John: Hack departs Syracuse after discovering profession he truly loves

first_imgYears ago, when I was just a kid, I had a conversation with my dad about what I wanted to do when I grew up. His message to me was simple: Find something that you truly love, and do it to the best of your ability. Over the years, my dad has always been the supreme example of that. I can’t think of many people who love what they do more than how much he loves being an architect. Though the day-to-day grind has undoubtedly caused its fair share of stress over the years, he genuinely loves his career and enjoys getting out of bed and going to work. Growing up, I often thought about his advice. I wasn’t sure there was anything I would enjoy doing professionally as much as he did. One thing I did love was sports. When I wasn’t playing, I spent most of my time studying and reading about the players of the major professional and college teams. I religiously read my favorite sports writers, Michael Wilbon (long before ‘Pardon the Interruption’ came along), Thomas Boswell and Mike Wise, in The Washington Post. At one point, I was somewhat of a sports encyclopedia. Friends and family members would ask me about certain players, and I could usually give them a full biographical and statistical breakdown. When I was told I could have my choice of any book in a downtown bookstore as a gift, I chose a simple, $20 sports almanac.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text It wasn’t until after high school that I even thought about trying to tackle a career in sports journalism. While many of my friends and colleagues in the student media at Syracuse University have known that this is what they wanted to do since childhood, I just never thought it could happen. Not to me. I didn’t even enjoy writing growing up, and I certainly wasn’t any good at it. So how was that going to work? In addition, I had let myself get sidetracked. I found myself listening to those, most of whom knew nothing about the industry, who would tell me about the difficulties of embarking on a career in print media. Yet that didn’t stop me. I started a sports blog and wrote about anything I thought people would be interested in. I soon found that the more I wrote the more I began to like it, and then love it. Eventually, in what I consider to be a turning point in my life, I bit the bullet and enrolled at SU with one thing in mind: I wanted to pursue what I loved to the best of my ability. I had very little writing capacity (just ask my editors), but I had a desire to learn the craft and found some of the best teachers available at The Daily Orange. During my time The D.O., I’m proud to say I’ve taken my father’s advice and truly found something I love — and I’ve tried to do it to the best of my abilities. Like so many that have gone before me at this newspaper, I’ve worked harder here than I ever have at anything else in my life. When I worked as sports editor while covering the SU football and men’s basketball teams this past season, in addition to being a full-time student, I would joke with my colleagues that we were working the equivalent of three full-time jobs. We barely slept. Yet despite the long hours — whether in the office, writing and reporting, or on a road trip covering a game — it rarely felt like work. I didn’t mind flying to Seattle and back, writing four stories over the course of a weekend. Nor did I mind driving back to Syracuse from Madison Square Garden during the middle of the night to make it to an early morning class the following day. Those experiences, along with the many wonderful people who I’ve associated with along the way, are why I love doing what I do. A very wise person once told me that to have a career in this business you have to love writing even more than you love sports. I hope I’m being honest with myself when I say that I have made that transformation. So after more than 250 bylines, this will be my last in the pages of this newspaper. I may be entering a tough, competitive profession that has been on the decline in recent years, but I’ve found the one thing I truly love doing. And I hope that leads to a career that I not only enjoy, but one that makes me want to get out of bed in the morning. Andrew L. John is a former sports editor at The Daily Orange, where his columns no longer appear. You can reach him at [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ Commentscenter_img Published on May 10, 2011 at 12:00 pmlast_img

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