January 19, 2007

Back From Dallas

It's late Thursday night as I'm typing this and I just got home from my business trip to Dallas, so I'm naturally far too tired to do the trip justice with a proper write-up right now. However, I'm hoping to put together a full report over the weekend, so I can post it here first thing Monday morning, because there's some interesting stuff to talk about (for the eight of you who're into me babbling about personal stuff, of course). In the meantime, I'll just run through a few of the highlights.

Mike Obert and Tim Trout from Beckett Media took RotoWorld general manager Rick Cordella and me to the Mavericks-Rockets game Tuesday night. It was a very good game, with Tracy McGrady scoring 20 first-quarter points on the way to a 45-point night and Dallas pulling off a comeback win. Plus, we sat right by the Mavericks bench, three rows behind owner Mark Cuban, which was nearly as interesting as the game itself. I'll have more on this Monday, but basically Cuban is insane (mostly in a good way).

I spent most of the trip at the Beckett Media offices, working on the soon-to-be-released RotoWorld Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide. For someone who went through the University of Minnesota's journalism school and even took a class on magazine editing and production, it was quite an experience. Like a lot of things that have happened in my life recently, I found myself thinking, "Wow, a couple years ago I was taking classes about this stuff, and now I'm actually doing it."

The Beckett brand name means a ton to me, because I grew up collecting baseball cards and even spent three or four years regularly doing "card shows" with my dad. The whole sports card collecting world basically revolves around Beckett, so it was great to meet everyone involved. I even got a behind-the-scenes tour of the Beckett Grading Services facilities, which was a bit like what I imagine Dorothy and company felt like when they pulled back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz.

Before leaving for Dallas, I wrote that "I'll probably never get totally used to this whole business travel thing," but I could get used to it if every trip was like this. Everyone at Beckett was great, in terms of both putting together a magazine and being fun to work with (and go out with after work). One of the best things about my job is that I can literally work from bed, but if I had to go to an office every day, I'd want it to involve working with people like Obert, Trout, Kyla Howell, and Sonya Lewis at a place like Beckett.

Plus, while I was meeting actual people in Texas, I apparently also made "friends" with 50 people I've never met. On the other hand, given a few days to think about it, none of those same people came up with an answer to "what is the point of MySpace?" So far, all MySpace has really done is fill my e-mailbox with messages about people wanting to be "added as one of your friends" and reinforce the fact that this site's audience contains far too few women. Plenty of potential weirdos, though.

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