I think anyone who works in sports or sports journalism likely does so because they wanted to be on the ice rink, the field, the court or the diamond. If it wasn't a desire to play the sports, it was a passion to watch them, to be a fan.
For me, I wanted to play on them all. I played hockey, lacrosse, baseball and soccer in leagues and for my school. I played football and basketball in backyards and on paved patios. Most of my days were spent practicing at the Pittsburgh area ice rinks, but my 'play time' was spent dreaming of clearing fences in backyards and hitting home runs past trees on hills while friends chased them down.
But, I also was a fan. It's always been easy to be a fan of sports in Pittsburgh. The Penguins and the Steelers are always contenders. Even when the Penguins were littered with Rico Fatas instead of all-stars, they had Mario (last name not required) and would soon have Marc-Andre Fleury, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.