Home is where the sports are

I’ve wanted to write for as long as I can remember. My mom put a pencil in my hand as soon as she could because as an English teacher she hoped I would follow her footsteps. I never thought that having the ability to write would put me where I am today.

I’ve always been close to all sides of my family, including my step parents. I grew up in a blessed household with many people surrounding me. All sides of my family had two things in common – myself and their love for sports.

When I was originally asked to write for the paper I had the News Section, maybe Features in mind. Sports was definitely not in my future. I decided I shouldn’t pass up the opportunity when offered because I could always be moved around and I thought it would give me the chance to improve upon my skills as a journalist – so why not?

If you know anything at all about journalism writing you know it isn’t anywhere near how you write an English paper. We have our own language, our own books and we wouldn’t dare use the Oxford comma. If you know anything about journalism writing, you know sports writing is even more difficult. I thought for sure I’d be sent off staff the second my editor read my stories.

It wasn’t until my fourth week writing for Sports that an unsuspect source, my step-mother, mentioned something about how my grandfather and uncle would be proud of me.

My Grandpa Joe and my Uncle Matt were close to me growing up. They were a part of my step family and fueled my passion for basketball and baseball. When I was a sophomore in high school my Grandpa Joe passed away and when I was a senior is high school my Uncle Matt passed away.

My Grandpa Joe watched every sports game he could possibly watch sitting on his chair in his man cave, coaching the boys from his throne. My Uncle Matt, if he wasn’t watching the Major Leagues on TV, he was listening to it on the radio in his studio. Matt wore the same Chicago White Sox hat every game, no matter who was playing.

Now that I work for sports, every time I start to write I think about my grandpa and uncle. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t even be interested in the slightest. I think about how they are probably laughing at my mistakes, joking about my extensive use of commas, but more than anything probably proud to see me doing something I’ve always loved.

I can hear my Grandpa Joe in my ear telling me, “You can do anything you want, sweetheart. Life isn’t an uphill battle but it is a swing and a miss. You just keep hitting until it goes out of the park.”

When asked to write a column, I won’t lie, I hadn’t the slightest clue what to talk about. I suppose though, for me, writing a column means remembering out loud the reason I’m here.

Possibly, by telling everyone about how I took that leap of faith and did something I wasn’t so sure of, will inspire someone else to try something new. The easiest answer isn’t always the best answer. Who knows, you might discover a new love for something.

 

Column by Kelsey RandolphStaff writer