to me. It's disgusting.
I plan to get married before I'm 27, and I certainly think it'll be tougher for me to tie the not with an Eritrean or Ethiopian woman because of my profession. It's already tough as is because journalism makes you deal with the constant travel, etc., but factoring in an uncommon career makes it harder. Although, on the flip side, I will say that it could help me find that right woman if she accepts what I do. I'll find out the answer to this question within the next few years.
OK, let's get to the juicy part of this post, otherwise known as the #EmbraceDebate portion: Has my sports journalist culture made me resent my Eritrean one? Yes, it has. If I published this and said it didn't I'd be telling a lie quite honestly. I would take being Eritrean over being anything else in this world, but the frustration pushes me away a lot. I don't neglect my culture in any way whatsoever, and if you know me personally, you know I acknowledge it, but in a very discreet way. Look, you don’t need to see it in my Twitter bio or signature in an email to determine whether or not I do. It's always a pleasure to get messages from random people asking whether or not I am Eritrean (or Ethiopian), too.
That partially sums up how I feel being an Eritrean sports journalist. There's much more, but I'll save that for a lengthier column someday. I hope I was able to give a little perspective on how different my story is, and the challenges I face.
Cold weather? No problem.
Green Bay lost for the fourth consecutive time to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday evening in the freezing tundra of Lambeau Field. Another early exit for the Packers, and another disappointing season. But let’s think here, this season actually was much different compared to others, right? For the first time since 2010, the Packers weren’t really expected to go deep into the post-season, and that’s something the fan base in Wisconsin isn’t really used too.
In case you haven’t noticed, Colin Kaepernick loves playing the Packers. Kaepernick had 227 yards passing, 98 rushing and one touchdown on Sunday. The 98 yards on the ground were a season-high for the Wisconsin native. In three wins against the Packers the last two seasons, Kaepernick has totaled 1,201 total yards.
Green Bay had their chances to win this game and anybody who watched it knows how great of a game this was regardless of the outcome. A near interception by Micah Hyde would’ve changed the game drastically. But ultimately, San Fran put together a 14 play, 65-yard drive that helped Phil Dawson seal the deal. Mike McCarthy after the game said, “We were one play away.” That dropped interception from Hyde could’ve been that play, but it wasn’t.
But now the Packers head into the off-season with undoubtedly the most question marks among any other team in the NFC North. Sam Shields, -- who left the game Sunday in the first quarter with a knee injury – will be a free agent. Ted Thompson and others will need to determine if Shields is worth his asking price. Receiver James Jones, fullback John Kuhn and defensive tackle B.J. Raji will also be included in Green Bay’s concerns. Here is the full list of free agents for the Packers this coming off-season. And of course, the mega question surrounding the status of defensive coordinator Dom Capers for next season will loom.
In the end, Green Bay had a great season and it turned out better than a lot of fans expected. The fact that they still managed to win the NFC North not only proved how bad everyone else in the division was, but also how hard this team competes. They went a lot further than everyone else expected, which is another reason this loss stung more than usual.
Behind the Broadcaster
This blog displays topics that interest me -- including culture, entertainment, music, and life experiences.