Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.
Life throws many curveballs. More often than not, I have sat back and crushed them the other way. Fresh out of high school, I studied Mass Communication at the greatest school in all of the land, THE Nicholls State University.
While I wouldn’t trade my time, experiences and relationships made in my five years there, I’m not doing what I dreamed of doing at an early age.
Throughout my life, I always wanted to be a sports analyst/broadcaster. Much like my athletic career, it fizzled out quicker than it began. Dreams change. I wanted to be some hot shot on ESPN. However, I wasn’t willing to make the sacrifices I would have needed to in order to hopefully, one day, just maybe get there.
In the short time there, I sacrificed weekends including spending a Saturday running around taking pictures of a grieving family who had lost their child in a police shooting. I didn’t enjoy working late at night to cover elections only to get bitched at for calling the losing candidate for a quote.
To this day, my column walking through my journey from those dreams to being fired from the first and only full time journalism job I had is one of my all-time favorites pieces.
Journalism: A Life I am Happy I Left Behind
After being fired, I realized it was not what I wanted to do with my life. I used to have nightmares long after being let go from that job. I kept dreaming I was back there, miserable as usual.
One day, I stopped having them. It took a year or so for that to happen. Maybe subconsciously, I finally moved on from the disastrous start to my career. I had completely lost my passion for writing and media in general.
While still in the phase of dealing with the dreams and not being able to fully let go, that itch for writing needed to be scratched again. Thus Hotard Huddle was born. Here we are, 474 posts later. I am approaching the big 500! I’ll be sure to do something fun for that milestone.
This began as a sports blog and slowly evolved into something more. I wanted a place to air out my thoughts on every topic I possibly could. This blog became sort of like my own personal diary.
With that my confidence grew in my writing. Writing 800 words used to take hours at the paper. Now, I am able to write 3,000 words in 45 minutes. Sure, writers block happens sometimes. I have found little tips and tricks to navigate through it.
One of my favorite parts about the huddle is letting my readers thus developing relationships. I have gained a handful of friends over the years because of my posts. Some of those friends include followers who enjoy my content. Some are blasts from the past I reconnected with. Some are new blood who have become close friends of mine.
I love hearing the feedback on my posts, both positive and negative. I love discussing the more complex and controversial topics with my followers or readers.
I love writing for pleasure versus writing for a paycheck. Because of how much fun the blog is, I never thought I would go back to writing for a publication. I always thought it would take a lucrative offer with the freedom to be who I am.
A couple of weeks ago, I received a message from an old college classmate. He needed a sports analyst / column writer for his newly launched site Bayou Report (click here to view). Naturally, I was flattered he thought of me and my opinions for his site.
He and I have always been cool. He’s always been supportive of my ventures with Hotard Huddle as well as Do It All Marketing. Likewise, I have always supported him with his business ventures and podcasts. Supporting friends by hitting that thumbs up, reading their posts, sharing some posts, commenting on posts takes minimal effort. It certainly goes a long way.
Of course, I asked the questions to clarify what I would be getting into. What is the time commitment and compensation?
Without going into any great detail about pay out of respect for him and the publication, it aligned for me. The frequency is entirely up to my discretion.
I asked whether or not writing pieces for Hotard Huddle and filtering them through Bayou Report would be a conflict.
I always try to conduct business respectfully and honestly. I did not want to jump in and step on toes in the process. His response made me go from a 70% yes to 100% yes.
He informed me there would be no conflict and that he encouraged growth, support and partnerships. Thus perfectly aligning with my stances and beliefs in business. It became a win for all parties.
In fact, I used a play off the Hotard Huddle to name the column, “Huddle Up with Hotard.”
I am passionate about sports writing and I do it regardless so why not filter it through another avenue while taking a little more politically correct approach of course? Calling someone an asshat for a news organization obviously does not bode well. Everything about it made sense.
Here I am six years later back in the game on my own terms like I wanted. I will chalk this up as a huge win. I am truly grateful for the opportunity and friendship. It is the classic case of you never know when an opportunity may come along. I have learned that every opportunity can lead to even more opportunities. The tough part is deciding which ones to jump on.
I jumped on this one, quickly.
When you get a chance, be sure to check out bayoureport.com and also give it that supportive thumbs up on Facebook.
Maybe I didn’t make it to the mainstream like I longed for.
Dreams change and people change. I am living my dream.
I am happily married. I am a proud father to an amazing boy and will soon meet my amazing little girl. I found my love and passion for writing again. I launched Do It All Marketing to help businesses grow through social media, which has been mildly successful in the first nine months. Lastly, I am happier than I ever thought I could be because I have surrounded myself with the most wonderful people as well as the things I enjoy most.
Because of all that, opportunities (big and small) have a way of presenting themselves. It feels damn good to see my byline for another publication. Maybe the journalist in me didn’t completely die like I had thought.
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