Schwedelson: Hack realizes reporting about sports isn’t really about sports

first_imgAs a child, my daily routine consisted of waking up at 5 or 6 a.m., rushing downstairs, turning the TV to SportsCenter and playing Backyard sports games on my family’s desktop computer. When I was even younger than that, my dad was concerned that I knew the name of every NFL team before I knew every letter in the alphabet.Something about sports drew me in. I’m not entirely certain what, but I became hooked. MVP Baseball 2004 had the best soundtrack of any video game in history, playing catch and basketball with friends became the norm and epic two-hand touch football games at recess occurred daily.Playing was fun but discussing the games was even more enjoyable. When friends played, I enjoyed narrating the action. It continued through high school doing broadcasts for my TV production class.But once I got to college, my interests evolved. As I watched the teams I grew up watching less and less, I began to realize the games don’t quite matter as much as I used to think. Wins and losses come and go all the time. And as I got more and more involved with The Daily Orange, I fell in love with telling stories that transcend what people see on TV. What I realized was reporting about sports is only partially about sports.Sure, you have to know the game’s rules and concepts. But the most interesting stories are more about the people that participate than the actual games. Reporting on that became infinitely more fun than narrating the games. What I’ve learned in the past few years is that people connect and relate to other people, their lows and highs, their strife and success, their moments of vulnerability and moments of glory.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMy favorite story I’ve reported on for The Daily Orange took a few months to put together and it combined two of my favorite parts about this “job.”When I first met Brendan Bomberry, the thing I told him was that I wanted to share his story. I wanted to take a peek into his life and show readers that he’s more than just a faceless lacrosse player. I wanted to show he’s a person, just like you and me, and he’s had some things happen in his personal life fans might not otherwise know about. His choice to transfer to Syracuse was because of the people he wanted to be closer to. It’s a story about a lacrosse player, but it’s not about lacrosse.My responsibility is to tell stories as well as possible so a photographer and I hopped in a car and followed Brendan for four hours to his house in Ohsweken, Ontario. We wanted to be there so we could show readers what his family life is like as well as we could. We wanted to be the eyes and ears of readers and take them behind the scenes. The best way to do that is to travel.I realized I enjoyed traveling when I visited my sister in London in November 2014. It inspired me to study there six months later and further sparked my interest in traveling for The D.O. I’ll never forget the countless miles on interstates, the random people we stayed with and all of the things that went wrong (speeding ticket, car getting towed, car battery dying, not having a hotel room booked, getting trapped inside multiple stadiums, getting trapped inside an arena, getting trapped inside a parking garage, atrociously shanking a lacrosse shot, puking after being dared to eat a plate of garlic parmesan wings and observing the driver of a moving vehicle get titty twisted).I’ll remember the things that went well, too, but those aren’t as funny.While driving to report for my last story at The D.O., the song “Something Just Like This” came on the radio. Being the sentimental person I am, I realized that I couldn’t have asked for a better four years.I wanted something just like this, and The D.O. gave it to me.Thanks, 744.Paul Schwedelson is a senior staff writer at The Daily Orange, where his column will no longer appear. He can be reached at pmschwed@syr.edu or on Twitter @pschweds.– 30 – Comments Published on April 26, 2017 at 10:11 pm Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more