Sports Journalism Blog

When I was asked if I wanted to join IUPUI graduate student Mike Williams at this year’s Final Four in Minneapolis, I immediately said yes.

I knew there would be a decent amount of writing involved, but what I didn’t know is that the experience is something that will stick with me for a long time.

When you’re sitting in class, it’s easy to picture yourself in a media scrum in a locker room. But what I discovered last weekend is that nothing prepares you for it more than just putting your head down and doing it. The experience might be intimidating at first, but before you know it, it’ll just come naturally.

The Final Four taught me that the writing is the easy part. The hard part is filling in the blanks of what you’re typing down. You’ve got to have as much content related to your story as you can, whether it’s a quote, a stat, or something you observed during the game. The more relevant each element is to your story, the better the story is going to be in the end.

On the night of the championship, I got my first real taste of what it’s like to work with a deadline. It wasn’t a particularly difficult one to meet, but it pushed me to try and get the story done more quickly. The hardest part about working on a deadline is making sure that you’re working a little faster than normal while creating something that readers will find interesting and worthwhile.

And by the way, the games weren’t too bad, either.

If the Michigan State-Texas Tech game was the “worst” one of the weekend, I’d say it was a pretty entertaining couple of days. This year’s Final Four was my favorite one yet. Not because it was great from a fan’s point of view, but because I was able to enjoy my favorite sport while gaining invaluable experience.

By Zach Griffith | @ZachGriffith17