Typically, when you hold a passion for something, you are very skilled in that activity and have been doing it for many years. As such, it would make sense that the sports editor of a newspaper would have a history of playing sports. For me, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
It should not come as too much of a surprise that I, a 5’5’’-125lb-boy, am not the most athletic person out there. After age 11, my athletic experience consists of being the only 1500m runner on my middle school track team and playing one year of junior varsity baseball in high school. And in all honesty, about 50 percent of the reason I played baseball was for the hoodie.
But despite my lack of athleticism, I love sports, and it has gone from a hobby to being present in my life every single day.
The day I began to love sports, I was 11 years old and my best friend won tickets to a New York Mets game and he invited me and my dad to go with him and his brother.
Halfway through the game there was an hour long rain delay and because of that much of the crowd cleared out. This allowed us to move down to the front row in the upper deck. My dad bought us hot dogs and we put our feet up on the railing and saw the Mets win 5-0 with the New York City skyline in the background and that post-rain scent in the air.
I followed the Mets for the rest of the season, which unsurprisingly ended with their second consecutive late season collapse, but could not get enough baseball in time for the offseason. My dad bought me a book that documented every World Series from 1903 to 2008 and I read it cover to cover at least a dozen times during that winter. This sparked my eternal love of not just baseball, but sports in general.
However, I did not consider any sort of career path that involved sports until late into my high school career. I was much more of a theatre kid, but after being cast in ensemble my junior year I felt pretty demoralized and realized that I may not have what it takes to consider any sort of career involving theatre. Later that same school year, we had an assignment for my acting class that instructed we show the class a non-performance related talent.
So, I printed out a list of the results of every World Series, gave it to my teacher and had her ask me a year and I’d tell the class who won and who lost in the Fall Classic for that season. The class was both impressed and entertained, which really surprised me. After class ended my best friend, who was aware of my fading passion for theatre, suggested that I consider becoming a sports writer.
I really had no other ideas as to what to pursue in college, but the more I thought about a career that involved sports, the more appealing it became. So I ended up coming to SUNY New Paltz for its journalism program and joined the sports section of The New Paltz Oracle my first semester. Almost immediately, I really began to enjoy covering athletics at this school.
During this time I also saw a flyer for “The First-Year Internship Program” that matched freshman with a small, on-campus internship during their spring semester. I was paired up with the women’s soccer coach, who would later recommend me to Brian Savard, the Athletic Communications Director, for an internship with him during my sophomore year.
Fast forward to present day, and I have moved up to the sports editor for The New Paltz Oracle and am working virtually every home athletic event. And although both the newspaper and the athletic department consume a lot of my time and the stress it causes me can make me go insane sometimes, I love my jobs and couldn’t be happier with where I ended up.
If 10 years ago you told an 11-year-old Michael Rosen that he’d either be writing about sports or be working at a game almost everyday, he’d probably wonder what would go wrong over the next decade.
But instead, I’ve found something I’m really passionate about and can pursue for the rest of my life. And though my time at New Paltz, the place I discovered a passion that has helped me grow over the years, is coming to an end, I couldn’t be more excited to see where else I will end up in the sports world once I graduate.
My love and the involvement of sports in my life has gone up exponentially over the past 10 years, even if my athleticism has not.