When my sports editor at the time I was a lowly gymnastics writer informed me that was would be cover UF football during the following fall, I was more than ecstatic. I couldnít help but feel a little sheepish because I did not know what I did to deserve such a dramatic promotion. In any event, I kept my mouth shut and did everything I could to prepare myself for the most demanding beat at the Alligator.
The 2003 season was a whirlwind. I went places Iíve always wanted to go, I met people that Iíve respected to a long time and I had the opportunity to have my work read by many people across the state. But there was nothing that happened during the season that could have prepared me for what I was about to experience. Towards the end of the fall semester, the then-assistant sports editor asked me if I would be his assistant in the spring when he would be the sports editor. While I had no editorial aspirations, I agreed because I like the person who asked me and did not want to disappoint anyone.
After spending one relatively stress-free semester as the assistant sports editor, I assumed the role of sports editor in the fall of 2004. I was still covering football, I was working for two major newspapers, I was trying not to fail out of school and I had to deal with all of the drama that goes into running a section in the largest student run newspaper in the country. It was a bit of a hand full to say the least.
Iíve included just a small sample of the things that Iíve been able to do while at the Alligator. By far, my favorite part about writing for the Alligator is the column that I was asked to write when I started covering football. It allows me to express my usually subdued opinions and write in a conversational tone with my personality interjected throughout. Iíve included a few columns from this semester and last as an example. As I alluded to before, another wonderful aspect of journalism I have been able to explore at the Alligator is feature writing. While it usually requires a lot of hard work and some serious due diligence, it is always worth it. I have included three features that I have written for the alligator. The first is from my first season on the football beat, the second is from this past season and the final one is from this semester. My one goal as a writer is to continually get better. Hopefully, you will be able to tell if Iíve accomplished that by reading each piece.