Opinion Column

Sports editor says farewell to readers

By Matthew Hermiz, The Graphic

For fans of the 1996 film Tin Cup, based around the character Roy McAvoy, a deadbeat golf prodigy who manages to qualify for the U.S. Open, this passage will be familiar.

In the movie McAvoy explains a situation, wherein a man standing on the side of a shore has to cross a strong current river, full of dangers like piranhas, and has a row boat to cross. He asks: what would possess a man to swim?

The explanation given to him by his shrink, the character Dr. Molly Griswold, is “he’s an idiot.”

My interpretation of McAvoy’s character in that moment was quite different than Dr. Griswold. I saw a character who liked a challenge. One who liked to try new things, and overcome obstacles, just to see what he could accomplish.

I’ve always been one to challenge myself.

And no, I’m not planning on swimming across Crescent Lake — surely a fitting danger for McAvoy’s purposes — but with that I tell you I have decided to take on a new opportunity, a new challenge, and will be moving on from The Graphic and Herald Leader newspapers, where I’ve sat at the sports desk since Oct. 2014.

I have accepted a position with the local radio station, CFRY, and look forward to the opportunity for me to grow as a multimedia journalist and hone a new skill-set. I did, after all, set out in this industry with the intent of working in broadcasting — if some failed attempts at stringing written words together hadn’t already given that away. Now I have that chance.

All I have as I leave my current position is many thanks.

Many thanks to my first editor, Johnna Ruocco, for giving me my first opportunity to work in media. For that I will be forever grateful.

Many thanks to my (now former) editor Mickey Dumont, for challenging me, teaching me and providing invaluable insight into the role journalists should play in this world.

Many thanks to my former colleague Svjetlana Mlinarevic, for taking the time to teach me a wide array of print production skills that only helped make me a more effective media producer.

Many thanks to the people who I have worked with over the past two years — Lisa Sylvester, Cindy Makarchuk, Mae Barter, Brian Oliver, Marvin Morris and Guy Fiset — for being a supportive team and members of the small family that is your community newspaper.

And many thanks to the community. For allowing me to tell your stories, those of triumph, failure, perseverance and passion. I won’t be far away, and still hope to share the stories that matter to you, about the people that matter to you.

Catch you on the airwaves.

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