By DJ Ramirez | Sports Editor
I don’t know if I really have the words to describe how much I love my job. I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but I was never really sure what kind of writer I wanted to be.
I finally decided I wanted to go into sports journalism when I was working for my high school yearbook. I always had more fun working on the sports pages than anything else.
There’s an indescribable feeling I get when I cover games — when I’m sitting in the press box trying to gather every detail, when I’m interviewing the coaches and athletes and my heart’s racing trying to think of good question or when I’m squatting behind the backstop at Baylor Ballpark with a camera in my hands. In those moments, I feel invincible. I feel alive — terrified and excited all at once.
But as much as I love my job and the perks that it comes with, it hasn’t been easy. The hours are long, the pay isn’t much and there’s pressure to get the story right.
All sports journalists are sports fans. That’s why we’re in this profession. But as amazing and fortunate we are to get to sit on the sidelines and the press box, we are there because it’s part of our job, so there’s a level of professionalism required to be a good sports journalist.
We don’t get to be fans in the press box or in the media room. I have caught myself breaking that rule a few times when the game is extra exciting, but trust me when I say there’s no cheering in the press box. None. (Unless you want Baylor Bear Insider Jerry Hill to smack you over the head with the game notes.)
Access is also a big deal. Having access to players, coaches and information that many other people don’t have is pretty cool, but there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with that. It requires a certain level of trust. Trust is a fragile thing, easily lost.
You have to go through the sports information director to get the access you need — mostly because the team’s schedules run pretty tightly but also to protect the athletes and coaches.
I do believe that Baylor’s Athletic Communications department is comprised of some of the most hard working and deliberate people I’ve had the chance to work with. They’re willing to accommodate the Lariat when we need it, but we also have to put in our part. Preparation and timeliness are probably the most important part of this job because you don’t want to waste their time or yours.
Despite the challenges that come with my job, my goal will always be to look for the stories that matter, the ones that might make a difference. Because at the end of the day, this job is about people. There are over 200 student-athletes at Baylor and they each have a story that deserves to be told.
I can’t lie, there are days where I tell myself I should have been an architect or a lawyer. I would be making a whole lot more money and maybe even getting a little bit more sleep. But even on the days when I get stuck at Castellaw until it’s too late for me to walk home, I wouldn’t want to have any other job.