From the FDU Devils to the NY Mets: Sports writer on his home run of a career
Interview by Dan Landau
Three-time FDU alumnus Rick Laughland has a cool job: He spends his days watching baseball and football games and talking to stars like Eli Manning. Laughland, BS’08, MBA’10 (Flor), MSA’11 (Metro), is a writer and editor for the Scout.com network of sports sites and frequent commentator on FOX Sports. He shares what working as a sports reporter is like, dispels some common misconceptions about sports journalism, and offers tips on how to follow in his footsteps and land a gig covering a pro team.
FDU: What do you do?
RL: I cover the New York Mets and New York Giants for Scout.com and FOX Sports. More specifically, I oversee the editorial content that is published on the Scout.com network and attend practices and games as a credentialed member of the media.
Throughout the baseball and football seasons, I make appearances on FOX Sports National Radio (here, here, and here) as well as Sirius XM's Fantasy Sports Radio and share my insights and analysis on the Mets and Giants.
I've also made several appearances on FOX 5 TV in New York on a special segment called “The Who's Hot, Who's Iced Report” (here, here, and here) During the segment I discuss the hot and cold performers in the NFL with FOX 5 TV sports anchor Duke Castiglione. My Mets coverage can be found at AmazinClubhouse.com and Giants coverage at TheGiantsBeat.com.
FDU: How did you get to where you're at in your career?
RL: Through Fairleigh Dickinson's Masters in Sports Administration (MSA) program I started as an intern for the Scout network covering the New York Jets. I contributed articles on a weekly basis and attended off-season workouts to interview players, coaches and scouts. To hone my broadcasting skills, I also co-hosted a podcast program that previewed and reviewed each Jets game.
Following my internship, I was offered the opportunity to take over as the network's managing editor for Jets coverage. After one year the network shifted my coverage to the Giants and Mets, while Scout allowed me to run and operate my own domain name (AmazinClubhouse.com).
Currently I'm working with Gateway Outdoor Advertising to place ads for my Mets coverage on transit buses throughout northern New Jersey and Long Island. Through these marketing efforts I'm aiming to go toe-to-toe with the top Mets and Giants resources on the web. (Editor's note: Gateway Outdoor Adverising is led by FDU alumnus and PINNACLE awardee, Craig Heard, BS'72, MBA'74.)
FDU: What's the best part of your job?
RL: The inside access to players and ability to interact with star athletes including: Eli Manning, Victor Cruz, Odell Beckham Jr., and Darrelle Revis has been an eye-opening experience for me. Going behind the scenes to see how both the NFL and MLB are covered in the media along with witnessing the daily grind that professional athletes endure is truly a remarkable thing. Having the opportunity to bring die-hard sports fans with me onto the practice field, into the press conference room and in the press box through my writing and reporting is a special feeling that I don't take for granted.
Keep an eye out for Rick Laughland's Amazin' Clubhouse ads running on transit buses in Northern New Jersey and Suffolk County, Long Island this summer! (Gateway Outdoor Advertising)
FDU: What's a misconception people have about what you do?
RL: The majority of sports fans think that the media simply serves to generate headlines and create controversy in order to sell papers and generate clicks. From my standpoint, creating a buzz is important, but not at the expense of journalistic integrity and ethics.
People also assume that sports writing and reporting is all fun and games without recognizing that it's also a lot of hard work. Traveling on a daily basis between practices and games, asking frustrated athletes the hard-hitting questions after a tough loss, transcribing endless interviews and meeting tight deadlines are just a few of the major tasks a sportswriter has to deal with during their busy day.
FDU: Advice to someone who wants to follow your path?
RL: As a freshman at FDU I joined the school newspaper and covered women's volleyball, men's tennis and women's basketball.
Few people start their career in sports covering professional athletes, so take the opportunity in front of you and run with it! Whether it's joining the school newspaper staff, creating your own blog or recording a sports podcast in your dorm room; start developing a portfolio of your writing and broadcasting samples now. The sports media field is extremely competitive so be persistent and don't give up.
Amazin' Clubhouse and The Giants Beat are currently seeking interns to contribute to the network. So what are you waiting for? Stop by or call FDU career services today to find out more!
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