Plus 20 other clichés I’ve tried to avoid in my time with the sports staff

Doug Gulasy

It had to happen sometime.

After six semesters covering sports for the Daily Kent Stater, during which I’ve written stories about 14 different Kent State sports teams, my time is up. In the fall, I’ll be the Stater’s managing editor, trading basketball games for budget meetings.

While I think it is time for me to move on, I will miss working for the sports staff. I was challenged on a daily basis as a sports reporter, which pushed me to become a better journalist.

I’ve always believed sports reporting is the most challenging form of reporting. Every game ends the same, and sports writers have to find different ways to tell the same story.

Most of all, though, covering sports is challenging because reporters have to find ways to write around the clichés that so often come out of players’, coaches’ and administrators’ mouths. In my six semesters at the Stater, I’ve been inundated by those clichés, and I’ve done my best to avoid using them in my stories.

Not anymore, though. In honor of Kent State’s many players, coaches and administrators, I’ve decided to dedicate my final column to their clichés, which have challenged me more than any English paper ever could:

There’s not much to sports reporting; it is what it is (1). On the most basic level, a sports reporter’s job is to go out and cover games, then write about them. It’s not rocket science (2).

Of course, sports reporters do have to fight through adversity (3) sometimes. They have to battle (4) deadlines, writer’s block and those pesky clichés for many of your stories. But as long as they take it one game (or story) at a time (5) and follow the game plan (6), they usually come out on top (7).

That’s what we tried to do this semester. We fought until the end (8) to give you the best Kent State coverage we could, and in my opinion, we achieved that.

We have a championship-caliber team (9) of sports reporters at the Stater. We don’t worry about rankings (10), but I’d consider my staff to be one of the best in the country. We brought our “A” game (11) consistently, and I thought it showed in the quality of our reporting.

Of course, there were missteps along the way. We missed some stories we should have covered, and I’m sorry for that. Unfortunately, when you’re building a program (12), that can happen sometimes. My reporters did the best they could, and I have to say I’m proud of their effort (13). Overall, they showed a lot of character (14).

As this is my last Stater sports column, I’d like to tip my cap (15) to everyone who has helped me get to where I am right now. Putting out the sports section is a total team effort (16), and we have a lot of solid contributors (17).

Because of that, I’d like to thank Jeff Russ, Brock Harrington, Danny Doherty, Tom Gallick, Chris Gates, Josh Johnston, Nick Walton, Pamela Crimbchin, Caleb Raubenolt, Megan Moore, Cody Erbacher and Michael Moses. Any success I had is a credit to the team (18).

I don’t know what’s going to happen next semester. Truth be told, I’m not looking ahead (19). But I do know it will be hard to leave the sports staff behind because we’re just like a family (20).

I didn’t enjoy every second of being a sports reporter – I think that’s an unrealistic expectation. But my good memories far outnumber my bad ones, and for that I’m grateful. Overall, I’ve really enjoyed the past six semesters of covering sports, and I hope you’ve liked our coverage too.

I also know it’s kind of a cliché for satirical columns to turn heartfelt – but some clichés just can’t be avoided.

Contact sports editor Doug Gulasy at [email protected].