Tag: Sports

March 12, 2018 Article Published

Here we are at last. This is the story that quite literally ran me ragged last week.

To get to why it was such an exhaustive one however, we should probably start from the beginning. So settle in for some storytelling.

The point of origin for this article came while I was at the Associated Collegiate Media convention (about two weeks ago now? Geez, time sure does fly…) and got a text from my honors program friend Mimi. She told me that during a meeting between campus sports clubs, everyone aired a ton of grievances against the Athletics Department about issues like field access for their games and practices.

As much as I was just chatting with her about it casually, my mind was working overtime  thinking about the fact that angry students meant a great story opportunity. To be fair, I do think that was the point of her telling me, so I don’t feel that bad about work taking over from there.

To start investigating the issue, I set up an interview with the sports clubs coordinator Lydia Ayala. We talked for about an hour, and all was fine and good… But then she dropped a bombshell on me.

She let me know that she was planning on resigning because she hadn’t been able to make much of an impact on the kinds of issues we were talking about.

After talking with the Advisor, the Editor in Chief and Walt Baranger – our resident ex-Daily Titan and ex-New York Times expert – we kind of decided that we should try to put something out before Friday to preempt her announcement.

Now, for context, we came to that decision at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. To preempt her announcement, we would have to go to print (online) by the end of the day Thursday, since the Inter-Club Council meeting where she was going to make her announcement was at 1 p.m. Friday.

Considering offices on campus close at 5 p.m., I really did have my work cut out for me.

For the next two days, I spent literally all my time eating, drinking and living this story. I ran back-and-forth across campus like five times easily each day and only got about an hour of sleep in between days. Seriously, I was up until ~7 a.m. Thursday morning just to transcribe interviews and write.

Luckily I had some help with other assistant friends like Kat Padillo and Brian Alvarado, so the work wound up being manageable.

Unfortunately… Timing was not on my side. Basically our entire editorial staff was in New York for a conference, so I really wasn’t able to get much attention for section editing and publishing the story. It was a shame, especially given the insistence of the advisory team I had helping me out and the amount of work I put into getting everything (I had like five interviews by the end of Wednesday, eight by the end of Thursday).

But that’s just how the business works I suppose.

When the pre-event reporting plan went out the window, I instead focused on the Friday event itself. I went with my camera to record video, I live tweeted while I was there and I asked our Photo Editor Gabe to come help me out.

In my general print-centric media ineptitude, I inevitably screwed up the multimedia aspect I had hoped to get. But I did some good live tweeting and Gabe got nice photos, so once I adjusted my story for the new time frame and added in the pictures and such it was all good to go.

I had also wanted a graphical element, and I had one of our Illustrators, Anita, working on that, but it was deemed to be “not visually appealing enough” so we cut it. I personally would have liked to have it there just as extra information for our readers, but I guess that’s just the price of not being at the top of the totem pole.

In the end, despite the heartache and exhaustion that came with this story, I think it turned out quite nice. After all, our job isn’t really about the struggle we go through to get the news out.

It’s about telling the news. Standing with the people when they have grievances and holding those they feel are against them accountable.

From that perspective, I would argue this is one of the most important stories I’ve written. It has plenty of opportunities for follow-up pieces as well, so long as the sports clubs feel comfortable working with me to get out their specific troubles.

With that said, if you want to read this article in its entirety, you can check it out here. You can also see my full archive of work for the Daily Titan over on the right!

March 5, 2018 Article Published

March 5, 2018 Article Published

After a couple of days of hardcore convention-ing, it feels nice to settle in for a week of school with your name adorning the paper once again.

As I teased in my ACP post from yesterday, I’ve had an opinion piece worked up over the last week or so that made it to print in today’s weeklong. Only one paper this week — alongside our special Health Issue — because half our staff is going out to New York.

Honestly that’s a double whammy bonus for me. More time for my story to be out on the stands and more time for me to get some homework out-of-the-way that I’ve been desperate to catch up on. Guess I can count that as one more benefit to not making the cross-country trip.

Enough pussy-footing around though. You’re probably all here to see some of my behind-the-scenes looks at what goes into writing an article. Though if you aren’t and you really do prefer me to just ramble on… Just let me know. I’d love to hear why.

Though my second opinion piece for the Titan isn’t exactly as noteworthy as the first one I wrote last semester, I think I honestly had a little more fun putting this one together. It centers around California Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, my hometown representative actually and a pretty nice guy at that, having put through a bill to the table that would make surfing the official state sport if passed.

Now, I’m not personally super into surfing. I love the beach and I used to surf a bit, but I got pretty traumatized after an incident where I got crushed between a couple of boards during a surfing lesson way back in the day and haven’t really done it since.

Even with that stipulation, I’m not looking to suggest that surfing would be an inherently bad choice for this position. If anything I agree that surfing would make the most sense as a singular sport associated with the state of California. However… I just don’t think it’s right to necessarily boil down an entire facet of a state’s culture into one legislative representative.

There’s a distinction I’m imagining between something like a sport and something like a tree or a flower. Obviously every state has its signature flower or tree, and in a lot of regards that makes sense. Either that flora is common in the area or has some significance for another reason, but it’s easy enough to just say “California has redwood trees. They’re cool. Let’s make that the state tree.”

For human-driven cultural pursuits, I think it’s a little more tricky to pick just one. While surfing is strongly associated with the Golden State, it’s not the only one that holds distinction amongst the people living there. That can go for any state or country really, but it’s especially true for California where (as I note in the story) Big Bear snowboarding and Hermosa Beach surfing are just three or so hours apart.

Essentially my article goes through a number of examples building on the original premise that surfing along doesn’t represent all of California. I talk about beach volleyball. I talk about snowboarding. I talk about basketball. I make a Beach Boys joke.

Because really how could you not with this premise?

Then, once I’ve made a case for why all of those sports could also represent facets of California, I came to the ultimate conclusion that maybe there should not be just ONE single state sport. You discount too much history and culture if you go that route.

After my article was finished, I also decided to get some pictures to accompany it. I live down by the beach after all, so that was an easy thing to get access to. Plus, I get extra points for having photo credits in print. So why not?

Well… If you’ve paid attention to my adventures these past couple of days, you’ll know why not.

That damn bipolar weather.

Really though, outside of the rain this was a pretty fun and easy assignment. I enjoyed the topic and I talked with a source for some background on potential flaws with surfing as a concept who was quite nice.

She even gave me an arts and crafts project… For some reason.

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Still not sure why, but it’s sweet all the same.

If you want to read my article in its entirety, you can check it out here. Or you can see my whole archive of work for the Daily Titan over on the right!

Or, you can always come down to Fullerton to pick it up in person. It’s going to be on racks all week, after all!

February 8, 2018 Articles Published

I had another pair of articles published in the Daily Titan today, which is frankly a pattern I’m liking so far this semester. Based on the chart Harrison has been keeping, I’m at the top of the newsroom’s byline record so far, and I’m happy about that.

I’m a little bit busy at the moment between doing some homework and preparing to cover Academic Senate again, so I won’t spend an exorbitant amount of time writing about these recent articles.

For the most part, they should speak for themselves.

The first story holds the very special distinction of being my first ever piece of journalistic writing for a sports desk. Of any paper.

As I’ve mentioned before, part of my experience in Comm 471 will involve trying out different desks through a rotation. Given that sports has been my first stop of the semester, it makes sense that I’d have a story out for the desk eventually.

What I wrote isn’t necessarily anything flashy. It’s a preview for two men’s basketball games happening this weekend, only about 300 words or so and entirely based upon research into some team-related statistics. There aren’t any interviews for the story because it was originally supposed to have quotes siphoned from an interview someone on the sports desk was going to do, but that interview was cancelled.

So… No quotes.

It’s also a little more jargon-y than I had originally written. After all, I’m clearly not a sports writer, so there are bits of terminology I would not have picked up on by myself that our desk editors had to implement so it could be more natural for their regular audience.

Even so, my buddy Jared told me he was really impressed by the information I was able to pull together and said the edits were very minimal, which I’ll take as a big win for my first sports article.

If you want to check that out, you can see it here. For my fellow non-sporting persons out and about, I assure you it’s a short read.

My second article of the day is a little more involved.

At the Academic Senate meeting two weeks ago, one of the subjects brought up by the body’s Graduate Education Committee was their support for a new database being created to house the theses and dissertations written by graduate students.

I thought that sounded interesting, so I started to do some digging.

Very quickly I found myself a bit more over my head than expected. I first spoke with Mark Bilby from the Pollak Library (who, serendipitously, I met last semester at the Pollak Library’s holiday party). We had a 30 minute conversation about open source data repositories.

That was a joy to transcribe, let me tell you.

Perhaps that sounds a little harsh, as Mark was actually a pretty good communicator of technical issues. He’s one of those people that can make something complicated sound sensible for non-technical people, which is something I’ve found with others I talked to for Gladeo. But that’s a story for another day soon.

I then talked with two members of the Office of Graduate Studies, the current interim director (who started about three days before I spoke to him) and faculty mentor Sandra Perez, who is also the Director of the University Honors program.

Retrospectively, I was at fault trying to include information from Dr. Perez considering it’s a bit of a conflict of interest to talk to someone I know in that fairly personal sense. So everything I had included from our talk was cut out. While that’s a shame considering I liked some of the stuff she said, it’s something I can have someone return to in the future now that I know about some discussions she has been a part of.

Even with that said, I think the article turned out really great. It was re-arranged a bit to emphasize some points, but otherwise all of the stuff sans Dr. Perez that I had included was kept, so I feel good about how I was able to take a rather complicated subject and make it easier to understand for a wider audience.

If you want to see that article in it’s entirety, check it out here.

You can also find the full archive of my work for the Daily Titan over on the right!

Sports? On my blog?

Sports? On my blog?

It’s a rare occurrence I know, but frankly observing sports is a rare occurrence in my life in general, so it makes sense.

I have been known to enjoy a good Dodger game with my family or watch the Lakers on T.V. on occasion, but I’ve never proclaimed to be a sports nut in any respect. In fact, the Women’s Basketball game I went to tonight is the first sport game of any kind of that I’ve gone to during my nearly three year experience at Cal State Fullerton.

I’ve only been inside the Titan Gym only one other time before this, and that was after I first committed to CSUF. It was one of those “welcome to our school” pep rally sort of deals, but I don’t admittedly remember very much about it other than the fact that it was held in the gym.

Probably the only reason that sticks out in my mind is because that was my only experience in that gym up until now, since I’m thinking about it…

But that’s getting a bit too into the weeds on unnecessary information.

What is important right now is that I was in the gym for an actual for real game! As part of Kyle and Sarah’s new design for Comm 471 this semester, all of us staff writers are being required to cycle between the four main desks as dedicated writers for a couple of weeks at a time. That means for two week run times, each of us are going to be a dedicated part of the News, Opinion, Lifestyle and Sports desks.

It figures that an anti-sport kind of guy like me would get Sports desk first and foremost in that rotation.

Actually, it is a little funny how things worked out. Out of the seven or eight people in my rotation group, I’m the only person who isn’t already a sports junkie. So it’s a bit more of an uphill climb for me to get used to everything that’s going on than it is for everyone else in my group.

The nice thing is, getting used to things involves trying stuff out that I otherwise never would do on my own. Like going to a basketball game.

Hell I arguably got a cooler experience than most because I got to be credentialed for the game:

Plus I got to be court side at the game and sit in on our sports editor Jared’s interview with a couple of the players and the coach afterward in the conference room.

Really, although it was cool to check out a game and see some of the inner workings of writing a recap of a sporting event, I think I got a pretty clear understanding of why sports aren’t exactly my forte.

A good chunk of that was the predictable not-complete-comprehension of all the specific statistics and lingo involved with following sports for a living.

Seriously look at how many of these box score readouts they give out to the press. Not only are there a metric ton of them just for one game, but I honestly have no idea what I’m supposed to be gathering from any of them. I think I can figure out a little bit of what they say here or there, but until I get more used to reading them they mostly just look like a jumbled mess of numbers to me.

However, the reason that stuck out to me the most during this experience of physically being there was just… Generally how little I felt like I was focusing on the game itself compared to everything happening around it.Like yes it was engaging watching the players move back and forth and fall all over each other to an extent, but even so I seemed to be more curious about the people other than the players.Like for instance:I was watching and listening to the band quite a bit, both to essentially live tweet what they were playing to my band geek of a sister but also just to figure out exactly what they were playing and why we needed the live band if there was also going to be other artists DJ’d on the speakers.

I also found myself paying quite a bit of attention to the auxiliary cheer and spirit accompaniment. I had no idea they just sat at the side of the court waiting. What are they doing when they aren’t doing a routine? What are they thinking about? How do they keep themselves entertained if they aren’t sports lovers like myself and don’t want to watch the game?

Plus don’t even get me started on the person in the Tuffy mascot costume. I can’t even look at that thing without remembering my friend Harrison’s story about a Public Relations person trying to convince him that the mascot was a real elephant that didn’t have a person inside.Also watching the referees having to run back and forth all night alongside the players was pretty hilarious to me, honestly. I don’t know why, but I was thoroughly entertained just watching them and the people who came in whenever a player fell to sweep up and polish the floor again.

Then beyond that I was also doing some work on my phone at the same time, section editing stories and such, as I was listening in on the radio announcers sitting next to us who were talking live over the whole event. It’s always baffled me how they can follow a game and talk over it the entire time. Though I suppose that’s the same thing as half of the gaming YouTube personalities I watch… So I shouldn’t be that enamored by it.Anyway, I think that’s enough rambling for now. Long story short, I went to a sports game with the editor who’s a cool guy, had a pretty nice time and let my mind wander to all the extra things going on that I never would have noticed due to my general apathy.Should be an interesting couple of weeks as I try to figure out exactly how to cover something I have next to no experience with.Until then I have two articles getting published for this upcoming weeklong paper tomorrow, and a bunch of other work adjusting to all of my classes. So I’m going to head home and get started on most of that.Peace Fullerton, thanks for giving me the opportunity to get some insight on something new, and I’ll see you again tomorrow.

The old ball game

The old ball game

I may not be the biggest sports fan in the world, and that extends to my general lack of interest writing about sports for journalistic purposes…

But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good game of baseball. Hell, it’s hard not to enjoy America’s pastime, especially when you grow up going to games with your Dad, taking in all the clichés. The first pitches and national anthem. The seventh inning stretch. The acceptance of normalcy that comes with the potential of being hit in the back of the head by a rogue beach ball. The sheer scale of the stadium and mass of people all sharing the same experience you are.

And, of course…


The food.

Can’t go wrong with a dodger dog and a bag of peanuts. I’m also partial to having a frozen lemonade toward the latter half of the game, that’s something of a tradition for me.

It’s been some time since I’ve gone to a game, and I definitely have to thank our family friend, my uncle David Liebling for getting us in to this Dodgers/Mets showdown (with some pretty good seats at that).


Since it has been some time, and my interests have been developing continuously, I’m definitely noticing different things around the stadium this time around.

Namely, the interesting interplay between the sport and my area of focus, the media.


In all the times I’ve gone to ball games, I’ve never noticed the pre-game reporting being done on the field. It’s actually pretty hilarious to see the two anchors in a fancy suit and dress contrasting with the sea of jerseys and colloquial game-attending attire. Plus they set up and took down the desk and camera equipment real fast, so that was interesting to watch.

On top of that, if you’re really paying attention, you can catch some of the interesting shots that help make the game a media sensation but might not be so easy to understand the scope of from behind a screen.


Not sure why I thought this was so interesting, but something about the intertwining of being live and seeing media being created spoke to me today. Figured I would share that little observation.

However, I’m going to cut things short, because I am still in the middle of a game, and as much as I enjoy writing I probably look a little stupid. Plus, the Dodgers just caught a fly ball in the outfield and managed to throw it to home for a double play that ended the top of the second inning.

It was pretty hype, to be completely honest.