The old insult about "fans with typewriters" was not coined without reason. As a member of the press - I believe I may still use that term? - you are supposed to report the truth - I believe this concept still exists? - without bias. Or at least to try.
What tests that icy impartiality in the sporting arena is usually nationality, sometimes affinity, sometimes both. So it was understandable that there was a special exultation in the success of British high jumper Dalton Grant at the Paris European Athletics Indoor Championships of 1994.
As European athletes prepare for the 36th edition of the Indoor Championships, which will start on Thursday in the Polish venue of Torun - a feather in the cap for European Athletics - thoughts are naturally turning, just as they used to in the years PP (pre-pandemic) to who will win gold, silver and bronze.
It is a joy to be able to return to such speculation ahead of a Championships where one of the most intriguing events promises to be the men’s high jump.
Earlier this month, in the very same Torun Arena, three European athletes who are back in Poland this week in search of medals played that fascinating poker game that the discipline always encourages, with the result that all three of them bettered the 2021 world-best height with efforts of 2.34 metres.
Countback meant that, on the night, they finished in the following order - Maksim Nedasekau of Belarus, Andriy Protsenko of Ukraine and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy. Four days later Tamberi, he of the Christ-like beard and emotive crowd-raising, which will sadly be redundant on this occasion, went one better at the Italian Indoor Championships in Ancona, clearing 2.35m to take the 2021 world lead all for himself.
It is all ready to kick off, in the very best of ways, starting with Thursday evening’s (March 4) qualifying competition.
Meanwhile I am recalling one of the most gratifying results I have ever had the privilege of covering within track and field - Grant’s golden moment at the 23rd European Athletics Indoor Championships in the French capital.
Grant, from Hackney in north London, was an amiable and admirable presence within British athletics, a hugely gifted high jumper with a winning mentality. Like his younger contemporary in the event, Steve Smith, when it came to backing his talent and taking risks he had cojones.
By the time he arrived at the Palais Omnisports de Bercy, Grant had three silvers in his collection - from the 1989 European Indoors, the 1989 World Cup and the 1990 Commonwealth Games.
This was the moment when he first turned silver to gold, and it was as glorious as was Paris in the spring…
Having cleared 2.23, at his first attempt, Grant sat out the next two heights, at 2.26 and 2.29m, and by the time he resumed at 2.31m there were only two other jumpers in contention - home athlete Jean-Charles Gicquel and Germany’s Wolf-Hendrik Beyer.
So far so good. But then Grant failed twice at his resumptive height, with both his rivals clearing 2.31m at their first attempt. So he skipped on to 2.33m for a one-shot chance of remaining in contention - and cleared.
Gicquel maintained his lead on countback as he also cleared 2.33m at his first attempt, with Beyer getting over on his third attempt.
On to 2.35m - and after one failure, Grant raised the stakes again and moved up to 2.37m - a height he had never cleared before, indoors or out.
While 2.35m proved too much for the German jumper, Gicquel put himself in the gold-medal position by clearing it at his second attempt, setting a French record in so doing.
But the home jumper could go no further - and a second-attempt success at 2.37m secured elusive gold for Grant.
"Championships like this always bring out the best in me," Grant said. "I've never been out of the top 10 since I broke into it in 1988."
Four years later the fruit machine paid out again for one of British athletics' great gamblers.
At the European Championships in Budapest, Grant, by now 32, glimpsed gold again and went for it - but on this occasion he had to settle for silver on countback behind Poland’s Artur Partyka, with both clearing 2.34m.
Having had five failures en route to 2.34m - including one at 2.15m - Grant knew that even if he cleared 2.36m then Partyka could beat him by doing the same, so he went big, targeting what would have been a new personal best.
After Partyka had failed to clear 2.36m, Grant was left with three attempts at 2.38m to earn another gold. With the crowd willing him on he came close; but not close enough.
"I knew I had to give it some welly," he said afterwards.
It was nevertheless a showing of huge nerve and courage from a competitor who was having to compete with pain-killing injections in his knee.
Grant had only made it to the Championships at the 11th hour. While the selectors were meeting to decide their final squad, Grant was getting a flight out of Liverpool - where he had only managed to jump 2.10m - to compete in the following day's meeting at Leverkusen in Germany. There he managed 2.28m to confirm his place in Budapest.
Between winning his European indoor gold and outdoor European silver, Grant had twice finished in fourth place at the World Championships. At the 1997 World Championships in Athens, knowing he was carrying an injury, he had gambled on coming in late - at 2.32m - and cleared, only to miss out narrowly on a medal when 2.35m proved too much.
There was also another reason why Grant’s pre-Budapest form had been a touch inconsistent - the arrival three weeks earlier of another child, and the inevitable interrupted nights.
Later that year at the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games, Grant earned the first outdoor gold of an international career which had begun at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.
"When you come to a major championship you've got to go for it," he said.
"I always seemed to have come fourth in the past. This is the first time outside where I can stand and see the flag go up just for me."
It was lovely to behold. But in retrospect, earning European indoor gold with a lifetime-best clearance was the high point of this high jumper’s long career.