Michael Phelps is a funny guy

I’m about six weeks into my internship at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and I’m finally contributing to this blog. It’s been a long time coming, I know. But really, don’t thank me.

Thank Michael Phelps.

Let me just start off by saying that “I’ve been really busy” would be a grosser understatement than describing the city of Cleveland as “happy” today. But such is life.

I’m now taking advantage of some recreational writing time I’ve somehow come across today to tell you all about the single greatest moment of my juvenile journalism career: I asked Michael Phelps a question.

Now, let it be noted that feeling starstruck rarely happens when it becomes your job. At a point you realize that as Matt Ryan is starring you in the face answering whatever it is that just crawled out of your mouth, he’s just another human being. It’s a weird feeling, especially having lived in Atlanta my whole life and having grown up a Falcons fan (boo fanhood, what’s a fan? Not I.) But even so, this time around I was particularly nervous. I mean, it’s Michael Phelps. In my honest opinion, he is one of–if not the–greatest athletes of our generation. Well, ever really. And to have the opportunity to see him swim competitively in person, after he originally retired no less, was an experience in and of itself.

After he beat out Ryan Lochte in the 100-meter butterfly in Athens yesterday, he talked to the media for about 15 minutes and was one of the more personable and humorous athletes I’ve had the opportunity to talk to, even briefly (one question but hey, he gave a great response). And with that, I want to recount some of the other great experiences I’ve had over the last few weeks at the AJC to make up for my absence from the blog until today.

1. Breaking the story that Tray Matthews’ dismissal from UGA was credited to a classroom disruption during Maymester, among other things. And on my third day on the job. That was a blast and a half.

2. Meeting and interviewing Meb Keflezighi, the 2014 Boston Marathon winner and the first American to win the race since the early 80s. He also won it after the horrendous Boston bombings the year prior, which was an inspiring moment for that city and the country as a whole.

3. Watching talented women like Maya Moore and Candace Parker do what they do best. Man, can those ladies ball out. I had a chance to interview Moore as well, and she really is someone young women should look up to.

4. Getting the last interview with linebacker Akeem Dent before his trade to Houston. Everyone had a feeling he was on his way out of Atlanta, and when I pulled him aside one day at minicamp, he had no idea he’d be traded hours later. It made the quotes I had all the more interesting, specifically because he talked about the stiff competition within his position group.

And now some of the more ridiculous experience I’ve had that constantly remind me of how fun this job truly is.

1. Nearly getting trucked by Atlanta Falcon Jonathan Massaquoi during minicamp and getting the whole thing on video.

2. Trying to come up with 10 ideas of what Tray Matthews could turn his Georgia ‘G’ tattoo into and somehow succeeding. The letter ‘G’ is awful and now I hate it. Have you ever realized it kind of looks like a pizza pie missing a slice? I almost lost my mind that day, but it ended up being the fourth most-read story on the site that weekend.

3. Interviewing a sassy nine-year-old runner the day before the Peachtree Road Race. We need to interview more children. Their soundbites are so pure it kills me.

4. Writing at 30+ inch story about birds. Yes, birds. Bald eagles to be exact, and I loved every minute of it.

And coming up…Falcons training camp while “Hard Knocks” films. I’m expecting that to be an interesting experience as well. Lists aside, I’ve learned so much that I feel as if I could take on the world. Obviously that’s a bit of a hyperbole, but the lessons I’ve come across in the last month and a half are seriously invaluable.

I wrote a running gamer for print, an updated one for digital and another story after the WNBA All-Stars were announced all in one night. Talk about the ultimate test of time management. And as I’m sure professor Michaelis can attest to this, that has always been one of my greater challenges as a reporter. But oh, the thrill of deadline. But a plug for you professor Michaelis–I literally could not have done it without your class. I barely did it at all. It’s tough stuff, a deadline gamer. But as my wonderful editor says, the only way to learn how to write on deadline is to just do it. And so I did, and thankfully he was proud of what I had accomplished.

And with that, I will now fall off the face of the earth for another six weeks. I’m kidding of course. I’ll come back to update as soon as I can. Can I shamelessly self-promote? To read my work, go to tanyasic.wordpress.com. I try and update it as often as possible with each story I write at the AJC, and it also has some of my work from The Red & Black as well. Thanks for reading, friends. It’s been quite the ride, and frankly I don’t want it to ever end.

I saw Jay Bilas

Honestly, that’s all you need to know. Jay Bilas was two feet away from me. Hell hath no fury like Caitlyn Stroh knowing she could’ve met Jay Bilas had her train not been stuck for 20 minutes between two subway stops.

I’m ranting. Let’s quickly talk about real things. This week I started to actually get to do a lot of things. I got to cover the NBA draft. Of course, it was an incredible experience, but I will be the first to tell you that it was a really long night (very much how I imagine non-baseball fans feel about baseball games). And a diet coke at Barclays is like $8.50. Nevertheless, it was amazing to be there for the trades, the fashion and the excitement of 30 guys starting the NBA careers. The day before the draft was pretty much taken up by media day and this PR event at a local school and a group of the draftees.

Outside of draft madness, it was a solid week. I interviewed Andre Iguodala, worked on my Conner Stroud article and started working with SI Edge on stuff for the Tour de France ( 😀 ). We close the August magazine here soon so things will probably get busy this week before the Fourth of July. On Friday, the interns had lunch with SI’s managing editor, Chris Stone. He’s a cool guy and it was great to hear from someone so high up in the business.

Overall, I’m still learning a lot every day. I’m more or less getting the hang of what goes on in and around the office (heavier on the less). Except I did burn popcorn the other day. That was embarrassing. I love the people I work with and will be really sad to leave them come August 1.

 

P.S. If you can get your hands on a copy of the Spur commemorative SI mag, my name is under “Special Contributors.” WOO!

Welcome!

To make your hunt for a sports media internship easier, we’re developing this site for one-stop shopping. This is by no means yet a comprehensive list. We hope it’s at least helpful as you start working toward your next internship.

Anyone hoping for a Summer 2014 internship should be well into the process by now.

Feel free to give us your feedback through the comments. Also, when you find internship opportunities you think we should add, let us know — either through the comments or by emailing Prof. Vicki Michaelis at vickim@uga.edu.

We will update this site as needed, so please check back frequently.

Good luck!