Open Letter to Swimmers, From Overworked Swim Reporter

Column by Jason Marsteller

PHOENIX, Arizona, December 22. WITH just more than a week left in the insane year that was 2008 within the swimming community, I just have ONE tiny, simple request for the swimmers of the world.

Can you please quit it?

108 world records? Are you kidding me?

For the many that don't know who I am, I'm the guy who does most of the coverage for Swimming World's web site, I'm also the spammer that sent out more than 3 million e-mails in the guise of World Record Alerts this year. Yeah, I'm THAT guy.

When I first got here, there might have been a couple meets here and there where my wife and personal life took a serious back-seat as I made sure Swimming World kept its insatiable public happy with the latest and greatest coverage of global standards being set around the world.

This year? My wife wonders who that dude inhabiting the living room with a laptop permanently attached is…she thinks she married him five years ago, but she can't remember for sure.

108 WRs? If the swimmers of the world can't unite on how they feel about the speedsuits, can you all at least join together to help swimming reporters? Can ya pick a weekend or two every month or two where you don't plan on smashing, crushing, obliterating, shattering, demolishing, eclipsing, erasing, wiping out, clearing, edging, nipping, pipping, clipping world records with stunning, astonishing, startling, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, swift, quick, sterling, startling, sensational, fabulous, wonderful, scintillating times?

It's not like we're covering any other sport like football, basketball, baseball or the original futbol, soccer. They all have off-seasons. They all have times where beat writers could actually schedule some consistent family vacation times.

The sport of swimming before 2008 used to be like that. There used to be 2-3 intense months a year, and the rest of the year tended to be meets where people were just swimming through. There were some times during the year that were tantamount to off-seasons, and a reporter could actually get some down time.

Nope, not swimming right now, and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight. A world record actually went down during the French Interclubs meet this weekend, a week after the actual taper meet for the French at the European Short Course Championships. That's like a world record falling at a last chance meet.

So, as a rather harried, and spent, swimming reporter, can you all give me a chance to breathe? Just a weekend or two from time to time. That's all I ask! Just let me know which weekend, because this past weekend was kinda supposed to be that weekend for my wife and I.

Just wanted to take the time to wish all of our readers a Happy Holiday season in a non-traditional, fun sort of way. HAPPY HOLIDAYS! – Jason