On March 31, I was walking through downtown Minneapolis on my way to dinner with a few friends.
It was day 10 of a 12-day work trip covering the Louisville women’s basketball team’s Final Four performance, and I was looking forward to the Old-Fashioned I was about to enjoy. However, at the moment I was thinking.
For me, covering the Final Four was a dream come true. I grew up in Cleveland in a family full of Browns fans, but basketball was king. Everyone played, and watching the NCAA tournament became a family tradition. We watched as many games as we could, from the first round to the family party we planned for the national championship game.
So covering the Final Four was a special feeling for a guy who knew he wanted to be a sportswriter as early as third grade. But it was also a strange feeling. At that moment, everyone around me knew that I was leaving the Louisville Courier-Journal to take a job at Columbus Dispatch as a new features/entertainment and “things to do” reporter.
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As I went to dinner that evening, I resigned myself to that decision.
Reporting for me has always been about people. Game coverage is fun – it’s hard to complain about being paid to write about a football or basketball game – but I had more fun writing about people.
From a 3,000-word profile about Louisville women’s basketball coach Jeff Waltz. the day before the Final Four, Louisville All-ACC guard and social media celebrity Hayley Van Lit, who became a national sensation; or Louisville’s first female football coach, Ashley Wilkinson., and more in between. Writing about people has been my passion and I can’t wait to do it here in Columbus.
Like I said, I’m a native of Buckeye State. I’ve played basketball and football all my life, but I was better at the latter. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the basketball skills that most of my college cousins had.
Instead, I was a full-time student and went to Bowling Green State University. After four years at Bowling Green, I spent the first year of my career at Coshocton as a sports and news reporter.
Then I left Ohio for the first time after spending more than three years in Missouri at the Columbia Tribune. I was a sportswriter there and moved on to cover men’s basketball and football at the University of Missouri.
However, at the time, I wanted to be closer to home, so I ended up at the Louisville Courier-Journal, where I was assigned to cover football in Louisville. I ended up shutting down everything under the sun and riding a roller coaster for three years between COVID-19, scandals, protests and more, but I grew up in Louisville.
Through all these stops, I learned a lot about myself. I’ve turned into a foodie, which seems perfect for this job. I’ve always been a Chipotle addict, but now there’s not a place where I don’t try tacos, a good BBQ restaurant where I don’t eat wings or ribs or steak that I would refuse.
Meanwhile, my passion is pop culture, cinema, music, art and festivals and I feel like I’ve found the perfect job.
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I used to visit Columbus a lot as a kid, but coming here and living here are two different things, so I’m counting on you to send me your recommendations on what to try and where to go.
Have a favorite nightclub or concert venue? Know a must-visit restaurant or a rising chef? Is there any event or action that you think I simply must experience? Pass them on and I’ll try to get to them!
Life sends you down different paths, but one thing I’ve learned in my 28—soon to be 29—years of life is that nothing stays the same. Life changes, interests change, what matters to you changes, and you have to adapt.
I will always remember my time in Louisville fondly, especially that Final Four, but I’m excited to write about the people in the amazing city of Columbus.
I hope you will follow along with me in this next chapter.
CTeagueRob@gannett.com; Twitter: @cj_teague