05/24/2013 11:10 am ET Updated Jul 24, 2013

Sports Journalism's Beauty Curse

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It was not without some trepidation that Jennifer Gish submitted her weekly sports column for the Albany Times-Union back in September 2011. The Buffalo Bills had started their season 2-0, and fans in Albany inundated the newspaper with requests for more coverage--just as they did every time the Bills started on a winning streak. So Gish decided to pen a humorous column warning Bills fans not to get ahead of themselves.

Before the piece went to press, Gish sat down in her editor's office to talk the piece through. "You're really stirring the pot here," she recalls him saying. Gish expected that some readers would disagree with her or miss her playful tone. But blowback was part of being a sports columnist. In the end, they decided to go ahead and publish.

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