I like sports. Anyone who knows me knows this to be true. I can talk about baseball and golf for hours on end, and my idea of a productive Sunday is plopping down in front of the TV and watching “NFL RedZone” for a few hours.
While I dabbled in a number of sports growing up, baseball was always my main focus (I was the Matt Stairs of my seventh grade Little League team). A decided lack of ability kept me from playing anything at an organized level once high school rolled around, but I never lost sight of the beauty that lies in pure competition. The sight of humans pushing themselves to their physical and mental limits, all in the pursuit of reaching that next level, has always awed me and always will.
Combine that with my longstanding affinity for reading and writing, and you might think sports journalism would have presented itself as a natural path. But, it never felt that way — not right off the bat, anyway. Anyone who lived in Jogues during the 2013-14 school year knows how much golf I watched in the third floor lounge, but my high school didn’t even have a newspaper. I was completely green when it came to any kind of nonfiction writing.
The fall of my sophomore year marked a major turning point for me. I had started my own golf news blog over the summer and decided to reach out to The Fordham Ram to see if I could contribute some pieces for the new semester. One of the sports editors at the time, Max Prinz, not only said yes, but also offered me a spot as a beat writer covering the Fordham golf team.
My first instinct was to politely decline — I had never done actual journalism before, after all. But I distinctly remember sitting on my bed and asking myself the question: what would happen if you actually did this? Somewhat impulsively, and having absolutely no idea what I was getting into, I took the job.
Fast forward more than two years, and I don’t think anyone else has written a single word about golf in The Fordham Ram. I became assistant sports editor after a few months of writing and took over the entire section at the beginning of this year. Along the way, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing colleagues, both on the sports staff and up and down the masthead.
I’ve now had the pleasure of covering Fordham Golf for five semesters, as well as Fordham Football, Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Baseball and Women’s Tennis for varying amounts of time.
I’ve also been able to give my thoughts on my favorite pro sports — special thanks to the readers for sticking around, even if you didn’t want to read a millionth column on the PGA Tour.
And now, after hundreds of hours spent tapping away on my computer or working down in the print shop, there are only a few issues left. The Fordham Ram will have a crop of new editors in 2017, just as it has for the past 98 years. I’ve had two years to leave my mark, and while it’s never good to stagnate, I can’t help but feel nostalgic about my time with Fordham’s foremost publication.
A few brief acknowledgements as I try to tie up any loose ends: thanks to Max Prinz and Matt Rosenfeld for giving my writing a chance. Thanks to Anthony Pucik for teaching me basically everything I know in my current role. Thanks to Drew Casey, Jack McLoone, Pat Costello and Matthew Michaels for their friendship and dedication. And thanks to all staff members, past and present, for the hard work that goes into producing a newspaper every week.
As graduation nears, I find myself facing a challenging job market and an ever changing sports media landscape, as well as the worries I’ve come to expect as I try to shake off the last remnants of my teenage angst. But whatever challenges may come my way in the next few years, I know that I’m better equipped to face them thanks to my time with The Fordham Ram.