I won’t drag this out, though you don’t yet know what I mean by this, and the point of this entire missive is, if I wanted to, I could drag it out forever. This this, in this context, is my status and livelihood as a professional sports reporter, or a professional reporter in any sense, and it could be dragged out forever given the proper circumstances. The industry is such that this is increasingly difficult, but folks still do it. The avenue to such a life is potholed with rusted-out rebar all the way down, but with a keen enough eye and enough luck that a sinkhole won’t randomly swallow you up, you can make it.
Earlier this week, I chose to no longer drag this out. I accepted a job working for a foundation that enriches lives through singing. If you know me well, you know exactly where I’m going to work; if you don’t, you don’t necessarily need to know the specifics. If you’ve found this, it’s likely because you follow me on Twitter as a professional journalist who covers University of Kentucky sports, and I will no longer do that (though I will still contribute to SB Nation and tweet occasional things about basketball, so please don’t unfollow me as to keep my ego properly half-inflated). I am moving to Nashville, which, that’s pretty cool. But also, boo, because Lexington is one of my favorite places on Earth and so many of the people I love are there. No place means a damn thing in a vacuum, and I wouldn’t care for a second about picking up and moving 200 miles away if it weren’t for the people who made and make Lexington what it is.
I’m publishing this not in the interest of self-anything, but because I want others miring in journalism to know: No matter how it feels sometimes, you can get out if you so choose. I’ve felt stuck, frankly, for years accepting that the skills I learned as a journalist would shoehorn me into doing this forever, if for no other reason than, Who else is going to take me? I know others in the same line of work who feel the same. Journalism builds a lot of skills, but when all you have to show for it are a handful of clips and a meaningless number of Twitter followers, it’s difficult to convince people outside of newsrooms you can do other things.
If you found this post, it’s because you have some interest either in me personally or as a journalist, and either way, I’ve already written enough on this topic. Know that I’ve been so grateful to have written whatever it is I’ve written over the past seven years, and I’ll still do a bit of that, so that’s fine. But also know I’ve never been more invigorated than I am now to head a little bit south and a little bit west to be a part of something more meaningful than I’m able to rightly communicate.
So thanks for everything, UK fans.
As a treat for clicking on this post and reading another 500 words I’ve written, here’s a music video I made in college with my friend Hunter, the funniest person you or I will ever meet. We heard the song on VH1’s Top 100 One-Hit Wonders and thought it’d be funny to make a music video for it, so we did. I remain immensely proud of it.
This video almost went public in UK media circles four or five years ago with the intent to embarrass me. Instead, a media personality told me about having the video but instead hanging on to it as a way of blackmailing me against ever embarrassing him/her. The truth is, I am more proud of it than almost every single word I wrote about UK sports, and years and years from now I will eagerly show it to my grandchildren a thousand times before any of the thousands of articles I wrote about the Wildcats. I’m sorry I didn’t post it for a general audience sooner, but after having told that story, I hope you understand why. It wasn’t worth the trouble for an audience constantly and rightfully looking for holes in my credibility.
Thanks for following me over the years, everybody. Stay tuned if you like, or not. I hardly ever tweeted about UK stuff anyway.