Sports Writer: Since I graduated from the University of Georgia in 2001, this is what I’ve known. After internships with the Gwinnett (Ga.) Daily Post and the Memphis Commercial Appeal, I accepted my first job with the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal, where I covered prep football. That led me to the Augusta Chronicle in January 2002, where I was the main preps reporter for a two-state area that covered nearly 50 schools. In April 2004, after working the college beat and contributing to the paper’s extensive Masters coverage – which led AJC institution Furman Bisher to honor me with his stamp of approval – I left for the Cincinnati Post.
By the time the paper closed in December 2007, I had covered the Xavier basketball and University of Cincinnati football/basketball beats, while backing up the Bengals and Reds. I covered Mike Tyson fights (where he famously told me that he, in fact, did not sleep in the same hotel room as his homing pigeons) and I covered major professional tennis tournaments (where we watched, stunned, during a postmatch presser as Roger Federer couldn’t stop laughing while thinking about the vast array of American salad dressings). I had also received an education about how to cover big-time sports.
After the Post breathed its last breath, I became a freelancer who wrote – and continues to write – for major newspapers (The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Newark Star-Ledger and the hometown Atlanta Journal-Constitution), magazines (Cincinnati Profile and Cincy), and national websites (cbssports.com, rivals.com and mlb.com).
These days I cover the NFL for CBSSports.com, and I’m about to embark on my journey into the podcasting world.
Author: My first book, released in August 2009, was on the subject of the University of Cincinnati football program that detailed the Bearcats rise from mediocrity – or worse – to become Big East champions and major players on the national college football landscape. Bearcats Rising, as written in the jacket of the book, carefully presents the picture of how and why D-I programs succeed—and fail. Woven consistently throughout the dramatic scenes and character studies is the highly readable story of how major college football really works. No one has ever plumbed the underlying workings of major college football in such a clear and dramatic way. It’s a story for long-suffering Bearcat fans, of course—perched once again on destiny’s doorstep—but it’s also one for every fan who loves college football and wants to know how it really works. It took me, from the epiphany of an idea, nearly two years to write, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
In the summer of August 2012, Clerisy Press released my biography of Sid Gillman – a legendary coach whose offensive schemes can still be seen in today’s NFL but who’s somehow fallen through the cracks of history. In December of 2012, HarperCollins/William Morrow released my e-book on the Heisman Trophy star Johnny Manziel, titled, “Johnny Football: Johnny Manziel’s Road from the Texas Hill Country to the Top of College Football.”
Thinker: I wanted to write “noted thinker” but there wasn’t enough space on the header. I also thought about using “philosopher” but my wife, Julie, thought that would sound pretentious. So, “thinker” it is.