by Jen Lada
Brown Deer — Sports writers can log a lot of miles covering a team — even more if they cover a number of squads. Beyond delivering the news, one of Milwaukee’s sports journalists can sometimes be found delivering the paper he writes for.
Tony Sparks comes and goes quickly and quietly while covering sporting events — appreciating every moment with his press pass.
“I’m the sports editor, so I make my own assignments and set up my own contacts. People see me at a bunch of events and they just think I’m just there because somebody invited me there, but I’m there to do the same job as any other big media,” Sparks said.
Sparks said he just needed a bit of a crack to get into the business. Today, the Milwaukee native has worked for the Milwaukee Community Journal newspaper for almost five years.
“It’s exciting, every single event that I go to,” Sparks said.
Sparks takes a lot of pride in his sports writing work, but it’s not his only work! Sparks has also worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 14 years.
“I really love my job. You go outside, get some fresh air — lots of action around you,” Sparks said.
When Sparks is not on the beat, he’s on the street, and unlike the newness of uncovering a story, on his route, there’s routine and certainty.
“Sort the mail inside the building, put it together, rubber-band it together, and we go outside and we deliver the mail,” Sparks said.
It is good, honest work, but if Sparks is being honest, delivering the mail isn’t as exciting as delivering sports news.
“You get in awe because you’re back there in the locker room where the average fan can’t go,” Sparks said.
Sparks said he plans to keep pounding the pavement by day and honing his craft at night — one weekly publication at a time.
“I don’t want to be one of these media people who just goes and watches and not report on facts,” Sparks said.
The Milwaukee Community Journal considers itself Wisconsin’s largest African-American newspaper.