Don't hate me for being Cards fan

When the idea of me doing journalism started for me, my first thought was that I would be doing sports. That didn’t start out being the case in my first real professional job.

Since I graduated from Iowa State all my reporting and writing jobs have been dealing with covering news whether it be city council, crime or an election.

“So you maybe asking, why are you covering sports at the Rantoul Press?” Well, I guess you could say “fate” and well, I’m throwing my hat in to see if I can do it.

A little information about me, I grew up in southern Illinois near St. Louis, yes, meaning I’m a Cardinals fan. I hope you won’t hold that against me as long as I am here at the Rantoul Press.

My interest in sports started with the Cardinals. I grew up listening to Jack Buck and Michael Shannon on the radio. For those of us who grew up listening to St. Louis Cardinals radio, you think of “Go crazy folks, go crazy!” or “Swing and high fly ball! Get up, baby! Get up!”

I’m lucky enough to have gotten the legendary Tony La Russa’s autograph that I will hopefully hold onto with me for the rest of my life.
Maybe I can persuade you into liking me by telling you I’m a fan of the Fighting Illini. My oldest brother and father went to the University of Illinois. My oldest brother went to U of I during that year, you know what year I mean, the year the Fighting Illini went all the way to the Final Four that was where? St. Louis, basically my hometown.

I remember vividly Illinois coming from 15 points down in the Elite Eight with only four minutes left against Arizona. The Illinois three guards were pure magic; Dee Brown, Deron Williams and Luther Head and the two big men; James Augustine and Roger Powell.
I remember when Illinois was down by only three points with just 45 seconds left and Jack Ingram swatted the ball away after Arizona threw the ball in which lead to Williams hitting a three-point shot to send the game to overtime. Illinois won 90-89, in what I think is one of the most amazing NCAA Tournament games, but I’m a bit biased I suppose.

I have cherised those types of sports memories and now I’m going to do something I’ve never done in my journalism career, reporting and writing about sports.

I am not going to lie, I’m a bit nervous. Well, more than a bit nervous probably. Covering sports is uncharted territory for me as a journalist. I know I’ll probably make some mistakes, but what I can promise and will try to do is put in my best effort in covering all sporting events. I realize that the communities of Rantoul, Fisher all depend on the Rantoul Press for coverage.

Contact Ben Theobald at or on Twitter @theobald_ben.


Categories (2):Misc., Sports


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