2. They actually have to know something about the subject to get paid.
3. They are used to dealing with real jerks and evaluating them objectively anyway.
4. They know the difference between having a perspective and having a bias. They know when they are rooting for a favorite team or favorite player, are upfront about that, and consciously take it into consideration.
Example: Scoop Jackson at ESPN writes from a black perspective, but not through a race prism. He's interested in any racial angle, and he's willing to give a brother a break. But if someone is just being an ass, he won't spare him.
5. They admit when they're wrong. Sports is humbling, and a sportswriter has to frequently eat his words. They learn to do that and move on. Stand up guys.
6. They know that their job is to tell the story clearly, not "make a difference."
7. They usually have a sense of history beyond their own teenage years.
Please feel free to add to the list. I'd like to get it up to ten, because that's traditional.