The Advantages Of Not Pursuing A Career In Mainstream Sports

The Advantages Of Not Pursuing A Career In Mainstream Sports

Everyone (well, mostly everyone in the Sports Concentration Emphasis) has the dream of one day being a football or basketball reporter, play-by-play announcer, analyst, host, or beat writer. I have the goals and aspirations to cover a sport that many consider to be a dying one—boxing. While it may seem like I’m at a disadvantage because there are no boxing meets on campus and not that many ‘big name’ fights in the area, it actually may be an advantage. While my classmates may have a lot of established resources like the ability to cover the Syracuse football or basketball games, I have the opportunity to carve out my own path. The other positive of it is that I don’t have to worry about a classmate taking an opportunity I wanted, since not too many (if any) of my classmates like combat sports. I know that I don’t have to worry about not being able to cover a big fight.

In boot camp as my classmates were gearing up to cover the Syracuse Football games, I was looking for boxing events to cover. I stumbled across a sport that I had recently fell in love with prior to my arrival at Newhouse, Mixed Martial Arts or MMA for short. Bellator was putting on a fight at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, NY. I applied for a media credential and was granted a credential shortly thereafter for Bellator 182. I began prepping for the event and drove off to Verona to cover the fighter weigh in, you could find my coverage of the weigh in here. During my time at the weigh in I discovered that a female fighter on the card was actually a nurse that held two bachelor’s degrees, I interviewed her and wrote a story on her as well.

Bellator 182 was an amazing event as I brought my camera and Ipad to cover the event. I took pictures, live tweeted the results, conducted post-fight interviews, and wrote a story on the event. The story that I am most proud of was of two local boys that tore the house down. I was about to head home when I heard the arena roaring, went back to investigate and I’m happy I did. It was the last fight of the night and was an un-televised bout, yet the crowd was the loudest for this one. It was an amazing sight as the fans of one fighter were on the left side of the gym while the fans of the other fighter were on the opposite side. They chanted and chanted and chanted, it was an amazing experience from the opening to closing bell. You can check out my story here.

Just recently I was able to cover another Bellator Event, Bellator 185 at the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino and an HBO Boxing After Dark fight at Turning Stone. It was quite a drive, but driving is not too big an issue for me. While working as a one-man-band, or as BDJ 664.2 Professor Simon Perez would say “as a Multi-Media Journalist” or MMJ is not easy, it teaches you to be a jack of all trades and affords you the ability to tell stories creatively.

Since these sports are not covered as vociferously as football, basketball, or baseball, fighters are way more willing to talk to you and tell you their stories. These fighters want publicity and a lot of the times they are the most humble guys and gals out there, because they aren’t getting the fame or money that a lot of mainstream athletes get. They also have really interesting stories. In what other sport can you find a nurse that is an academic and on weekends fights in a cage?

Also, Director of Sports Communication Emphasis Olivia Stomski is incredibly helpful and she wants you to succeed. If you are interested in covering hockey, cricket, tennis, golf, etc. there is always opportunity to go out there and carve your own path. You will be able to tell stories creatively, you will sharpen your MMJ skills as a one-man-band,  and you will be able to help future students by creating a path that they one day thank you for. Wanting to cover a non-mainstream sport is not a disadvantage, but an advantage.

Jose Cuevas Jr