Farewell column: Sports editor Brian Scott Rippee

Posted on Mar 30 2017 - 5:41pm by Brian Scott Rippee

As I sit here battling my emotions and struggling to put together words to describe my experience as The Daily Mississippian sports editor, I can’t help but remember how the year began.

It quite literally seems like last week that I was sitting at a Waffle House in downtown Orlando, Florida, at 3 a.m. drinking a cup of coffee before I headed back to my hotel room. Ole Miss had just collapsed against Florida State in the second half of its season opener, and I had just left the Camping World Stadium press box around 2 a.m. after trying to make sense of it all before deadline.

I remember sitting there half asleep thinking, “Damn, if this is how the year is going to go, I may not make it to December.”

Brian Scott Rippee

(Photo by: Cameron Brooks)

I can now say that I (somewhat surprisingly) did make it through this school year, and it was the most challenging yet rewarding year of my life. I’ve worked at The Daily Mississippian for three years and can emphatically say that it’s changed my life.

It brought out a talent and passion inside me that I didn’t know I had. It changed the course of my career path. It took me to places I never thought I would go and provided opportunities that I never imagined would be possible. It’s allowed me to work with some extraordinarily talented people. That’s something that I don’t believe enough people fully appreciate. Whether you agree with everything that is published in the paper or not, not many college campuses still have an award-winning daily newspaper staffed with students who work their asses off to try to cover everything going on around you.

From starting as a guest columnist as a timid and clueless sophomore, to trying to learn how to cover a baseball team, all the way to learning how to put together the sports section, it’s been the greatest learning experience of my life.

But enough about me – the purpose of this column is to thank you. Thank you for reading and following along on this journey over the last year. We’ve been through a lot, you and I. From a roller coaster ride of a football season that sprung hope in August and disappointment in November, to a promising young basketball team that found its footing late in the year.

We’ve watched the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class in baseball begin its careers and a basketball team rally around a teammate who collapsed on the floor and come roaring back to beat Tennessee. Who could forget National Signing Day and the latest round of self-imposed sanctions that dropped shortly after or the major football coaching overhaul in December? We’ve seen both good and bad, and we’ve survived it all.

When I took this position at the end of last school year, I made a promise to myself that I would work as hard as I possibly could to deliver Ole Miss sports coverage to you in the best and most efficient way I knew how, and I hope I have held that standard. Thank you for reading. Thank you for the kind words along the way that have at times touched me to the point of tears. Thank you for the criticism. It helped me grow as a writer. None of it – good or bad – was taken lightly, and I remember each and every one of them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your loyal readership. It’s what motivates me each day.

It’s hard to believe my time at The Daily Mississippian is over, and it’s even more difficult to swallow. But all good things must come to an end. There’s so much I’ll miss about this job. I’ll miss Andy Kennedy’s postgame quips just as much as I’ll miss all of the late nights working in the Student Media Center with my talented co-workers who are now my friends for life. I’ll miss telling the stories of the uniquely talented student-athletes on this campus.

I’ll miss covering football games and getting a front-row view of just how passionate all of you are about this school and its teams. The most incredible part about this job was that it allowed a kid who grew up crawling up the steps of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (to section O, row 42, seat 2) to cover the teams and programs that gave me so many memories in my childhood. 

This isn’t goodbye, though. Next week, I’ll be jumping over to the Ole Miss Spirit on scout.com to cover the baseball team through season’s end. After that, I’ll head over to the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette for a summer internship. Neither of those opportunities would have happened without The Daily Mississippian.

I am not entirely sure what the future holds for me. But if it is filled with the incredible readership and talented co-workers I’ve been surrounded with here in Oxford, then I’m in for one hell of a ride. So farewell for now, but I’ll see you at the ballpark.