The first day I had my driver’s license, I drove my grandparents’ 1978 Buick LeSabre to my girlfriend’s house. Had a date. Priorities, you know.
But the second day? The second day, I drove to my local paper to do whatever it is they trusted a 16-year-old kid to do, which is another way of saying I did whatever nobody else wanted to do. Eventually, they let me write stories, then cover games, then cover games on deadline, and somewhere along the line they actually started paying me and I became dead convinced that this is what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
Anyway, the Star was delivered to my house before I was old enough to read it, so please believe me when I tell you that being a sports columnist here is my dream job. Actually, that might be a bit of a stretch because it implies I thought this was possible, but you get the point.
I grew up in Emporia and Lawrence, spending bouku weekends in Kansas City along the way. My parents didn’t trust that old LeSabre outside the city limits, but my friends and I would sneak away every now and then to stuff ourselves at Gates’, and mom, sorry you’re just now finding out about this. I’ve been at the Star since graduating from Kansas in 2000, covering high schools through 2005 or so, then baseball and the Royals through March of 2010, and then as sports columnist since.
I’ve been big leagued by a high school tennis player, and invited to dinner by millionaires. High school coaches have told me they “take it one game at a time,” while famous professionals have told me about their fears and divorces and, in one case, their farm full of ostriches, lions and tigers. I befriended one story subject who survived three cancers and ended up helping me build a deck, and annoyed others who thought I asked dumb questions. They were probably right.
Kansas City is home to me, and hopefully that helps. Within the first three weeks on the job, e-mailers accused me of hating each of our local Big 12 schools, which is OK because others accused me of being a homer for each school. So you probably won’t always agree with what I write, but you should always know that there is thought and research behind it. You’re free to love it or hate it, digest it or dismiss it, but you’ll never be able to say I’m not working hard or don’t believe what I write.
I live in downtown Kansas City with my roommate, a lab/pointer mix with a touch of separation anxiety named Frankie. I have conflicting interests in working out and pigging out. Don’t judge me on that. I like strong coffee, spicy food, non-fiction books and MMA. I hate the wave, in-stadium proposals, flat beer and slow internet connections.
We can talk about any of this on the blog.
Have a story tip? Want to ask a question? Just giving directions to a good burger joint? Talk to Sam