I’m a hypocrite. I’m a full-fledged, registered hypocrite.
As a sportscaster, I criticize athletes for abusing PEDs, marijuana, alcohol, other bad-for-your-body stuff. I can’t understand why some of them are so prone to addiction. And yet, I’m an addict myself.
Chewing tobacco. Chaw. Dip. Tin. The can. Can’t seem to live without it. Certainly can’t write without it. For some reason, I can’t get the creative juices flowing without spitting juice in a cup. I know, it’s disgusting. It’s dirty. It’s deadly.
You’d think the death of Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn would scare me straight.
Gwynn died of cancer — mouth cancer — something he attributed to years of chewing tobacco. Just watch any major league baseball game. Count how many players have a chaw in their mouth or a can in their pocket. I started dipping 20 years ago, while covering sports. Tried to quit. Tried the gum, the patch, the shrink. I’ve tried everything.
The allure of that fresh wintergreen flavor keeps me coming back.
I’m hoping that going public with my addiction somehow shames me into quitting. It starts today. I will be keeping a personal diary on this website, blogging about my battle against the Tin. If anything, maybe I can help somebody else quit. Or better yet, maybe I can convince some kid never to get started.