July 12, 2019 9:53:59 AM
We all hear the journalism industry is changing daily.
I found that out for myself in late May. Due to cost-cutting measures, I was laid off from a job I loved and temporarily left without a writing home.
Fortunately, it didn't take long for me to find a new outlet after that unfortunate speed bump. I'm making that home with The Commercial Dispatch as the newspaper's sports editor.
I try to avoid cliches in my work like the plague. So hopefully, this will be the first and only time I use one at The Dispatch: As the saying goes, when one door closes ... blah, blah, you all know the rest. A short disclaimer, it's going to take a bit for this Yankee to add "y'all" to my vocabulary.
Nonetheless, the moral of this long-winded story is I'm ecstatic to be here. I just completed my fourth day on the job, so hopefully I haven't royally screwed up yet.
Having spent the last year in my life in Columbia, Missouri, I've seen how rabid Southeastern Conference fanbases can be. It's also been my experience the passion only increases the further south you go.
Growing up in the northern Chicago-Area suburbs, college football was normally an afterthought. It didn't help the Illinois Fighting Illini and Northwestern Wildcats were nothing worth writing home about, and the Chicago Bears were much higher on the pecking order anyway.
Not here. In Mississippi, college football (and baseball and basketball) are everything. For a guy that will write plenty of articles pertaining to Mississippi State, that's music to my ears.
I also can't tell you how ecstatic I am to find out this area is rich with talent on the high school end of things. There's plenty of great stories in this area, and I'm looking forward to making sure The Dispatch tells them.
I'm looking forward to plenty of firsts in my career here: the first Egg Bowl I cover. The first time the Bulldogs pull an upset for the ages. A high school team that lives up to expectations. A high school team that comes out of nowhere and surprises everyone with a successful season. On and on the list goes.
I'll tell you writing about myself isn't my favorite thing to do - we typically want to go into this business to tell the stories of others, not our own - but I'll do my best to give you a brief summary.
I'm a college sports junkie (probably being Captain Obvious here, but whatever) and love the NFL, MLB, NHL and occasionally the NBA. Craft beer is the way to my heart, and I'm always down for road trips - seeing all the history Vicksburg has to offer is the next item on my list. I mastered the spelling of Mississippi in second grade, little did I know that would prove useful decades later. If anyone wants to talk barbeque cuisine, I will defend Kansas City's honor and BBQ sauce until the day I die.
Lastly and most importantly, I'd like to deliver a quick message to the wonderful readers of The Dispatch. I'd like to think of myself as a pretty accessible person. I will do my best to respond to any calls/emails with story suggestions. Even if for whatever reason the story never comes to fruition, I will always listen.
Same goes for any criticism you may have. Again, we may not always agree, but I do promise to listen nonetheless.
It's going to be a wonderful ride in the Golden Triangle, and I'm looking forward to embarking on it.
Garrick Hodge is the sports editor for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @Garrick_Hodge or email him at [email protected]
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