Courtesy of Brandon Trachtenberg

Position(s): Daily Sports Writer (since Fall 2019); Founder, Sport and Society Beat (Fall 2020, Winter 2021)

Section(s): Sports

Semesters at The Daily: 7

Former Michigan Daily alum Adam Schefter often tells a tale about rejection when he started out at Michigan. He received turndowns from fraternities, the football staff and the basketball staff. Schefter then concludes with a message about turning to The Daily with nowhere left to turn. 

That was his experience. For others, The Daily may be more than a last resort and rather a first destination. 

That’s the magic of this special place, though. It’s a “choose your own adventure” and every person has a different story of how they got here. 

Personally, coming into Michigan, it was intimidating arriving at a place with 40,000 students. Friends and family kept talking about how campus will quickly “get smaller.” But, there was always angst that I’d never be able to find that community to make Michigan “smaller.”

After getting accepted into Michigan, an advisor reached out and recommended I look into joining The Michigan Daily, as he saw I mentioned writing about sports in high school. I had no interest in journalism — and still don’t — but was willing to give it a shot because, as future Hall of Famer Russell Westbrook proclaims, “why not.” 

I went on The Daily website and found that Ethan Sears and Max Marcovitch were the leaders of the sports section. On brand, I sent an email — in June — to express my interest in applying. In a couple days, Max responded explaining that there was no application process and to come to a meeting in August.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into as I headed on the BB bus, making my first of many treks to 420 Maynard. A “short jester” — as Lily Israel would refer to him, or Spencer Raines for the rest of you — stood pandering near the front and it was obvious he was new. Spencer would become my first of many friends I made because of The Daily.

Days went by and I found myself shadowing the one and only Brendan Roose with Spencer during a women’s soccer game. Albeit I’ve had some much more enticing moments throughout my tenure, at the time it felt like one of the coolest things ever to sit in the “press box” — a foldable table at the top of the stands — and go interview the coach and players on the pitch.

From there, things just got better and better. I met more future roommates in Jared Greenspan and Nick Stoll at our first Daily Birthday Party. I wrote more stories. Spoke to Juwan Howard one-on-one. Played some touch football. Ate Piada and Elevation Burger an exuberant amount — RIP to both. Learned and quickly disavowed the vile game of euchre. Experienced the end of the world and then recorded an incoherent “podcast,” while watching a degenerate gambler, Connor Brennan, rip his pants. Performed “cult-like” rituals manifesting Michigan football wins. Found Austin Davis — the greatest inspiration I’ll ever need. And so much more.

That community that I craved, I found in The Daily.

The Sports and Society beat may have been the peak of my writing career, but The Daily has always been a home for me. I’ll never forget my first email mention, my first time seeing my story in the newspaper, the State News games and practices, the late nights in the newsroom, and — most importantly — the relationships.

There’s no way I can thank or mention everyone, but just know that I appreciate each person I’ve been fortunate to meet and work with.

Nick, Jared and Spencer, not much needs to be said here. Once each of you made arduous journeys to Baits freshman year, I knew y’all were some real ones. You three are some of the best friends anyone could ask for and thank you so much for the many memories, which could fill a novel.

From the infamous trip to Ypsi to see Emoni Bates, to our wholesome Cider Mill day, to the games in Crisler heckling Brad Underwood and “Zydrunas Ilgauskas,” to our COVID Zoom calls watching Ethan drink alone, to that party where we coerced people into eating a raw onion, to our time in Nashville, to the wet and glorious game against Notre Dame freshman year, the stories could go on and on. I can’t wait to create many more memories next semester.

Ethan and Max, you were such amazing MSEs and thank you so much for accepting me into the section and Daily community. You both not only became great friends, but also were terrific leaders and taught me many things. Max, while I applied your “creating mediocre content in a short amount of time” advice only a few times at The Daily, it came in handy on many other occasions. Ethan, meticulous rounds of edits seemed harsh in the moment, but I am so grateful for your willingness to elevate my writing skills.

Shoutout to other washed writers who welcomed me and became great friends: Ben, Teddy, Jack (Kingsley), Lily (Friedman), Tien, Molly, Paarth, Nick (Moen), Theo, Brendan, Avi, Jorge, Drew, Connor (Brennan) / Big Tats, Lane, Daniel, Akul and Rian.

Kent and Josh, I’ve enjoyed living above you in 425 Cross and am glad that we’ve gotten closer these past few months.

Abbie, Lily (Israel), Matt (my stellar “co-social chair”), Steel, Jack (Glanville), and Max, we might’ve been a small “pledge” class but it was the best group to go through The Daily with.

Connor (Earegood) and Paul, we never directly worked together but I’ve loved getting to know you and cannot wait to see the amazing things you accomplish as MSEs!

To the young-ins, I don’t know all of you and — to be honest — you may not know me. But it’s been great meeting some of you and I hope you stick with The Daily. I think I serve as a great example of “You don’t need to be a Senior Editor or be on the football beat to be involved in the section.” Just go to a production some night, spend some time at one of the many pregames, or go to a State News practice. Get involved as much as you want, but always know 420 Maynard will be a welcoming and friendly community.

Ultimately, when looking back on my Daily experiences, one adage comes to mind: “we weren’t here for a long time, but boy was it a good time!”