#SJW2021: Reporting sports a feeling unrivaled


Lilly Gorman

The Sidekick co-sports editor Meer Mahfuz interviews boys basketball coach Clint Schnell after Coppell’s Class 6A area playoff loss against Lake Highlands at Loos Sports Complex on Thursday. While others find sports coverage difficult, Mahfuz thinks sports coverage helps him escape the teenage world.

Meer Mahfuz, Co-Sports Editor

Every goal. Every touchdown. Every basket.

I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s seeing people’s energetic happiness after a thrilling play. Maybe it’s because I can imagine myself in their shoes because I, too, am an athlete. Maybe it’s talking to professionals like Kenny Matthews at Friday Night Glory, learning as I go. Regardless of whatever it may be, stepping into the sporting environment is a feeling very few activities can replicate.

Covering sports is no doubt a daunting task for some, but it’s a skill that comes easily to me. Aided by my love for sports since early childhood, being a sports reporter and stepping into a sporting event removes the stressful anchors of teenagism that are shackled onto my legs and transitions me into a serene reality, one of freedom and enthusiasm. 

A reality that I’ve only been able to experience with one other activity: the adventures and competition I endure as part of the Coppell varsity soccer team. 

I hear so many stories of “covering sports is so scary because everything is happening simultaneously” and “I don’t like covering sports because it’s tiring.” So many stories, but none I can relate to. 

In a niche profession such as journalism, many will turn to feature writing and opinionating issues as the more popular and easier to understand options, but covering a sport is no doubt telling a story. However, you replace opinions and infographics with scoring points and raw emotion from players and coaches.    

Maybe it’s that I lack the creative storytelling skill set. In all honesty, there is not much room for the feature writing or storytelling creativity in covering sports, aside from rare milestones. But that’s where all the fun is. Putting a unique twist in your lede while also being very specific and detailed in your gamer is a challenge to me, one I’ll happily accept any day of the week. 

Emotional benefits only go so far though. The life skills I have learned as a sports journalist completely changed me. No longer am I afraid to talk to freakishly tall 6’6 basketball stars and 250-pound lineman. In fact, I seek these beasts of nature now, as they often are in the spotlight. 

Maybe I will never understand your disinterest with sports and you will never understand my love for it, but with all my heart, covering sports is greater than just about anything.   

Follow Meer (@meer_mahfuz) and @SidekickSports on Twitter.