When I accepted the position of football writer, I was then informed that each writer on the beat typically wrote for one of the major state newspapers. And much to my surprise, I was handed the correspondent job at the St. Petersburg Times, one of the most highly regarded newspapers in the country. While it would have been enough for me simply to see my name in a St. Pete byline, it turns out that it was the highest paying coro job in the state. I canít complain about that.
My fist meeting with my soon-to-be boss, Antonya English, went well. We had lunch together and right away I knew this was going to work out just fine. Since that day, I feel that I have been an asset to her in her attempt to give the Times the best coverage of UF sports she can. During the football season, I wrote four practice reports per week, transcribed any quotes from post-practice interviews and Tuesday media days that she needed and wrote a sidebar story at every game.
While I enjoyed the day in and day out proceedings of the job, the most enjoyable time was almost always gameday. I say almost, because I can distinctly remember my second game on the beat. It was in Miami and the game did not begin until after 8 p.m. By the time the game was over, my head was spinning. Deadline is an evil thing, and at a game like that only the strong survive. But aside from the deadline drama after night games, writing about UF football to hundreds of thousands of people was a great experience.