“Kid, you should be home baking chocolate chip cookies. You’re taking a job away from a man who needs to support his family.”

I had a co-worker, a veteran sports writer, who used to say this to me frequently at my first newspaper job. His voice had a barking quality, but he was pretty approachable on the whole.

This same man, probably about 30–40 years my senior, also brought me with him to an elite…