I didn’t come to TU with the goal of writing for the Collegian. In fact, my freshman year I came to a couple meetings but was scared away because I didn’t think that my writing would be good enough for me to ever get paid, let alone be published for the entire campus to read.
It wasn’t until I got pneumonia (somewhat exaggerated) at the Tulsa–OU game my sophomore year with Jesse Keipp that I even thought about coming to work at the Collegian. He asked me to be the Sports Editor and after an intense interview process by Conor Fellin and Kyle Walker where I had to explain the social impact of sports and other things I had only vaguely connected with sports, I was named the new Sports Editor.
I remember my first Sunday of layout staring at the computer blankly wondering what the hell I was supposed to be doing, but everyone in the office helped me learn the ropes and now I like to think I can use InDesign like a true master — as long as it’s in a four-column format with all the settings already configured for the paper, cause Lord knows I don’t actually know anything about InDesign.
Becoming an editor changed the way I got to experience sports. I wasn’t just a fan or an observer anymore. I was tasked with writing and analyzing how games were played. I got to go up to the press box, the media rooms and attend controversial press conferences like after men’s golf was cut due to budget cuts in 2016.
Some of my favorite college adventures are when Jesse and I decided to drive up to Memphis for a road game sophomore year or when we hiked around Dayton’s campus eating Wendy’s after Tulsa made the NCAA tournament during my junior year.
During my time sports was always the smallest group of writers, but hell we were dedicated to our craft. Pat, Wade, Joe, Justin, Mason and Jesse put a lot of work into making the sports section the best we could and without them I wouldn’t have been able to put the Sports section together any week.
Working for the Collegian made me realize that sports can serve as more than just entertainment. During my time as Sports editor we saw the University of Missouri-Columbia football team strike, Colin Kaepernick refuse to take a stand during the National Anthem, the news came out the the Women’s National team was being paid less than their male counterparts, we saw the true impact of concussions in sports and two teams ended title droughts for their cities.
I don’t know if I would have paid a whole lot of attention to these issues had I not been the Sports Editor. Without Conor and Kyle challenging me to explore the bigger role that sports plays in the world, I wouldn’t truly understand that a college football team could bring attention to social issues or just how much good the world of sports can truly do.
The Collegian and everyone that I worked with challenged me to see the world for what it is and that is something that I will use for the rest of my life.