It doesn’t take long to realize I’m one of the most awkward people you’ll ever come across, so when someone gives me a compliment, it’s really hard for me to accept it; not because I don’t appreciate the kind words, I just freeze up. I don’t know why.
As I’ve embarked on this writing journey over the last six years, I’ve received a lot of positive feedback about numerous stories I’ve written. For that, I want to say thank you.
But that’s not why I decided to start writing. I started for the people reading this. I started writing for you.
The best thing about the last six years is seeing the countless smiles in person and reactions on social media to pieces I’ve done. I’ve only wanted to shine light on those athletes who have done good in their sport or around the community.
However, it’s time for me to bring forth names of people who need to be recognized for helping me reach this point of my life:
- If it wasn’t for Wes and Hillary Ginn, there’s no telling what I’d be doing right now. Coach Ginn gave me my first opportunity to realize my love for sport statistics as a senior in high school. The Ginn’s were among the first people to push me to become the person I am now.
- The Anniston Star sports department for taking a college freshman in and essentially teaching him how to write. I hated writing things in school, but (current staff) Mark Edwards, Joe Medley, Rip Donovan and Jared Gravette have taught me everything. Even though (former staff) Nick Birdsong, Brandon Miller and Will Gaines have since departed, the trio had a hand in shaping the me as a sports writer. (Sidebar: Trent Penny is still one of the funniest people I know.)
- Speaking of opportunities, the Jacksonville State Sports Information Department staff (Josh Underwood, Tony Schimt, Tyler Brown, Daniel Porter and Greg Seitz) let me gain as much experience as I was willing to learn as a student worker over the years. The weekend in Auburn for the softball regional a few years ago is still a personal highlight of mine.
- Personally, Matt Penland, Blaire and Nathan Fulmer, Jessie Yancey, Corey McAllister, Peighton Jolley, Sean and Leslie Jones, and Marie McBurnett have, somehow, kept me at bay while life has pulled in me different directions. (I have to raise a glass to Mitchell Nichols, Cheyenne Graves, Cody Noah, Ethan Belcher, Morgan Gonshor … they know the impact they’ve had on my life over the years.)
- Most of all, I need to thank you. Without you continuing to read and spread my work, there would be no @ChrisBrown_AL or #TeamStar or Chris Allen Brown. You deciding to click a link or pick up a newspaper or game program has let me know that people are interested in the words I type and the stories I want to share.
I know I’ve said this a lot, but I can’t echo it enough — this journey has never been about me. It’s been about telling the world that there are, in fact, good people out there.
I don’t know where life will take me over the upcoming months, but I know one thing for sure — I have the best support group, friends and family anyone can ask for.