Farewell column: Collin Brister, former sports editor

Posted on May 4 2016 - 7:39pm by Collin Brister

“You like sports?”


“Cool. Want to be the assistant sports editor?”

That’s how I got this job back in early September. I was sitting in a class with the former The Daily Mississippian editor-in-chief Logan Kirkland writing down gambling spreads. I wasn’t paying attention at all. I also didn’t gamble that weekend, because that’s illegal.

One thing led to another, and by early November I was running the sports section of The Daily Mississippian. I’d be lying if I said my head didn’t start spinning immediately after I took over. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get text messages at 2:30 p.m. asking what was going in the paper the next day and my response wasn’t “The heck if I know.”

It worked out though. It worked out because I work with really talented people and because Brian Scott Rippee didn’t hang up on me when I asked if he wanted to help me out. I remember that call like yesterday.

“Hey man, uh, want to come in a few days a week and help with the sports section?”

“Sure, when?”

“It’s 2 p.m. How about in like an hour?”

He came in that day. Thank God.

This job has taken me some really cool places over the past few months.

I got to see Ole Miss beat Mississippi State in Starkville this past November. To a kid who grew up 30 minutes from Starkville, that’s a big deal. I got to see Ole Miss win the Sugar Bowl for the first time since the ’60s. I got to see Ole Miss open up the Pavilion.

I’d be lying if I said there weren’t trying times. I remember a specific day in March that I had interviewed six people and was writing a feature story on how good the Ole Miss students have had it over the past four years compared to students before. My phone crashed and deleted every single interview. Every one. I then spat out 700 fire words about the dominance of the Ole Miss bullpen.

I’d be remiss if my last byline ever didn’t thank a few people, or a lot of people. Whatever.

Thank you to everyone who took time to read what I had to write from my columns, to my power polls that were called sassy. Thank you to everyone who emailed, even if it wasn’t always positive. Or ever positive.

Thank you to every sports writer who has written articles the past few months.

Thank you to Logan and Dylan Rubino for taking a chance on a kid who had never had anything published before. I would argue that I had the best college job in the world. I got paid to write about a team that I grew up loving. I’m not exactly sure how you beat that.

Thank you to Brian Scott for answering the phone that day. There were days that I’m not sure how a sports section gets published without him. I worked with him seven months and I only wanted to fight him once. That’s pretty impressive in my opinion. Brian Scott’s taking over my job next year. He’ll do better than me. Also, if you’d like to write for The Daily Mississippian text him at 662-688-6… I’m not going to do that.

Thank you to the DM staff for not letting me lose my mind last November when I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. You’re all beyond talented and good people.

It’s crazy, because when you think about getting a part-time job in college, it usually involves the mindset of “I can’t wait to go home,” once you get there. I never felt like that here. I’ve been on the second floor of Bishop Hall at 1:30 a.m. before and never once was I miserable. I thoroughly enjoyed going to work every single day. I’m not sure how many people get to say that.

I’ve joked that I may be the shortest-tenured sports editor of all time at the DM. I’m not sure it’s actually a joke. It doesn’t seem like it’s been seven months since that conversation with Logan over gambling spreads. It doesn’t seem like it’s been four years since I got to Ole Miss. It doesn’t seem like this year should be over, but it is. I’ve had an amazing four years, and I owe this place a lot. Thank you.