I knew I couldn't do it forever, but the end came suddenly when I was offered a full-time position at Washington State University.
I grew up reading Cougfan.com, courtesy of a family of loyal subscribers since the site's early days. Both of my parents went to Washington State. It was impossible for me to escape the gravity of Pullman. It's in my blood.
When I was offered the opportunity to go to work for CF.C last year it literally was a dream come true. Since I was a kid, it was the place I logged on to whenever I got home from work or school. To have the chance to get my byline on the front page was nothing less than exhilarating.
My parents always told me, "You know, if you spent half the time you spend on Cougfan and watching SportsCenter as you spend on your schoolwork, you'd pull a 4.0 GPA… piece of cake."
I didn't listen.
Now, having taken in 15 months of action on the gridiron and hardwood, reporting every factoid and statistic at my disposal, a few things really stand out.
Seeing players adjust to the Leach Beach, watching the Marquess Wilson meltdown, seeing first hand how far this team has come in one year -- all of these memories help shape the last year or so of my life.
But what are some things that don't make it into reports?
For one, running back Leon Brooks' laugh is one of the most infectious things I've ever heard. He's one of my favorites out there. Whenever he'd make anybody miss on punt return drills, you could hear his cackle running down the sidelines, humiliating the victim as he goes for six.
Former Coug offensive lineman Wade Jacobson once told me his lunch consists of a two footlong Subway sandwiches. He then proceeded to tell me he buys a third footlong sandwich for later, or a snack.
Football players are a different breed, I tell you.
My favorite coach interview may be special teams coach Eric Russell. Politically-correct doesn't apply to Russell as he always seems to speak his mind about his players and practice.
My favorite player interview would probably have to go to Gabe Marks. He's an explosive player with an explosive personality. He likes toying with the media, and his filter isn't always as tight as coaches may want it to be.
From this point forward, I'll still be writing commentaries and profiles and human-interest pieces for CF.C, so it's not a complete end of the road. I've enjoyed my time too much at CF.C too completely give up the trade.
But for now, I'll go back to tailgating Pullman, enjoying frigid fall Saturday afternoons with my family and friends.
It's been one hell of a ride. Certainly 15 months of my life I'll never forget.
Thank you to each and every one of you who have given feedback, good or bad. It's what makes us writers tick.
Until next time -- Go Cougs!
Final reflections from a Cougar beat writer
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