I live in Southwest Wisconsin and am a huge Wisconsin Badger fan, Green Bay Packer fan, and a Chicago Cubs fan. As mentioned in the short bio, I am a cancer survivor and 21 years old, currently attending the University of Wisconsin-Platteville (an extension of UW-Madison) studying chemistry with an emphasis in pre-pharmacy. Since I don't have much athletic ability, I make up for that with my love for football and baseball.
I was just notified by B/R that you picked my Big Ugly article as a favorite. I really enjoyed writing it, and of course observing the guys here on campus. Thanks for the praise, it means a lot to me.
Hey bud... I just had to say that "I know I love the Big Ten". But Dan Vasta's list of the top 100 players was horrible!!!!! Only 12 Big Ten Players? Hell, Notre Dame had 3 players on the list! I haven't figured him out yet. He got my pick as a "fan" of his writings but I think he is a bit out of his league when it comes to CFB or he has been drinking the grape flavor-aid provided by the SEC for years. If his list is correct, then 20 of the top 100 players in CFB play for LSU, Alabama, and Florida State. One out of every 5 play for those three schools? Not possible! See ya around.
About my articles. B/R guidelines state for you to write a story containing 250-500 words only. They ask for your grammar, punctuation, and spelling be perfect... for obvious reasons, I suppose. When my applications have been rejected they simply say that they have a very high volume of applicants and that my application must be held in the highest regard, just as all of their other applicants. They give you no specific reasoning, but instead just give you a list of reasons to why you may have been denied application. The rejection letter then states that my application did not meet one or more of the following requirements.
In a nut shell, they really just say that the application was not good enough for one or more reasons and my application was denied for one or more of those reasons. My sentence structure may not be the best, or my stories may just be boring. The truth is: I have no real idea why I am being denied. My first 3 applications were on Buckeye football. I figured I'd write about what I knew best. After 3 rejections, I started thinking about how many Buckeye writers there were. There are maybe more Buckeye writers than writers of any kind at B/R. I have always been a big NASCAR fan and I live right by the Daytona International Speedway... so I figured that writing on NASCAR may put me in a smaller field of applicants.
The Daytona 500 happened and I started taking some notes and doing some research. EIGHT DAYS LATER, my article was finished. Yes, I spent a few hours a day for 8 (really just 7) days over an application that had to be between 250-500 words. My article was about a man that has never won a Sprint Cup title, so my pick wasn't exactly like picking the Yankees to win the World Series. It was a small stretch. Now the people or person that rejected my application could have done it for any of many reasons, but my article is alive. It is still breathing well, and everything I said in it that was a prediction based on facts, has come true.
If I sound upset... I really am. I think that if I had my application reviewed now, it would be accepted. However, I made no copies, and overall, I am a computer idiot. Sending emails is the extent of my computer knowledge. My biggest problem now is that I am sitting and waiting for a story to come my way. It can't be a huge story because my writing sample must be between 250-500 words.
Do you know NASCAR at all? I'd love to re-create my story for you to give you an idea of what my story sounded like. It wasn't for the NASCAR veteran fan only, but general NASCAR knowledge, especially over the past 5 years would be very helpful to the reader.
You know... I never counted my words. Maybe I exceeded the 500 word maximum. I have to do some thinking about this. I'm definitely going to try again. My last rejection really just killed me. I was sure it would be accepted. Thanks for your help and support. I appreciate it more than you'll ever know. This may just be for a non-paying amateur writer job, but I'm a 39 year old plumber and lifetime sports fan......
A short story about me.... I was a decent baseball player at a great baseball school here in central Florida. I'm not saying that I was the greatest player. It's not in me to even act that way. Since you know baseball though, I'll tell you a few things about me and you'll see why I really could have had a shot at at least the minor leagues. I was hurt for my junior season and didn't play much on a team stacked with talent from players from all over Florida. I was a lead-off hitting, switch hitting catcher. Of course, that is something you never see. I wasn't a power hitter but my junior year had just 3 at bats. I went 2 for 3 with 10 SB. When we had timed 40 yard dashes as a team, my first time was 4.38 (hand timed). My coach made me run it again, thinking he was too quick on the watch. I then ran a 4.44. Every timed 40 during my junior year was sub 4.5 and a lot of my 40's were around the 4.40 mark. As I said, I had a bum arm and was used as a pinch runner only for my entire junior year. My coach knew what I was capable of though and had the idea for me to play football in my senior year of high school. Being the fastest player on the team, I instantly went to #1 on the depth chart at CB and started at CB for our first 4 games. In our 3rd game against Apopka, I hurt my wrist but I didn't know how bad. Apopka had this real dirty player that kept pushing me to the ground after the whistle... we kept fighting... we were even pulled apart by the refs a few times... that kid on Apopka's team was some chump named Warren Sapp.
My wrist hurt every day after that. I ended up getting x-rays that showed a break in my wrist. I was in a cast for 18 MONTHS after having bone graft surgery where they took a piece of bone out of my hip and put it in my wrist with pins.... baseball dream career OVER.
So, in a way, this is my way back in. That is why it means so much to me to write about sports. I know that I'm good enough to write for B/R... being accepted would mean a lot to me where most people wouldn't necessarily appreciate it the way I would.
I'm sorry for having you read all of this garbage. I want you to know though that I really do appreciate your support and you lending your ear to me. It helps me out more than you would imagine. Another "fan" friend of mine that just happens to be a Michigan State fan told me to quit trying to write for them. He was accepted but has written just one article. In his words, he said,"You are a much better writer than most of those jokers at B/R. B/R should have to pay you to write for them because you bring something to the table when you write. These other guys (he was speaking of the Ohio State writers) just re-write what they read or heard, you actually are smart enough to make a story out of the news, they can't". Well... that's easy for Ken to say. He knows me personally and he has been accepted. I may feel that way if I were accepted, too. Until then I just feel like a chump. I am a chump with 16 REAL fans though. Sure it is only 16 fans, but I haven't written an article yet. One day, maybe with your help and the help of some of my other fans, I'll be able to finally write an article.
Sorry again. I know that I babble badly. I'm just very frustrated. I wish I could actually talk to someone at B/R. All I have is you though. Haha. Thanks again, brother. Keep in touch. I hope to hear from you soon.
Well if B/R would ever accept me as a writer, your information will be more than valuable to me. If B/R ever does accept me, I plan on writing an article on the status of every Big Ten team bi-weekly. Also, it is incredibly tough to get any kind of information on Big Ten teams not named Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, or Penn State at this time every year. I'm fighting and busting my tail right now because Bleacher Report won't let me write. I want to write for them so badly and they just won't give me a shot. My next try may very well be my last as my 4th try was maybe my best writing ever and I still was rejected. I don't know if you noticed or not, but Biffle did end up winning last week's race, so now Biffle leads in top 10's, top 5's, points, and now has his first win of the season. I really can't believe I was denied. Just for you, I'm going to write stories on the Cubs (I'm a lifetime Cardinal fan) and the Badgers if they let me write. Good luck to your friend Alex. I really hope he makes the squad. I'd love to write a story on him and your hometown school if he makes the team. I'll be praying for his safety and for him to get his fair shot to make the team. Oh, if I never told you before, I am a Christian. I pray many times daily. My prayers will be with Alex... I really hope he makes the squad. That is awesome! Well, good luck to you brother. I hope to hear from you soon. Please keep in touch, even if only to say "hey". Take care, brother.
Well, the Badgers win with their lines. I STILL say that the Heisman trophy of 2010 should have gone to Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi. He played in the Big Ten, was an outstanding run blocker and was beaten on just one or two pass plays the entire year. Linemen get no props. The funny thing is that John Heisman was a lineman. I think he played tackle and I know his best position was center. Maybe they should have named the award after someone else, Haha. Wisconsin never recruits early and always seem to be "weak". I know they get good transfers here and there, but the truth is that Wisconsin recruits very well. If recruiting was about money, Wisconsin would be the best at it. I have a feeling (if Wisconsin can reach the Big Ten Title game), that going to Wisconsin will be a much better choice than it has sounded like over the past decade. You would think that a RB like 2012 Ohio State signee, Bri'onte Dunn would want to run behind those corn fed linemen that Wisconsin cranks out year after year. Instead Dunn signs with OSU where he will be lucky to get any real playing time until his junior year (OSU still has Carlos "El Guapo" Hyde as a junior back-up. He is the fastest RB on the roster at a 4.3 second 40... oh he weighs 240 pounds, too). Dunn would have been a PERFECT fit at Wisconsin. Rivals compares Dunn to Chris "Beanie" Wells.
I think the better schools of the Big Ten will all start to improve at recruiting now that Urban Meyer is in Columbus. Meyer WANTS to dominate recruiting in Ohio, but he is recruiting out of state in a huge way. Big Ten teams are going to start to raid Ohio soon, instead of letting Michigan win those battles. That is just a prediction... but I see Bielema concentrating in Ohio a bit more in the future. Ohio is an absolute gold mine for high school players. Most CFB junkies know that, but the casual fan would never believe that Ohio has been in the top 5 along with Texas, California, Florida, and Georgia over the last TWENTY YEARS!
Keep in touch brother. If you get excited about anything going on in Madison, be sure and let me know... Bleacher Report WILL HAVE TO LET ME WRITE before too long. Oh... my last B/R application, where I said Biffle would win the Sprint Cup...... Biffle started the day in first place in points, and is SECOND in this race. MY story was DEAD ON.... and got rejected.... pitiful. Oh well, I really hope to have you read a story on the Badgers soon... written by me. I appreciate your support, bud. Take care, talk to ya very soon.
Hey Grant! Of course the Urban Meyer issue bothers me when I hear the word "illegal" pop up. I do find it odd though that Meyer would use former Buckeyes to call recruits up. First, Urban Meyer hasn't been real close to the program for a long time. He really doesn't know who he can trust. This being a major recruiting violation for a team like Ohio State, I really think it is all just bogus news that will go away after a while. I asked myself,"If I were Urban Meyer, which former Buckeyes would I TRUST enough to call these kids up and ask them to pledge to Ohio State?". I couldn't find any players that I would take a chance on. I hope Meyer is smarter than that. I was never on the Meyer coming to Ohio State bandwagon. I was very happy with Luke Fickell and 3 or 4 years of mediocrity. I am true to my Buckeyes and Luke Fickell should be in the dictionary under "Buckeye". He was born in Columbus and besides one year in the NFL and a short coaching stint at Akron, has lived in Columbus and been involved in some way with the Buckeyes for his entire life.
Lately, I have been reading a lot about Michigan recruiting. all Michigan fans think that Hoke is the messiah and that he is doing the greatest recruiting job ever. In the 2012 recruiting time, Hoke jumped all over the competition by snagging recruits early and often. When things finished though, Michigan sputtered across the finish line with a class that to me wasn't very impressive. It looks like more of the same. Of Michigan first 12 recruits of the '13 class, Michigan got commits from seven 4-star guys to go with five 3-star guys(depending on what you read). I understand getting players early CAN be good but I see WARNING Flags for Michigan and their 2013 recruits. I think they should be just a little more choosy when picking players that haven't even played their senior year of high school yet.
I will be looking at Wisconsin's recruiting soon. If you have any ideas or thoughts about their recruiting class, I'd love to hear about them before I start my digging. The rest of the Big Ten has been slow in recruiting, but I HAVE to take long looks at each Big Ten team, when the teams finally get more than 2 or 3 players to look at.
Good luck to ya and take care, brother. Hope to hear from you soon.
Thanks for the props, Grant.
You're a Tony Campana fan? Gotta root for a guy like that. I'm with ya.
But tell me, what's his best case scenario for next year, in your opinion? What's a "good year" look like for him given the flux in Chicago?
I'm worried he can't do better than 4th OF. Because one thing I think happens, no matter what, Bryan LaHair will get a chance to bat somewhere. If they sign a 1B, LaHair is in left field, wherever he's the least liability. And Byrd, DeJesus, Brett Jackson, will get ABs somewhere. And we're hearing Coco Crisp rumors. Hmmm...
What happens to Tony? Spin me a good, semi-believable scenario. I'm all ears (eyes).
I appreciate you noticing that I try to treat others with dignity and try also to have class. Being a Buckeye fan means I have to try extra hard to make up for a lot of knucklehead fans that we have. I'd love to write here some day but seriously do not know if I can hack it. Regardless, it does feel good to see that someone realizes how hard I try to be cool to all. You should see how I treat Joel Greer. I love the guy but think that since I am a Buckeye fan that he will never like me as much as I like to read his articles. Haha. Good luck with your Badgers...we need revenge badly this year. Keep Chris Borland healthy...I love that kid.