Sports Journalism Blog

Posted on January 8th, 2017 in 2016-17 College Football Playoff National Championship, Student Work by jackcarn

In the days leading up to my departure for Tampa Bay to cover the College Football Playoff National Championship, I was mainly worried about things like writing quality stories, getting to know icons in the business and interviewing players a whole foot taller than me.

I was right to be concerned with those things. Writing my first story from one of the biggest sporting events I’ve ever attended was a challenge. So was getting to know some of the great people who were at the Football Writers of America Association Past President’s Dinner. And most players I interviewed at Media Day were in fact 12 inches taller than me.

But there were some things I ignored.

For example, I’ve never tied a tie before. Had to do that for the first time before the FWAA dinner. After three YouTube videos and a total of three or four attempts, I tied a half Windsor knot. I’m assuming this means there’s a full Windsor knot somewhere out there. Maybe next time.

I’ve also had to deal with the annoying pressure change that comes with flying 40,000 feet in the air. I’m multiple days removed from landing and I still don’t feel like I have complete equilibrium in my head. The good news is each sneeze from my cold seems to bring me back closer to the ground.

This is the first time in my life I’ve dressed up two days in a row. I have a nice dress shirt, nice pants, nice shoes. I even have a tie clip. (Speaking of my wardrobe, I have a new fisherman’s hat thanks to the great media relations people here.)

And then there’s the small stuff—like my Dayquil that I can’t seem to open in less than 10 minutes. That packet of two tablets goes in my pocket when I get dressed and stays there until breakfast. That’s when I use my fork to pry the thing open and get my medicine.

I definitely prepared for the right obstacles, but I overlooked the ones not dealing with my work, which was apparently a mistake.

So while interviewing 6-foot-5, 340-pound Dexter Lawrence of Clemson was a tad bit intimidating, I honestly worked harder to get my half Windsor knot tied the night before.

By Tyler Fenwick | @Ty_Fenwick