Tag Archives: austin vaughn

SEC Profiles

The Red & Black’s profile on Georgia Cornerback Shaq Wiggins parallels the Allison Schmidt profile we read in class the other day by picking a personal aspect of the athlete to delve into his distinct personality before going into his actual athletic prowess. Shirkey, however, maintains the focus on Wiggins’ personality throughout the article, sprinkling in stats and analysis of his play in-between smack talk and team camaraderie anecdotes.

Seth Emerson’s profiling of Auburn Quarterback Nick Marshall’s “turning point” after being dismissed from the University of Georgia for theft was a great first part. However, the conclusion is left out. We are told how he fell from grace and overcame his mistake, but we are left to find out for ourselves how he is at Auburn or how he feels about the journey. But, this profile has a very good lede (similar to some of Prof. Suggs examples in class on Tuesday) and details his journey to UGA, his dismissal, his renewing talk with his high school coach and his transfer to Garden City Community College. More details and interviews about what happened after his stay at Garden City would make this a great profile.

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Loni Gibson’s sports story

As a young girl sitting in the Georgia Dome with her father every Sunday, Loni Gibson experienced a culture of passion and a world full of stories. But Gibson never imagined she would be the one to tell those stories.

Gibson’s father Reuben -who had a short stint as a running back with the Falcons in 1977- instilled a love of sport into her at a young age.

“Attending Atlanta Falcons games with my Dad as a child is one of my favorite pastimes,” she said.

But, originally, the allure of the television spotlight drove Gibson’s career plans.

“I always knew that I wanted to be on TV,” she said, “Yet, I knew I didn’t want to be an actress. That’s when I found broadcast journalism.”

However, the direction for her television career would later be shaped by her father and her fond childhood memories of Sunday afternoons in the Dome.

“My Dad helped me find my love of sports,” Gibson said, “I think that’s what made [sports] a thing for me, because it was our Sunday thing.”

As a student in the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism, Gibson has found plenty of compelling stories to be told, particularly those involving the passion of college athletes.

“I feel like when you’re talking to college athletes there’s a little more passion in it than [with professionals],” she said “Because they’re trying to get to that next level, and they know that this is what it depends on.”

The human element, specifically the zeal of sports fans, particularly engages Gibson. And makes for entertaining stories.

“[Sports] allows people to interact with something that’s their favorite pastime,” Gibson said, “It truly evokes passion through fans. It helps people tell their own story. I think that’s what reporting is all about — the people, and that’s what makes sports my thing.”

Gibson also enjoys exploring the physical and emotional journey of the athlete.

“I like knowing how people feel,” she said. “I’m more interested in seeing [situations] like: ‘Oh, she just made her first point as a Lady Dog, and it was a three point shot. How does that make her feel? What do her teammates think? She’s a freshman and her first shot was a three point; what does the team think about her?’”

And her love of sports even overcomes her love of the spotlight.

“Sports is what I really wanna do,” Gibson said, “Obviously, if someone wanted me to anchor their show, I wouldn’t say no, but I want to sideline report college sports.”

Austin Vaughn’s sports story

Five years ago Austin Vaughn would have never pictured himself reporting sports.

“I wanted to be one of those guys that writes for Rolling Stone,” Vaughn said. “The one who gets the album before everybody else gets it and write about it.”

Vaughn a student at the University of Georgia said outside being raised a Georgia Tech and Carolina Panthers fan he did not care about sports. Before transferring to Georgia, Vaughn attended Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Connecticut. While in Connecticut, he wrote for the Housatonic Horizons, the student paper at HCC, but covered new stories. Despite covering news, writing for the Housatonic Horizons is where he found his passion for sports.

“Baseball is really just crazy, big up there. Being around that passion for baseball got me into baseball. That was the first time I really cared about baseball.”

Aside from finding a new love of baseball, Vaughn said that living in New England helped to cement his love of sports. Actually, his future covering baseball may have been foreshadowed during his first trip to Turner Field.

“When I first visited Turner Field, I was five years old, so I wasn’t thinking too much about baseball,” Vaughn said. “The spectacle of the whole thing. Seeing the big lights. This giant field, the people running all around. I was swept up in something that was bigger than myself, I just wasn’t quite sure what it was.”

Despite his vivid memories of visiting Turner Field, Vaughn doesn’t believe that his first visit to Turner Field solidified his love of baseball. However, he does believe that it was a big starting point.

“I don’t think it took hold how important that was until I was in Connecticut,” Vaughn said. “I do think that’s a starting point and that’s a big starting point. I don’t think baseball would have even been in my mind had that not happened.”

Auburn upsets the Aggies in College Station

Ryan Black’s second day story on the Tigers’ 45-41 road upset of Texas A&M starts with an off the wall comparison of first-year Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall to Heisman Trophy winner and BCS National Champion Cam Newton. And, while the evidence backing up the comparison isn’t too substantial -Marshall being a balanced rushing and passing quarterback and being the first Tiger QB to have a 200 passing and 100 rushing game since Newton, Marshall has brought Auburn out of the SEC basement and into the national spotlight much like the current Carolina Panther QB did in 2010. Black brings up an important dichotomy later in the story which I see as the most important angle: the Tigers already have twice as many wins than they did last year. And looking ahead to their remaining schedule, Auburn could easily finish 10-2 if they keep playing the way they have so far. He even says the Tigers may be a threat to the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide. Now, I wouldn’t go as far to suggest that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened.

SEC Championship Prediction

Despite it only being week 6 of the college football season, two teams may have already punched their tickets to the SEC Championship game.

The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0 SEC) is the heavy favorite to win the West, having already beaten Texas A&M, and go on to a third consecutive BCS National Championship. Meanwhile, after facing three top-ten opponents in their first four games and winning both of the conference games, the seventh-ranked Georgia Bulldogs (4-1, 3-0 SEC) have a much easier path to Atlanta with only one top-25 opponent in their way, the arch-rival Florida Gators.

There are other contenders, of course, but, for No. 10 LSU (5-1, 2-1 SEC) to win the West, they will need to beat the undefeated Tide and hope that Alabama drops another game -which would be hard to foresee seeing as Saban and co. don’t have another ranked team on their schedule. No. 9 Texas A&M’s (4-1, 1-1 SEC) chances are even more unlikely seeing as they lost early to Alabama; their road to Atlanta would have to include two conference losses by Alabama and a win over LSU.

In the East, the secondary contenders are less menacing, but have a better chance of dethroning the Bulldogs. No. 17 Florida (4-1, 3-0 SEC) just needs to win out to stamp their ticket to Atlanta, but that is much easier said than done. The rest of the Gators’ conference schedule includes #25 Missouri, #10 LSU, #7 Georgia, and #14 South Carolina. But, if Florida does drop one of those conference games, as long as they beat Georgia they will own the tiebreaker, but they can only lose one. Speaking of Mizzou (5-0, 1-0 SEC), the dark horse candidate Tigers have a tough road ahead as well -playing Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina in the next three weeks, but winning out would put them on top of the East. However, dropping just one of those three games would more than likely put them out of the race. The Gamecocks (4-1, 2-1 SEC) just have Missouri and Florida to contend with, but neither are pushovers. And, for South Carolina to make it to Atlanta, they need to win out and Georgia would have to lose at least one conference game.

It may be early, but its safe to say that the Tide and the Bulldogs have the easiest path to the Georgia Dome. The view from the top isn’t easy, but its manageable. As long as they don’t screw up.