After nearly a decade as a freelance writer, I’ve been able to cover a lot of ground from city hall to college football, with some wanderings into the arts/entertainment/food/drinks world was well.
Here are 10 of my favorite pieces in chronological order. For a complete selection of clips, use the drop down menu under the ‘Writing’ link above.
A Sweet and Surreal Saturday Night – There aren’t many people more averse to celebration than former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne. So what happens when he has to show up for a retirement celebration? This is what happened.
The Legend Grows – Nebraska spent most of the 2012 season playing without its star running back Rex Burkhead. But he was there when he needed to be, saving the Huskers’ shot a 2012 Big Ten title with a stellar second half performance against Iowa.
Nebraska’s 5-year turnover problem – Cornhusker fans had been lamenting Nebraska’s turnover troubles for years, but nobody had actually gone through five years of play-by-play data to determine just how big of an issue it was. This was one of the first big posts in the first year of HailVarsity.com.
The Old Fashioned Files No. 4: Trackside Lounge – My favorite of the columns I did for Omahype detailing the Omaha bar and cocktail scene. It’s always good when you get a chance to weave your favorite Dobyns poem into the story.
Why not Creighton: The existential question of Bluejay soccer – Getting the chance to expand, even if only a little bit, into the realm of soccer was a welcome opportunity. Creighton soccer coach Elmar Bolowich is one of the more intriguing coaches I’ve met. This is a preview of his first season at the helm in Omaha.
Wrong Message – The local battle over whether or not CVS could build a brand new store in a historic Omaha neighborhood was classic alternative weekly fodder. This was a cover story for The Reader.
Bob vs. the Bear: A history of hats, hymns and hubris – A long-form feature for Cornhusker Kickoff, a team-specific season preview magazine. This story detailed the three historic match-ups between Nebraska coach Bob Devaney and Alabama legend Bear Bryant.
1968: A Great Year for Johnny Cash, Nixon, Elvis and Kansas football – A good old fashioned blog post that hits on a bunch of different cultural touchstones but still delivered a point. This did pretty well considering it was a post about Kansas football on a Nebraska-focused site.
Offbeat Guide to Picking your Derby Winner – One of my earliest columns for FOXSports.com and probably my most successful. I was trying to demystify the Kentucky Derby for non-racing fans. Not all of the jokes work now (or maybe even then), but that’s the beauty of writing, right? You only get better? This story did some pretty good traffic after being picked up and given the top-of-the-page treatment at MSN.com.
Pride without Pretense: The Texas Barbecue Trail – This story of a trip through the heart of Texas barbecue country was slated to appear in the fifth issue of the travel magazine Everywhere. No fifth issue of Everywhere, sadly, was ever published but I still like the story quite a bit. I also took the photos.