As the semester draws to a close, I find myself feeling nostalgic. After spending three years avoiding sports journalism because my journalism idol told me I could never detach myself enough from my favorite teams to be a sports journalist instead of a sports fan, I answered an email from a couple of capstone students requesting a photographer to stand in for one of the first football games.
I told Karen I would love to give it a shot. After she told me she was jealous as shit–I would prefer not to say whether or not that’s an actual direct quote..but it is–she ran me through a quick photo lesson and wished me luck. I met the KBIA Sports Extra reporter shortly thereafter, some kid named JJ, to obtain a credential. I found out he was from Chicago, so we jawed about former Denver, now Chicago Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler and other sports BS of the time. I put out a pretty forgettable set of photos., in retrospect. Nevertheless, a connection was made that would eventually lead me into the fold for my capstone project.
Dramatic though this may sound, that email kind of changed the course of my career. I fell in love with sports reporting after spending three years wondering if I had committed myself to the premier program of something I really did not want to do. Journalism to that point, although I was generally happy with a lot of what I had done, was the reason I went to sleep at night. Covering sports became a reason to wake up. It fits my personality, and although I at times felt severely outclassed by the experience and expertise of many of my co-workers, I expect to continue to improve as I learn the nuances of this craft.
My constant worries throughout those first three years at Mizzou about a forthcoming life of unhappiness in a craft I barely enjoyed have been laid to rest. I can handle the stigma of a sports journalist, and hope to defy it more often as I gain experience. For now, I’m diong the best i can and loving every minute of it. I could not be more grateful for the convergence department, KBIA, Sports Extra, and all other associated entities who made this a possibility.
Thank you, everyone.