The best journalists are sports writers.
That is right. Writers.
When I volunteered at The Daily Gamecock, I wanted to write with that passion. I hoped to shoot pictures that captured a fire of emotions; the kind in which you see every line, feeling, and expression in a player’s face.
In high school, I shot pictures on the sideline. Shy girl in khakis almost got hit by a running back and the ball. Storytelling burned through interceptions and one hand catches for touchdowns. I fell in love with more than sports. I read more sports articles than I wrote.
In my two year career as a journalist, I worked primarily as a political, education and hard news reporter. I still read and cheered for my teams. I felt excitement like when Dad first took me to the (former) Greenville Braves baseball games.
Boston Red Sox articles from The State covered my wall.
When the South Carolina Gamecocks beat in-state rival Clemson for the third year in a row, I looked at every photograph taken by The State and read all articles.
Sports writers at The State have talent that flows onto the paper. Just like the Carolina-Clemson rivalry, some bring their own drama. Sports journalist, Ron Morris, has made his feelings known about South Carolina. It led to SC Coach Steve Spurrier banning him from a post-practice conference last season. Other journalists came in. Morris stayed out.
But, when Morris does write with intensity about the Gamecocks, he pens that page. He knows sports. He is a natural writer.
Sports bloggers and journalists cannot wait for the next home run or touchdown. I feel the same way as fan, and I love reading their work. Sports writers get to use the best verbs. Emotion comes easy. Nothing is ever slow.
When I interviewed Steve Spurrier at a post-practice in 2008, I could not believe what I was doing. I stood with all those men, and waited my turn to ask questions.
As a fan, I turned into a beer drinking, cursing fan in a garnet and black dress. I yelled louder than the boys, and paid attention to every down.
And, I still do.
My husband wonders how many hours I will spend watching college football on Saturday. Not to mention the time I take Sunday morning to read articles, blogs, and check statistics.
What is so Funny …
I was born with orange blood.
Yes, it is true. I reveled in reading and knowing everything about Clemson football. I came from a long line of Clemson University fans and graduates.
But, I felt the excitement, the thirst to win, and the in your face fandom at South Carolina. I was hooked.
Beyond my dedication, I wanted to write. What I found is there are others who are meant to tell the story of South Carolina football and baseball.
What can we learn as writers …
No matter what we write, we should read anything and everything. In 2009, I reached the point where looking at a gray newspaper made me jump. Now I read the sports section again. I want to know what is going on. More importantly, I want to see how the sports journalists are writing. What has changed?
What makes this article so exciting? What is it about this style?
Justin King Media
Music and video are other tools great for storytelling. Justin King has used his talent since 2010 to tell the story of South Carolina football. He takes sports one step further. He knows what football means to fans, and he combines words, pictures, video and music.
I write sports within my creative work.
From Sons of the Edisto:
Owen lets go of Easley and smiles as he walks back to his team. JD’s back in the game, he thinks. He spreads out his offense, and gets ready to run the ball down the center. He wants nothing more than to outrun Easley, make him fall, and get a mouth full of dirt.
Today’s post is dedicated to the South Carolina Gamecocks.
By Rebecca T. Dickinson
© 2006-2012 by R.T. Dickinson. All rights reserved. No part of the Sons of the Edisto manuscript or material related to it may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of R.T. Dickinson.