Adding New Perspective To MeanGreenSports.com
Posted August 30, 2012
Beginning the week after the North Texas-LSU football game, MeanGreenSports.com will debut a new feature that marks a departure from the norm for university athletic websites.
MeanGreenSports.com will run a weekly column about North Texas football, but not by one of our athletic-department staff members. The column will be written by Ben Kercheval, writer and co-manager of the NBC Sports website CollegeFootballTalk.com.
|Ben Kercheval |
Only a small percentage of college-athletic websites employ outside columnists, but the feeling here is that bringing in a different perspective and fresh voice will be of interest to MeanGreenSports.com readers.
"What you can look for is someone who takes what I see and tries to find the meaning behind it," Kercheval said.
He also says to expect humor in his writing.
"I'm a little sarcastic," he said. "I try to find humor in everything. I love football but don't take it overly seriously."
Kercheval does not have a journalistic education, but does have a journalism history. His father was a journalist for more than 30 years, and Kercheval spent much of his youth in press boxes.
"I've always loved college sports," Kercheval said. "I grew up in college towns, and the college lifestyle has always been rooted in me."
But professionally, Kercheval headed in a different direction out of college. He graduated from North Texas in 2009 with a business degree and went to work for a mortgage company in Austin.
"I hated it," he said. "I started asking myself what I wanted to do."
The moment of clarity, however, came from a co-worker.
"He was over 40 years old, working a job he did not enjoy, and not happy," Kercheval recalls. "He said, 'Don't end up like me.'"
So Kercheval looked to his own passion for sports and his experiences in and around writing, and began writing. When an internship opened at one of CFT's sister sites, Pro Football Talk, he jumped at the chance. Working his mortgage job during the day and writing about football at night and on weekends, Kercheval wrote CollegeFootballTalk.com for a year without pay before NBC offered employment.
In two years at CFT, Kercheval has written about the national college football landscape, including weighing in on important stories like the recent Jim Tressel, Bobby Petrino, and Penn State scandals.
"I try not to pick sides, and try to be fair," Kercheval said.
But he's also quite familiar with Mean Green sports from his time at North Texas, and he's followed the recent rapid growth of the program. The opportunity to write about his alma mater was a significant enticement.
"It's great," he said. "I don't get to do it nearly enough. I had a great experience at North Texas."
We hope you'll enjoy what Ben has to say.
New Game Day Page
Tomorrow, MeanGreenSports.com will debut the overhauled and renovated Game Day page.
Game Day existed in one form or fashion for some time, but we're making it a source for the who, what, when and where of each North Texas football game, including radio and TV listings, links to internet coverage, locations of game-watching parties, weather forecasts, a statistical comparison of the teams, and the opponent's schedule and results.
We've also set up a Game Day page for every football game this season, and each opponent's information will be updated each week. Click on the opponents' helmets to go to the page for that game.
David Pyke is a 1982 graduate of North Texas, the creator of the website meangreenworld.com, a former journalist and a member of the media-relations staff of the UNT Athletic Department. He offers an inside view of happenings in and around Mean Green athletics.