Press Box: I’m done, not finished

Bryant Drayton, photo by Brooke Marsh

Mic drop — a motion reserved for the the conclusion of a dramatic ending. An ending worth talking about, never to be forgotten.

There’s no telling if any of us in life will get that mic drop moment. If we do get it, will we cherish its rarity, or let it slip through our fingers like Johnny Manziel’s grip on his life? President Obama had his mic drop moment at the end of the White House Correspondents dinner on Saturday evening — damn that couldn’t have been scripted any better.

Many times I find myself daydreaming of potential highlights in my journalism career years down the road, like the day I get to sit face-to-face and interview Kobe Bryant, Kanye West or Susan Boyle — OK, maybe not Susan Boyle.

What would I say to Kobe, someone who’s been interviewed thousands of times and has already heard or answered any question there is to answer? Someone who had a mic drop moment in front of millions after he scored 60 points in his final game. How will I construct such an in-depth question that will strike his mental like no other question he’s heard before?

How would I address Kanye, an artist who thinks he’s smarter than any person he comes in contact with — but then I realize his wife is Kim K. And he actually has to sit down and listen to her talk on a nightly basis. That puts my mind at ease.

If I were to meet all “tree” of them, I would hope to “respek” their name more so than any other journalist has before me.

This is what wakes me up every morning — the fear of not being prepared.

Sports writing has given me an outlet to put to paper the countless hours of research I’ve put into learning names, rosters, player positions and every statistical category involved in any sport.

My friends no longer have to listen to my rants over who I think is the greatest athlete of all time or whether or not baseball is actually an exciting sport to watch. Seriously, I encourage you all to give it a chance.

I now have a new means of getting my perspective heard, just not vocally.

There are the occasions when I’m at the barbershop and the conversations turn into sports debates. I’m then seen as the mediator, the statistician and the Anderson Cooper.

Someone might ask, “Bryant, who is the center for the Bulls? You know the one with all that hair?” I reply, “Joakim Noah,” and my barber says, “see, that boy is smart. Ya’ll need to listen to him.”

These are my moments to shine. Alex Trebek will never see me on Jeopardy, but if there is a sports category, you can call me Ken Jennings.

I don’t know what’s ahead for me. I can only hope and pray that the road I decided to travel will be smoothly paved.

But one thing is for certain; the principles the Commonwealth Times have bestowed upon me will resonate in my life forever. Without the CT, there’s no telling how I’d feel upon graduating in a couple weeks.

I now know what I want to do with my life. Being in the newsroom with genuine people, all with the same mindset as my own – at least most of the time – has provided me more wisdom for the craft than any class I’ve taken at this university I love so much.

The CT has been life changing. Cliché yes, but there is no other way I could phrase it. I will be forever grateful for this year I served as Sports Editor. I will be forever grateful for the experience of being able to travel to Brooklyn and Oklahoma City to cover March Madness, observing from courtside seats.

But most of all, I will be grateful for the weekend productions that never seemed tiresome, but only a gratifying experience to be a part of a team that works so hard for the final product to be the best it can be — I haven’t felt that feeling since my playing days, and oh how I missed it so.

No, this isn’t my mic drop moment. I’m not finished, but only started. But this is my final goodbye to the paper that gave me my voice in writing. For that, I couldn’t imagine signing off in any other way besides simply saying thank you.

Sports Editor, Bryant Drayton

Bryant Drayton, photo by Brooke MarshBryant is a sports advocate who’s always smiling. He is a senior print and online journalism major aspiring for a career as a professional or college football columnist. Bryant currently covers high school football games for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. // Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

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1 Comment

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