Editor’s note: “Behind the Byline” introduces you to these who create stories, snap photographs, style pages and edit the content material we provide in our print editions and on pressdemocrat.com. We’re much more than journalists. As you will see, we’re also your neighbors with exclusive backgrounds and experiences who proudly get in touch with Sonoma County property. Right now, we introduce you to sports writer Kienan O’Doherty.
Increasing up in Mill Valley, I was 1 of these little ones that played every single sport below the sun.
Baseball, basketball, soccer. You name it, I played it. Except for football, that is. I was second on the wait list following sign-ups and by no means got to don the pads, which to this day I’m fairly thankful for.
Like most little ones, I dreamed of becoming a experienced athlete. My childhood buddies and I would invest hours at Boyle Park, fantasizing of how we would be the subsequent middle infield tandem for the San Francisco Giants. We would practice turning double plays more than and more than once again, just like Wealthy Aurilia, Jeff Kent and Ray Durham would at what is now Oracle Park.
Immediately after all, a kid can dream, proper?
As years progressed, I gradually realized that I had however yet another dream, a need that brings me right here currently.
You see, I’m 75% Irish. That implies I’m blessed, and at times cursed, with the infamous “gift of gab.” I really like a very good conversation, however at times speak also considerably. It is 1 of the greatest gifts in the globe, if you know how to use it.
That becoming stated, my dream then turned to becoming a play-by-play commentator. I was enamored by it listening Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow, Jon Miller and Dave Flannery on the day-to-day, reading books by Jim Nantz and Al Michaels (which I nevertheless have, by the way). I would discover any way I could.
I began the broadcasting club in higher college at Stuart Hall, calling all the school’s basketball games by myself. That continued in college, as I known as each men’s and women’s soccer, and even some NCAA tournament games. I would nevertheless like to do that once again someday in some capacity.
Although I did do sports broadcasting, there wasn’t a big for that profession the closest point we had was journalism. So, I took a likelihood and majored in it in spite of by no means getting written for a newspaper.
Turns out, it was the greatest way to use that present of gab. I normally assume to myself, if you can not speak about it, create about it.
It was rough beginning out. These collegiate days have been filled with late nights, continuous black ink on our newspapers, and low grades (thanks, Paul Kostyu). I attempted and attempted to come across one thing that could relate, but I just couldn’t. Till I did — via tennis.
The sport I began the newest was the 1 I would play the longest. I started playing tennis at age 12 and played all the way via college. Right now, I attempt to get out as considerably as I can, but my Wilson Blades are a tiny rusty.
So, how the heck do tennis and journalism correlate? In a lot much more methods than you would assume.
See, writing a sports story is type of like a tennis point the serve is the lede, and dictates the way the story is going to go, just like the serve dictates the point in tennis.
The serve is also 1 of the most effective shots in a tennis player’s arsenal, as is the lede of a story. You want one thing that sets the tone early and keeps the opponent guessing.
Your footwork and movement is the way in which you create the story, taking the reader via the game as eloquently as probable.
As you make the point up via your groundstrokes — forehand and backhand — the excitement mounts, type of like maintaining the reader on the edge of their seat, wanting to see how that stroll-off came about.
With your opponent now deep in the corner, you come to the net for an straightforward place away shot. This, like for the story, is the final dagger — the culmination of the adrenaline-filled journey the reader just knowledgeable.
It is been this believed course of action that has kept me going, from my initial gig at a hyperlocal paper in southeast Ohio (close to our Executive Editor Richard A. Green’s hometown), till now.
Even though I’m nevertheless young in my profession, I’ve had the privilege of covering lots of cool athletic events, from Ohio State football to the Columbus Blue Jackets, to higher college state championships. Athletics is in my blood and it is by no means going to leave.
That, plus that infamous “gift,” is a fairly very good combo.
Athletics can relate to just about something, you just require to come across the what and the how. I’m fortunate to have identified mine.
You can attain Employees Writer Kienan O’Doherty at 415-887-8650 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @kodoherty22.