Game on, sportswriter

August 25, 2012 |  by  |  Spotlight Saturday  |  , ,

 

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s get ready to ruuummmbble! (Insert NBA pump up music.) Meet Matt Petersen, Phoenix Suns fanatic and sportswriter for The Daily Herald. Matt and I go back more than a decade, and I’ve always been impressed with his slam-dunk way with words. He gets paid to cover sports, and has interviewed the likes of  Steve Nash. Talented beyond his years, his words sport more than the essence of games, but also the humanity. Bonus tidbit: Matt happens to be married to my sister. 

Q. Matt, you’ve got the passion, the voice, and know-how for sportswriting; both in writing and in person. I remember you announcing games in high school. How’d you first know you’d want your professional life to revolve around covering sports?

A: Honestly, I had no intention of sports being a part of my career until my mid-20s. The announcing was just wasy/fun side money while I was in college. Sports writing was my mom’s idea after I hit a point where I had no clue what I wanted to do. Computers? Change too often. Accounting? BORING. (Note: That sister of mine he’s married to? She’s a talented accountant. They balance each other well.) Mom told me to try out sports writing at the college paper for a semester. BINGO.

Q. Describe your favorite experience so far as a press-badged reporter.

A: Hands-down, interviewing Steve Nash after the Suns-Jazz game in 2012. I was on assignment for the Daily Herald. Frankly, it was a one-night stand with my dream job. Nothing is more surreal than having someone you’ve watched for hours on TV make eye contact with you, acknowledge you, and give you sincere attention/time/words.

Q. As a lifelong Suns fan, you created wearesuns.com with a friend years ago. Tell us, what prompted you to launch that site and has it fulfilled what you hoped it would?

A: It was my friend’s idea. He was a visual guy, I was the content guy. It hasn’t taken off like we’d hoped due to school taking up our free time, plus lack of access. I moved to Utah, he couldn’t secure credentials. It’s an on-again, off-again project at this point.

Q. What advice do you offer for someone who longs to be in your professional sportswriting shoes?

A: I’m not there yet? In other words, it’s a process. Experiences like interviewing Nash and Larry Fitzgerald are few and far between. Know that covering high school games and other lesser-known teams/sports are unavoidable and necessary stepping stones to make it. Part of those stepping stones is tedious: tracking down info. not readily available on the internet, awkward interviews, and plenty of trial-and-error along the way.

If you can live and even love the experience (and the low-level salary that comes with it), “the big time” is worth the wait.

Q. Where do you see yourself, and your writing, in 10 years?

A: So much for trying not to get my hopes up. Ideally, I’d be covering an NCAA university athletic program or an NBA team. While I get some of that now, I’d love to do that exclusively in 10 years (a.k.a. be a “beat writer”).

Timpanogas falls in 10-inning title game classic

By Matt Petersen – Daily Herald

After three weeks’ worth of defying the odds, historic batting performances and a 10-inning saga of championship baseball, Timpanogos didn’t want second place.

So there the trophy stood, on the ground in the middle of everyone, acknowledged by no one.

“I guess it would look bad if we just left it here,” head coach Kim Nelson finally said.

Instead the Timberwolves acknowledged only each other’s tears of regret and emotion following an epic 8-7, 4A state title loss that needed three extra innings to be decided.

After Skyline’s game-winning hit finally ended a seemingly endless game, Timpanogos players and coaches tried to find comfort, but it was — and likely is — slow in coming after a game either team could havewon multiple times.

Click here for the rest of this story.

Connect with Matt

Read Matt’s latest sports stories

Twitter: @TheMattPetersen


2 Comments


  1. Matt, I can’t even handle that you got to interview Steve Nash. First of all, kudos on having the grit to pursue a journalism career….you really have to earn every little success in that field. The daily grind of journalism didn’t end up being my cup of tea after trying it for a year, but I’d probably do it anyway if it meant meeting Steve Nash! (May he rest in peace in L.A.) Fun interview choice, Crystalee!

    • Thanks for commenting, and yes, Matt’s got ink in his blood, apparently. And since his kids will be my nieces/nephews, does that mean they will too? (I’d be OK with that. Or they can follow their mom’s brainy accountant ways.) Either way, Matt’s the man.

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