Sam I am. My name is Sam Fortier and allusions toward Dr. Seuss’s tale have been tossed my way since the first-grade. Eleven years later, at 16 years old, I have been contemplating creating a blog for some time now. Word Press was the highest recommended of all the sites reviewed online and was the most highly touted by all the people I talked to.
I’ve been interested in a career in journalism and have always loved writing. Time and time again I have heard that the best way to gain experience in writing is to do and blogging was the best outlet. Even Webster University (St. Louis, MO) – a college I visited in December – said they required all of their students to have one. My father as well as other adults in my life has been administering that advice for about a year now. As much as I love writing, my biggest passion is sport. I love sports; whether playing, writing, or watching. In grade school I played football, basketball, and baseball. Football was not offered at my high school, so I had to stop playing, which was disappointing. I stopped playing baseball when I got to high school for personal reasons, but it was always my favorite. Basketball, my school’s staple athletic team, became my favorite. During my sophomore season, seven seconds into the team’s first scrimmage, during an attempted charge, the opposing forward and his full 200 pounds landed on my head and caused a concussion. That left me out of all athletic competition and training for the next two months. I felt lost without it, but even though I could not play sports, the passion never died. I began writing about the team’s games. Over the summer, with my father as acting editor, I wrote a few article’s about the Red Sox dreary 2012 season.
When I was little, I always had the thought that I would go on and play professional baseball and if not, hey, I could go play in the National Football League. Of course, as I rose through tee-ball, Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth that I realized that – wait a minute – people got a lot better at sports. When I went to my first professional baseball game in 2003 (Pedro Martinez’s 300th win against the Rays) I watched batting practice and realized that these guys were good, really good. My aspirations in journalism I can say were inspired by my love of sports, but my inability to play them at a high enough level to sustain a living. That, coupled with admiration for the sports journalists of my time and writing, led to journalism. One such man was Stephen A. Smith. That man may be the funniest and smartest analyst on ESPN, he single-handedly can capture an audience, make them lean in toward the television set in anticipation and invent catchphrases on whim. That art is more impressive to me than any homerun or touchdown toss. His and Skip Bayless’s battles on First Take are on my DVR daily. Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon provide excellent insight on Pardon the Interruption and Tony Reali, J.A. Adande, Woody Paige, Bob Ryan and others couldn’t make sports any more intriguing on Around the Horn. Their issues they cover are relevant and pressing. They also make the audience enjoy the show as much as they do; all three shows are packed with as much knowledge as they are fun. With Stephen A’s explosions, Woody Paige’s board and Kornheiser’s Canadian flag – there is much of the latter.
I was the Play-by-play announcer over the PA system for the Dover, NH-based Seacoast Titans football team during the fall of 2012. While there, I also wrote a small column for the local paper, the “Fosters Daily Democrat,” about the games and gained valuable experience as a reporter. The key is the deadline. I found that the biggest change at the paper from the classroom was the pressure to be efficient and get the job done. While essays are required in the classroom, it’s a bit more difficult to craft a 300-word, intriguing account of a high school football game in an hour than it is to write a five page essay on the motifs contained within Romeo and Juliet in a week. By more difficult, that’s to say…to do it justice. The Romeo and Juliet essay could write itself, dry and dull work that merely requires time. However, when having a mere 300 words to put a hard-fought, overtime thriller into words, it’s hard to do the game justice. Written and re-written is the story to find a suitable tone and the best style.
Overall, my goal in setting up this blog is to make a deadline for myself. I hope to publish a story at least every Monday, hopefully more. The goal of this blog is to simulate a real work-style environment and prepare me for what I hope will be an illustrious and prospering career in journalism. So, like Dr. Seuss said “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way.”