Goodbye column: Sports Editor Zach Birdsong
Sports Editor Zach Birdsong says goodbye to all those who helped him
Published: Thursday, May 3, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2012 00:05
After six years of being in college, I can finally say that I am less than two weeks away from graduating, and boy does that sound weird.
I started going to school at the University of Oklahoma in the fall of 2006, but found myself hating every minute of being there. I’m not saying that OU isn’t a great school because believe me; I had always wanted to attend school there ever since I was a little kid. I just learned quickly that it wasn’t for me, but stuck through it until I just couldn’t handle it anymore and I came home to Houston in the spring of 2009.
After taking somewhat of a year off while I was attending classes at the Lonestar Community College, I found what I wanted to do and that was become a journalist. The question was, where could I go that I would love and feel like myself.
In the spring of 2010, I took a tour of Sam Houston State University and immediately knew that I was “home.” When I officially moved to Huntsville in August of 2010, I had never felt more comfortable.
In the spring of 2011, my life changed for the better when I was taking the mass communications course, Writing for Mass Media. My professor for that course was Robin Johnson, Ph.D., and the faculty adviser of the Houstonian, the student newspaper on campus.
I still remember one of the first things that he said in class and that was that the newspaper was always looking for students to contribute. I took that upon myself and immediately printed an application from the newspaper’s website and applied.
Shortly after leaving my application, I received a phone call from then Viewpoints Editor, Stephen Green. He asked me what I wanted to and I said “sports” and he gave me the Sports Editor at the time, Brandon Scott’s phone number.
I got in contact with Scott and a day later, I found myself covering my first sporting event at the university, and was on the sidelines of the SHSU and Stephen F. Austin men’s basketball game.
In the summer, after having applied, I was named Sports Editor at the Houstonian and believe me, I was nervous about that. Little did I know that I would be working with a great staff and have the opportunity to experience so much in the one year that I have been an editor at this newspaper, and for that, I am so thankful for the opportunity.
This year, I have experienced a lot including interviews with Taking Back Sunday and most recently Nolan Ryan, and then I also had the tremendous opportunity to cover the football team as they made the 2012 Football Championship Subdivision National Championship game.
Despite all of that, the thing that I will remember the most out of anything is the great people that I worked with during my time at the Houstonian. Since this is my “goodbye” article, I thought it would be a good opportunity to remember all of those people. And so my fellow staff writers can relax a little bit, I am going in the order of people who I first came in contact with.
Brandon Scott, you immediately helped me get into sports writing and I can’t thank you enough for that. Still to this day, you continue to give me advice and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. In this business it’s about staying ahead and knowing the advantages, so I’ve been appreciative of everything that you have told me.
Stephen Green, hopefully my lead in this article didn’t suck. Joke aside, everything that you have done this semester as Editor-in-Chief has been to push us and me to make us better. And while I may have been a little frustrated, I know it’s for the best and I know it will help me after I graduate. Outside of work though, you have become a friend and I’ll remember all the bowling nights and hopefully if things go right, I’ll be able to join a league with you.
Speaking of bowling, the next person for me to mention has to be Karmen King. You are the one person on staff that I could talk to about anything, although I’m sure most times you were thinking, “just shut up already,” or maybe that was reserved for Meagan. I will feel sad in June when I don’t have another “dumb” article for you to run this month, I just randomly complain about how there’s nothing for me to write about. Just like everyone else on staff, you have become a friend to me and I’ll miss you next semester.
George Mattingly, “Sassy” or whatever other nicknames we had for you in the newsroom, I’ll miss randomly laughing with you and all the inside jokes that we shared and I’ll miss your insane rants. You were always direct and honest and I appreciated that. But I have to ask, “Hahah, so did you hear about….”
Jessica Gomez, the amazing photographer who always snapped great shots, I’ll definitely miss you. When the fall comes around, I’ll miss following you around and talking with you on the sidelines of football games. And even more so, I’ll miss your personality and randomly talking about different bands that we’ve seen in concert and which bands we do or don’t like.
Cody Lewis, even though you are a Dallas fan, I’ll forgive you and say that I’m going to miss working with you. You have a great writing style already and just continue to work on that and you will be successful in the future. I’ll definitely be keeping in contact and see how everything is going.