I broke into the journalism business on the news side at a small newspaper in my home state of Michigan. On my first day, fire destroyed a home. The fire chief walked me through the charred skeleton of the house. It’s been 21 years, but I can still smell the smoke. I can still see him pointing to a door that was closed. When he opened it, the room behind it was barely damaged. Then he pointed to an open doorway, and the room it led to was a crispy mess. Whether the door was open made all the difference.
I was so excited—my first day, and I had a story I would never forget. I’ve never lost that thrill of finding stories. Not for one day. In journalism, I love when people open their lives to me. I love to write stories that move.
The best part of being a journalist is I get to do something different every day. I have bowled with Tony Stewart, hiked with Green Berets, whitewater rafted with Miss Kansas and jumped 85 feet in a dune buggy in the desert with Greg Biffle.
In pursuit of stories, I have jumped out of an airplane, finished in last place in a spelling bee, conned my way into the flyover before a NASCAR race and auditioned to be a mascot (I failed miserably). My claim to fame, if I have one, is that I am the only writer in the 126-year history of Sporting News to appear on the cover. I had to jam a plastic car in my mouth to do so, but that hasn’t stopped me from bragging about it.