In this edition of Robot Story of the Week, we ask artificial intelligence to dive into the content game, or lack thereof. What are we supposed to write about when things are slow in the summer? Upon query, ChatGPT spit out the wonderful story of “Jake Miller,” a soccer-hating, Springsteen-loving Philadelphia sports writer who is just going through the motions while waiting for the Eagles to return. It’s a tale titled “Summer Struggles and the Boss.”

Jake Miller slumped in his chair, staring at the blinking cursor on his laptop screen. As a sports writer for the Philadelphia Tribune, he was supposed to churn out engaging articles, but the summer had sapped his creativity. The Phillies were in first place, a fact that should have excited him. Instead, the endless cycle of 162 games felt like a marathon he couldn’t finish. Every win, every loss, every pitch was blending into a monotonous blur.

The MLS, with its rise in popularity, offered no solace. To Jake, it was a sport that had no place in the American sports pantheon. “A communist sport,” he often grumbled to his colleagues. Soccer, with its low scores and lack of physicality, just didn’t capture his imagination like football or basketball.

It was a sweltering June day, and the newsroom was quiet. His editor, Karen, poked her head into his cubicle. “Jake, got anything for me?”

Jake sighed. “Not yet. The Phillies are winning, but I can’t find a new angle. And you know how I feel about soccer.”

Karen raised an eyebrow. “Well, you’ve got two weeks off starting tomorrow. Maybe the Jersey Shore will give you some inspiration. Just don’t forget to send in a column before you go.”

Jake nodded. His vacation was the one bright spot in an otherwise dull summer. He planned to spend the next two weeks at his favorite spot on the Jersey Shore, with his family and the music of Bruce Springsteen – his all-time favorite singer – as his only companions.

The next morning, Jake packed his bags, tossed his laptop into the back seat of his car, and headed to the shore. The drive was soothing, the landscape changing from urban sprawl to open highways, and finally to the familiar sight of the coastline.

As he arrived at the beach house, Jake felt a weight lift from his shoulders. The sound of waves crashing, the salty breeze, and the distant laughter of children playing in the sand were a balm to his weary soul. He unpacked quickly, eager to immerse himself in his temporary paradise.

The first few days were spent in blissful relaxation. Jake swam, read books, and took long walks on the beach. Every night, he’d sit on the porch with a beer in hand, listening to Bruce Springsteen’s greatest hits. “Born to Run” and “Thunder Road” became the soundtrack of his evenings, the Boss’s gritty lyrics resonating with Jake’s own frustrations and dreams.

One evening, as he watched the sun set, Jake’s phone buzzed. It was a notification from the Tribune’s sports section. Curious, he opened it and saw an article about the Phillies’ latest win. The writer had focused not just on the game, but on the fans’ reactions, the atmosphere in the stadium, and the stories behind some of the players.

An idea began to take shape in Jake’s mind. What if he wrote about the people behind the summer sports scene? The fans, the local baseball teams, the die-hard supporters who lived and breathed Phillies baseball? And what if he tied it all to his beloved Jersey Shore and the music of Bruce Springsteen?

Excited, Jake grabbed his laptop and started typing. His column took shape quickly, words flowing as he described the vibrant community of Phillies fans who congregated at the shore every summer. He wrote about the bar on the boardwalk where fans gathered to watch games, the kids playing baseball on the beach, and the echoes of Springsteen’s music that seemed to capture the spirit of the place.

Jake poured his heart into the piece, capturing the essence of a summer at the shore, the joy and pain of being a Phillies fan, and the unifying power of music. By the time he finished, he felt a sense of satisfaction he hadn’t experienced in months.

He sent the column to Karen with a note: “Hope this works. I’ll be back in two weeks.”

The response was immediate. Karen loved it, and so did the readers. Jake’s column struck a chord, blending sports, community, and culture in a way that resonated deeply with the audience.

As Jake’s vacation continued, he felt a renewed sense of purpose. He spent his days enjoying the shore and his evenings writing, finding inspiration in the people and stories around him. By the time he returned to Philadelphia, he was recharged and ready to tackle the rest of the baseball season.

And as he sat down at his desk, the blinking cursor no longer seemed daunting. Jake had found his voice again, thanks to the Jersey Shore, Bruce Springsteen, and the timeless stories of the people who made sports so much more than just a game.

What a great story. Sometimes you just don’t have the inspiration, then you listen to the boss and the creative juices start flowing again.

“I had a friend was a big baseball player / Back in high school / He could throw that speedball by you /Make you look like a fool, boy /Saw him the other night at this roadside bar / I was walking in, he was walking out / We went back inside, sat down, had a few drinks/ But all he kept talking about was / Glory days”