Welcome, friends, to The Life of Kings, The Baltimore Sun's new blog about sports, culture, journalism, and life, a place where your rants -- pro or con -- are always welcome. I'm Kevin Van Valkenburg, and I've been a sportswriter for The Sun since 2000. I'll be your co-pilot/tour guide around these parts, and hopefully I'll make you laugh and make you think more than I make you mad.
We're calling this blog "The Life of Kings" because the attitude around here will be, in part, a homage to one of my favorite quotes by former Sun journalist H.L. Mencken.
"As I look back over a misspent life, I find myself more and more convinced that I had more fun doing news reporting than in any other enterprise. It is really the life of kings."
Mencken was a cultural commentator as much as he was a journalist, and that's essentially what blogging is. Mencken reacted and observed, but he also furthered the discussion. He snarled at institutions and fools, but he did it with humor.
When Mencken called journalism "The Life of Kings," he wasn't implying that it paid well. He was saying that there was a certain nobility to the writing life. That it required wisdom and carried with it the burden of responsibility. It's a quote that's etched on the wall inside the Sun building, and one that always makes me feel like I chose the right path in life when I decided to become a newspaper man.
He was also saying, essentially, that this life is fun.
So, in the spirit of Mencken, let the fun begin.