By Cody Soto
The Baylor Bears played in its fifth straight bowl game this year, something that has never happened in program history. I was lucky enough to cover the 79th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic in Arlington as part of the Lariat staff over the break. It was exhausting, exhilarating, thrilling and memorable all at the same time.
With the result of the game and the week that led up to it now a few weeks behind me, I got to reflect on that week. After some time to think about it, I figured out five different things that this experience taught me.
I’m lucky to have this job.
If you asked me if I was going to be a sports writer for the Baylor Lariat on my first day of my freshman year, I would have looked at you in disbelief. The opportunity given to me by the editors and advisors at the Lariat isn’t taken for granted because I can’t replicate this experience anywhere, not even at a real newspaper. I am a representative of the Lariat. Wow, that sounds big.
Working at the sports desk has its perks.
With an entire semester under my belt, I’ve seen the perks that the sports desk has. We cover huge stories at some magnificent locations (especially the $266 million beauty across the river). Sure, we get free food and other things while covering a game, but we’ve honestly worked for it. The sports department is an entirely different world, and I’m just lucky to be a part of it. I mean, who wouldn’t want to casually go up and talk to Bryce Petty?
Good work is done in the midst of chaos.
The media schedule for the Cotton Bowl was insane. We had press conferences and interviews starting as early as 8 a.m. and social events lasting as late as 11 p.m. In between all the events, we had to find time to write and produce content for our website. Sound exhausting? You have no idea.
Work and play can happen at the same time.
Many people think you can’t mix work with play, but ask our sports editor and photo editor. We did a pretty good job of having fun on the job. In between stressing out about articles and photos, we didn’t mind cooling off with a game of ping pong or mini-golf in the media hospitality room.
Baylor builds incredible athletes.
One of my favorite things about the sports desk is the interaction with student-athletes. While many people may view them as local celebrities, I’ve been able to break that illusion and speak to some great athletes. Talking to an athlete like Bryce Petty or Silas Nacita makes all the hard work worth it. They’re people too, and it’s making my job a one-time-in-a-million opportunity for a Baylor student.