Sports writer values every edition of the Texan

Peter Sblendorio

Editor’s note: A 30 column is a chance for departing senior staffers to say farewell and reflect on their time spent in The Daily Texan’s basement office. The term comes from the old typesetting mark (–30–) to denote the end of a line.

I’ve saved a copy of every Daily Texan I’ve ever been published in.

After four years and more than 100 articles written, I’ve got quite a stash in a cabinet back home.

Even as the years passed and the wonder of seeing my name in print wore off, I never stopped picking up copies. That’s because I never stopped feeling lucky to have such an awesome opportunity to write for such a respected publication.

I like to thumb through the pages of those old Texan issues from time to time. It’s amazing to see how much I’ve grown as a writer over the years, and it’s fascinating to see how much the paper has changed. But more than anything, I like to read those old copies because they always manage to coax out some of my favorite memories.

Like the time in the fall of 2011 when I, a college student for all of two months, sat down and conducted a 30-minute interview with Jordan Spieth, then the top-ranked collegiate golfer and now a Masters winner. It’s still one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.

Or the time I traveled to New York City to cover a pair of Texas basketball games at Madison Square Garden, the self-proclaimed “World’s Most Famous Arena.” Being the die-hard New York sports fan that I am, it was legitimately a dream come true.

I’ll never forget my time as the Texas football beat writer in 2013. It was the most challenging experience of my Daily Texan career, but far and away the most rewarding. Every week, I wrote four articles, attended two lengthy press conferences and covered the Saturday game. It was undoubtedly demanding, especially on top of a college schedule, but it’s also the reason I hope to become a football writer soon after I graduate.

Sometimes with The Daily Texan, I even witnessed history.

Like when I covered the 2013 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, the final game of Mack Brown’s illustrious 16-year career as Texas head football coach. I was on-hand, too, for Rick Barnes’ farewell press conference after 17 seasons as the Longhorns’ head basketball coach, and I was there for Shaka Smart’s introductory presser as Barnes’ replacement a few weeks later.

Growing up, all I ever wanted was to become a sports writer. For the past four years, I’ve been living my dream, thanks to The Daily Texan. I’ve made lifelong friends and shared unforgettable experiences with the wonderful Daily Texan staff. It’s been a truly unbelievable ride.

It’s hard to believe this is the last thing I’ll ever write for my beloved college newspaper. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go pick up a copy of The Daily Texan, one last time.