Dear 1998 Luke,
I don’t have much time and I’m already taking a risk by doing this, but I have to write to past me to let you know about some things. I can’t really tell you too much, but there are a few things I can mention.
First of all, don’t get your hopes up for the Cubs. Even when things look really good and they’re only five outs from the World Series, remember that they’re the Cubs. Also, if you get the chance to buy a ticket for a playoff game from a Steven Bartman, you should probably pass on that. You don’t know him now, but you’ll know his name, and you don’t want to be him.
Second, this whole internet thing seems like it might just actually work out. There’s going to come a time when you’re actually going to give up cable willingly because you can watch most of what you want on the internet. There’s also going to be time when people make Chuck Norris jokes online. You won’t find them all that funny, but the rest of the world will. Don’t worry, the fad passes.
Most importantly, I want to tell you about a really cool couple of days you’ll have over Labor Day weekend in 2012. You know how you want to be a sports broadcaster right now. Well, it’s only going to take 14 years, but you’re going to get your wish. And here’s the best part. Not only do you get to broadcast a game, but it’ll be available for millions of people. Your voice will be describing the action for an unimaginable number of potential viewers.
Now before you go thinking you’ve made it to ESPN to announce their Monday Night Football games, don’t get too excited. (Oh yeah, they move Monday Night Football to cable, but it’s basically the one thing you want to watch, but can’t without cable. You survive.) Remember that internet thing I mentioned earlier. Well, the Statesboro Herald actually gets the capability to broadcast high school football games on the internet.
Seriously. They do it on a weekly basis. It’s kind of cool. And they’ll ask you to do it in addition to writing a game story for the newspaper. It’s a lot harder than it looks. First of all, you’ll have to keep your own stats. It’s hard. You’re making notes all over the place and hoping you can read your writing. Not only that, but you don’t really know the players. You’re essentially winging it. But anyone from around the world who has internet access will be able to hear your broadcasting. That said, I doubt there’s a big clamoring for rural South Georgia high school football in London or Sydney.
I know, it’s not exactly how you see your broadcasting career starting. I’d mention more about your career path, but I don’t think I’m allowed to without risking serious violations from something called the PATRIOT ACT. I know, it sounds like that’s a good thing, but it’s really not. You’ll understand later.
One more thing I want to mention to you. You know how you love Georgia Southern football? How you can’t wait for the autumn to get here so you can go to the games? How you get into the stadium about an hour before kickoff to get a good place to stand with your friends?
And you know how much you’d love to be on the field during a game? Not as a player. Dear God, they’d kill you. Even as a kicker you’d be scared for your life. Well, what if I tell you you’ll get to do the next best thing? What if I tell you that you’ll get to stand on the sideline during a game and even walk out onto the field?
You get that chance, but there’s a catch. You know the guy wearing the red hat who stands on the field during media timeouts. That guy. The guy you hate and will wish terrible things to happen to that man because he’s making the game take forever and it’s 95 degrees in the shade and there’s no shade in sight?
Now here’s the good news. First, it’s a night game, so it’s only 88 in the shade instead of 95. Second, it’s not on television, so you really can’t screw up too badly. Third, and here’s the best part, is that you get a really cool view of the game. I don’t care how fast the guys on the field look from the stands, you really can’t truly appreciate it until you see it at field level. Those guys are fast. Even the slow guys are fast.
It’s a really cool weekend. You’ll spend Sunday taking your kid to the water park in Statesboro (yes, you have a kid AND Statesboro has a water park. I know that seems strange, but you’re going to have to trust me on this one.)
One last thing. You’re going to meet a really hot girl sometime this year. The good news is 14 years later, she’s still hot.
Don’t screw up too much,
P.S. If you get a chance to invest Apple in the next year or so, you should really do that. It might change everything about this letter, but we’ll make it work somehow.