I always wanted to be a Ghostbuster. Somewhere around my 10th birthday, however, I finally admitted that being a Ghostbuster just wasn’t going to happen.
I turned my attention to playing pro basketball after that, but I knew that idea was an airball. Then I dreamed of writing pro wrestling storylines for the WWE.
I certainly could have pursued that last one (I would have been good at it!) but I opted for the next best thing: a career in sports writing!
I love writing and telling stories. I was the only kid in my third grade class who could make my poetry rhyme. I won a short story contest in high school that I wrote about alien abductions. In college, I covered the University of Washington football team for three years at the student newspaper.
When I was a kid, I would read the sports section of the Eastside Journal every day before school while eating my cereal. I thought it was the coolest thing ever that people got paid to do that. I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up.
Not many people get paid to do what they love, and I am extremely thankful for the time I spent in the newspaper business.
Some interesting notes from my journalism career:
- I moved to Mobile, Alabama, immediately after college to cover high school sports in the Deep South. This was the most amazing experience of my professional life. In the South, life’s necessities go in this order: 1) Jesus and 2) football, followed closely by food, air, shelter, and water. And let’s be honest, depending on the importance of the game we often saw football jump to the top of that list.
- I was the first daily newspaper writer in the country to profile Julio Jones, a star wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons and Tennessee Titans. Julio is one of the NFL’s best players and I first met him when he was just a freshman at Foley High School. Julio was the back-up running back then, and he looked like a G.I. Joe compared to everyone else on the team. Every high school sports writer has a kid that goes on to big things at the professional level. My guy is Julio.
- Somebody I was writing about actually threatened to cut my balls off if we ran the story. We ran it, and thankfully nothing happened. This guy and his wife managed one of the competitive youth swimming leagues in our area, and they got caught rigging the system so their team got all the best swimmers. We outed them in the paper with plenty of proof, and he flipped out big time. Note to parents: don’t be that guy. Those kids were like 12 years old.
- I have covered a lot of interesting things besides sports: Mardi Gras parades and hurricanes come to mind. I made it safely through two epic hurricanes—Ivan and Katrina—both of which decimated the Gulf Coast. I’ll never forget following one of the local high school football coaches back to his house after Hurricane Ivan. We found his wife in the backyard swimming pool digging through sand to find household items. Yeah, their entire swimming pool was full of sand. Incredible.
I don’t work in newspapers anymore, but I will always miss the rush of deadline writing. This website hosts some of my favorite stories from my journalism career. Each story represents a unique part of my life—little vignettes of who I was and what was happening at the time.
Even now, as I read these old stories, I can vividly remember the people, places, and passion for sports that I was so proud to be a part of.
Thank you for reading!