To Those Who Have Helped Me Along the Way…
Today, August 1, 2012, I start my tenure as NFL National Lead Writer for Bleacher Report–the company I’ve written and worked for since 2009. During my time there, I’ve been an unpaid contributor, one of the first Featured Columnists, an assignment editor for their college internship and an NFL Associate Editor. While I’ve worn a lot of hats, the desire to write full time has always stayed in the back of my mind.
So, at 26, I’ve managed to land the exact job I’ve been working for and there is little chance I could’ve done this on my own. So, a word of thanks:
- First and foremost to my Heavenly Father, without whom I could do nothing good. I’ve not always understood the paths he’s led me down, but I’ve always been confident that he knows what best to grant me. With an amazing family, friends and career, I could not be more blessed.
- My wife, Stacey, who married a young pastoral ministries student and assumed she would live the quiet life of a pastor’s wife and elementary school teacher. She doesn’t even like sports! Thank you for understanding my passion and being there to support me.
- All the teachers who pushed me along the way–Mr. Ristow who (along with my father) modeled what a hardworking husband and father should look like. Professor Bode taught me Latin against my wishes but (moreover) convinced me that laziness wasn’t the path to success. Professor Manthey who always pushed me to think outside of the box and demanded the best out of me. Mr. Sting taught me the mechanics of public speaking and developing convincing arguments. Professor Koestler taught me that good writing isn’t good if it isn’t clean. Professors Koelpin and Paustian who helped me make important career and life decisions.
- Joel Cordes who gave me a chance to do unpaid color commentary for one of the smallest NCAA Div III schools in the country on one of the smallest AM radio stations. He and Dan Lewig also let me “third-wheel” on their tiny little sports show which gave me the chance to professionally cover sports for the first time. Also, Nick Holz and Paul Taylor (and others) who always provided tons of material to argue against and kept me going. Without AJSS, this dream never would have happened.
- To Warren Hauck who gave me my first real paid sports media job at DraftTek. Thank you for giving me a chance to help the site grow into what it’s become.
- The people at Bleacher Report who gave me the chance to succeed and plenty of help along the way–Dylan MacNamara, Rory Brown, Joe Yanerella, Tim Wood, Tim Coughlin, Max Tcheyan, Andrew Brining, Collin McCollough, Matt Miller, King Kaufman and so many others.
- “The Crew” of Wes Bunting, Cecil Lammey and Chad Reuter who have been friends, mentors, teachers and so much more over the past few years. You guys taught me professionalism and that sports media doesn’t have to be a zero sum game.
- All the others who have given me guidance, advice, and help along the way–John Niyo, Hunter Ansley, Russ Lande, Gregg Rosenthal, Tom Kowalski, Dave Birkett, Liz Mullen, Jim Trotter, Sean Jensen, Phil Zaroo, Mike Donnelly, George Atallah and so many others.
- Finally, my pastor and friend, Phil Huebner. You gave my wife and me a shot and brought us down to Florida, “saving” us from another year (or more) in New Ulm. You and your family have been such a blessing to me and mine.
Again, thank you (those listed above and all the others I’ve egregiously missed) for any part you had in me getting to where I am today. I have a truly unexpected and undeserved life and I hope the work I have done and the work I will do makes you proud.