In the world of baseball beat writers, there is nothing finer than awakening in the morning and knowing you have something in the paper that your competition didn't get.
It might be a note, a quote or a story, doesn' matter. Being the competiton with bullets is nearly as much fun as beating them with a bomb.
The Seattle Post Intelligencier is among my competitors, and over the years he has worked there, John Hickey has been one hell of a beat writer.
I have, occasionally, beaten him. He has, occasionally, beaten me. Along the way, we became friends who shared a love of baseball, music, outrageous shirts and good journalism.
John is more than a good reporter. He's more than a good writer. He's a true beat guy, and there aren't many of us around, any more.
More and more, the industry is hiring bloggers who also write for the newspaper. Hickey and I both blog, but our real love has always been the daily paper.
Now, the P-I is for sale, most likely facing closure or the transition to solely on-line content.
How's that going to impact folks like John?
He's got a moving blog on the topic today, and for the first - and probably last - time, I'm going to link to the competition.
The death on any newspaper is a blow to those of us who love the business and enjoy reading different viewpoints.
Even if, occasionally, that newspaper and its beat guy kick your butt.
And here's hoping I get to kick John's butt a few times this year - and that he gets the chance to kick mine, too.
It wouldn't be nearly as much fun out there without him.