Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

In the end, the juice was worth the squeeze

I still chuckle to myself sometimes when I think about how lucky I got.

Two years ago to this day, I was walking into former Crimson White editor Corey Craft’s office to interview for a sports reporter job I knew I had absolutely no chance of getting.

I was a recent entry into the journalism department, having transferred over from the College of Arts and Sciences and the eventual realization that I was either going to end up a broke novelist or an unsatisfied technical writer for a generic drug company, and had never come close to writing a newspaper article.

But still, I walked into the office and boldly told the assembled audience of Corey and former sports editors Ryan Wright and Greg Ostendorf that I would work my butt off to get a job, even if it meant covering an underwater basket-weaving competition.

Instead, I was given the chance to work as an unpaid staff writer over the summer and took an assignment writing a story about Crimson Tide men’s golf coach Jay Seawell. I got to his office at Ol’ Colony Golf Complex and proceeded to bumble through a series of questions, including an awkward minute-long pause at the end of the interview that concluded my questions for the day.

After painstaking labor for the next three days preparing the story and 12 rereads (should have made it 13), I sent the story off to the paper, anxiously awaiting to see it in print. After that week’s story ran, I preserved 10 or 12 copies of the treasure to send to everyone I wanted to see it.

Their bemused expressions didn’t concern me, however, because it was at that moment that I realized that I was bitten by the journalism bug. And I haven’t regretted a moment since.

This year has unequivocally been the experience of a lifetime for me. Not only because I was blessed and fortunate enough to travel to Pasadena for this year’s BCS National Championship Game, but because I had the rewarding and enriching opportunity to work with, for and over people who have helped to shape my career so profoundly in two years. Because of their influence, I have been offered and accepted a job as sports editor of a weekly paper that surely would not have been available to me without them.

First and foremost, I would like to thank Paul Wright and Amanda Peterson for giving me the opportunity to take the assistant sports editor post at the beginning of the year. Their faith in me and my abilities was key to everything I have been able to do here and unquestionably the key to any success I may have in future endeavors.

The next round of gratitude is for all the members of the UA sports media relations desk, including Jeff Purinton, Josh Maxson, Jessica Pare, Skip Powers and Barry Allen. Also included are the numerous coaches and players who graciously shared their time with me for a bevy of material, like women’s basketball coach Wendell Hudson, junior forward Tierney Jenkins, head baseball coach Mitch Gaspard, former Tide linebacker Cory Reamer and, of course, head football coach Nick Saban.

Design Editor Brandee Easter, Assistant Design Editor Emily Johnson and Graphics Editor Aaron Gertler have more of my gratitude than I can ever put into a 900-word column. Without their exceptional skill, constant patience and willingness to put up with my quirks and oddities nothing would have been accomplished of note this year, especially not the gorgeous GameDay productions that Brandee spent countless late hours creating, and the outstanding work that Aaron put together for the covers.

I want to thank my staff of writers in the sports department, including Cyrus Ntakirutinka, Britton Lynn and Laura Owens, as well as all the unpaid writers who selflessly devoted their time and energy to stories. I especially want to thank Laura for stepping up to the plate at a difficult time and learning so much in such a short time.

I would also like to thank Photo Editor Jerrod Seaton and Assistant Photo Editor Katie Bennett for their excellent work this year in helping us to cover not just a magical football season, but an exciting overall year for Alabama athletics. Their outstanding work and dedication to their craft brought life to occasionally dull stories.

I’d like to recognize my fellow desk editors Alan Blinder (who obviously is now the managing editor), Avery Dame, Drew Taylor, Lindsey Shelton, Jonathan Reed, Steven Nalley and Sharon Nichols for many fun nights burning the midnight oil at the student media building and listening to my Family Guy impersonations.

But most of all, I want to thank two special people for everything they have done for me over this year. Jason Galloway, the real sports editor of this paper who stepped down in March, for his endless inspiration, hilarious jokes and inspired writing that pushed me to further my own work, and my fiancée Eryn Phillips for being so patient on countless late nights and encouraging me every step of the way.

Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank all the readers who took time out of their day to read the material we put together four days a week. Without all of you, we wouldn’t really serve much of a purpose.

Goodbye, and (I’ve wanted to say this for over a year now) Roll Tide.

Spencer White, sports editor of The Crimson White, is a senior majoring in journalism. He graduates in May.

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