Friday, June 06, 2008

Audacity: Noun

Main Entry: au·dac·i·ty
Function: noun
Pronunciation: o -'da-s&-te
Inflected Form(s): plural -ties
Etymology: Middle English audacite, from Latin audac-, audax
1 : the quality or state of being audacious: as a : intrepid boldness b : bold or arrogant disregard of normal restraints

Tomorrow is the day. We've been building up to this for weeks. Months, even. It's the start of the European soccer championships, a once-every-four-years event. And it's huge. The biggest event my employer will see for the next two years, till the next World Cup.

Our site has been building. First slowly, a little bit at a time. Recently by 50,000 pageviews per day. Current 30-day total across the two sister sites I write for? 1.7 million. Expected to grow by at least a couple million more before the tournament ends in three weeks.

In short, we're huge. In a way that my brain cannot really comprehend.

It's thrilling. It's terrifying.

And I find myself wondering how the heck I ended up here. It's not as if I'm an expert. It's not as if I KNOW this stuff. I started writing for the site becasue I wanted to improve my French. I originally took on writing about the French team, for fun, because I figured that even if I didn't know anything, I could at leats translate articles.

And that led to this job. And this job led to...this. This tournament.

I read the articles from REAL experts and I think: I am such an impostor. I'm just a fan. A fan who is somehow able to write this stuff up in a kind of funny way. But it's not as if I know.

I've actually tried to quit, in the run-up to this tourney. Twice. And each time I've let myself be talked out of it. Because part of me feels hugely underqualified to be doing this. But part of me loves it.

I love the writing. I love the excitement. I love my co-workers, three guys in their twenties whom I refer to as "my boys." I love the fact that this is the road less traveled, that not everybody does this. And that even if this road leads nowhere (which it will), I can someday say that my stuff has been linked to by Reuters and the BBC.

Cool, huh?

I'm not going to link to the site, mainly because I like having this site unconnected -- a place where I can be me and not act like I know more than I do.

But think of me tomorrow, as I write up my first game, painstakingly dissecting the plays and trying to put them into words, piece by piece. "[Player A] delivers a cross into the box, directly to the forehead of [Player B], who heads in hard toward the far post. But the keeper somehow manages to get there in time and bats it away."

Terrifying, to know that this will be read by people who know. Exhilarating to think I might be able to do it.

Isn't it funny the directions life takes us?