J.R.’s Editorial Corner

I started down what would become my professional career path in a small classroom at Curry High school in 2006.

My 11th grade English teacher, a recent transfer named Mrs. Walton, decided to not only take over duties as the yearbook sponsor but to start a school newspaper as well.

What followed was ‘The Buzz,” a student paper that published about six times that school year.

We covered everything from hard news like construction work on a local highway to sports and student life and campus events.

The paper folded two years later, but that was the start of my professional career path.

All because my keyboarding teacher, Mrs. Henslee, volunteered me to work on the paper. Originally it wasn’t even my choice.

Now, six years later, after a high school diploma and two college degrees, working for six newspapers covering multiple sports across north and west Alabama, I am starting to feel a sense of accomplishment.

One of the things that aids in this is the interesting perks of my trade, namely getting to go to sporting events and do things most people don’t get to.

Like cruising at 60 mph on the Tennessee River at Pickwick Lake in Florence on a media boat.

Or in the case of Saturday, sitting in the front row of the press box at Jordan-hare Stadium in Auburn.

That quite possibly takes the proverbial cake as far as the most awesome thing I have ever had the opportunity to do simply because I am a media professional.

Mike Raita, a well-known sports guy for ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, a guy I grew up watching on TV covering high school and college sports, sat a mere 10 or so seats to my left at the game.

For that four hour span (and I only mean this literally) I was sitting on the same level as that man.

Sure it took a single overtime for Auburn to beat Louisiana Monroe, but I got to see it from a vantage point few have witnessed.

I also got to eat some great food and hang out with a friend of mine who also had a press pass to the game, but I digress.

I don’t really need anything like this to make me feel satisfied about my career and like my job, but covering games in the press box of my favorite team can’t hurt.


J.R. Tidwell is sports editor for The Franklin County Times. He can be reached at (256) 332-1881, ext. 31.