Sports writer says thank you, goodbye to journalism

Robert Larkin

I was in the middle of a disastrous golf round when Alex Briseño called me last August. Normally, I wouldn’t have taken a phone call during a round like that. But to be honest, everything that could go wrong on a golf course had, up to that point. 

I was shanking balls left and right. I couldn’t hit a ball off a tee. It truly was one of those days that makes you question why God would torture us with such a game. 

So, when Alex called, I had nothing to lose. We had plans to talk about my position at The Daily Texan last fall. And while it wasn’t unexpected, I was struggling with what I was going to say.

See, I had made this crazy decision that I wanted to go to law school, and I started to get a feeling that one more semester at the Texan wouldn’t be worth my time. 

But as I prepared to tell Alex my plans, he rushed ahead and told me I made permanent staff. I didn’t know what to expect from the position, or how I was going to break the news I wasn’t going to do it in the first place. As I struggled with that, however, I blurted out two words instead.

“Thanks man!” 

Suddenly I was stuck. 

I debated calling Alex back after that, but I just accepted the job instead and decided it may not be that bad. 

That turned out to be the best choice I made at The University of Texas. The past two semesters rewarded me in a way I never could have imagined, meeting some of the most wonderful people on the 40 Acres.

I made some amazing friends and memories. I broadened my perspective and learned why other newspaper departments hate sports. 

I’ve had many friends ask me why I spent the time I did this past year at my job. To be honest, I wouldn’t trade a minute. Some quick shout-outs for the people that made it happen: 

To Alex and Ross, y’all are some of the best editors and people I’ve ever met. You are both younger than me, but I’ve always admired the way you made me and others better. 

To the rest of the sports department, I loved chopping it up with y’all every time we met. I know the group is in good hands next year. 

To Kirsten, Jason and the copy desk, y’all are the unsung heroes in the newsroom. Y’all are the best. 

To Ellie, Andrea, Catherine and Forrest, I appreciate all the hard work you put in. Seriously, I’ve never seen people so committed to their work. 

My journalism career is over, at least for now. But to everyone at the Texan, thank you so much for allowing this kid be a part of it all.