In April 2017, I started “The Johnny Rambos Podcast”, which can be found on SoundClound & Itunes. It was always a dream of mine to talk about sports for a living and maybe make some money doing so. I had terrible grammar and was constantly told by teachers that I need to learn how to correctly punctuate and form sentences. I’m no English major now, but when Brandon Morris and Liam Smith reached out to me to come on to this little known company by the name of Student Union Sports, I was intrigued.
I had never really written about sports before and I even lied during my interview and told them that I had actually written a couple blogs before just to secure the job, even if it was only going to be for my podcast. I didn’t expect much for the company, maybe just another opportunity, maybe just another online blog with a bunch of dudes with the same goals as me. What I found at Student Union Sports far exceeded my expectations.
In my time with Student Union Sports, I have made friendships and developed relationships that will last an absolute lifetime. It’s truly hard to explain to a person on the outside how important it is to talk to the same people every single day of your life. I check our Slack chat first thing in the morning when I wake up to see what I’ve missed; an intense argument or just how the guys are doing. I don’t even talk to my mom, dad or best friends on a daily basis, but I always, always find a way to talk to the guys who share my same passion for sports on a daily basis.
From gambling to relationship advice, these guys have been there for me like pretty much no one else ever has. We have developed a brotherhood, a lifelong group of friends, who when we graduate college and can’t write anymore, will ideally remain in contact with one another. I hope these dudes are at my wedding one day, because I seriously consider them dear friends.
The Student Union Difference
As a blog, we take care of each other like family because we ARE one. Student Union contributor Dan Jakes was going through a personal time with his family about a year ago, so a bunch of college kids who don’t make any money writing, raised up enough money to send him and some of his family members to the Big Ten Championship to watch his Ohio State Buckeyes play. It’s hard to make broke college kids do anything, but the fact we banded together to send one of our brothers to a great place while he was going through a difficult time speaks volumes of the character we have working here.
We’ve completed numerous Weight Loss Challenges, in which two of our writers (Anthony & Luke) lost a significant amount of weight while competing against each other. Amazingly enough, through competition, these guys got healthier and bettered themselves for a good cause.
Through the month of November, a few of us raised money through Movember.com to raise awareness for testicular cancer and various other health issues men may face down the line. All of this has been made possible through an application on our phone; this is a group of people brought together by a Slack chat that act like they wake up in the same house. That’s who we are.
Because of Student Union Sports, I became a dedicated sports writer and really started getting myself out there, caring about the content I produced. I got better and better with each article I posted. I was hired by sites like SBNation, FanSided and now currently intern for Rivals.com. At the end of the day though, I always found my way back to Student Union Sports. None of this would have been possible without the man behind the site, Brandon Morris.
Brandon took a chance on me, a guy who had never written, writes under a pen-name, and can be considered a wild card by some people. Nonetheless, he took the chance and it paid off. This summer we had the first Student Union Sports summit in Atlanta, Georgia. Contributors Clemson Carl, Liam Smith, Gray Robertson, Cody Goggin, Brandon Morris, Todd and myself all got together to discuss the future and the direction we wanted to take this company. We met, we talked and we came up with some great things on how to move forward with this website, we also had a pretty damn good time in downtown Atlanta. All these people came from different parts of the country to get together and talk about a website we want to see succeed.
Student Union Sports is a website for college students to get exposure and write about college football, basketball, baseball and hockey. We provide a platform for the kids who want to become sports writers at the next level. Most of our writers end up getting hired by big time websites like Barstool Sports, 247 Sports, SBNation or ESPN; It just all depends on how much work you put in. The guys who started Student Union (Brandon, Todd and Derek) should be shown more love than anyone because they funded the site and helped motivate college kids, most of whom are going out every weekend, to pump out college sports blogs in their free time. Month after month the numbers and page views on the StudentUnionSports.com website continue to rise, every month we are growing and every month we are getting bigger.
Today, though, is different. Brandon Morris, who I consider somewhat of an older brother, decided to take a step back and no longer oversee day-to-day operations. He was our head coach, our president, our CEO. The guys listened to him, shoot, I was basically uncoachable until he got a hold of me and talked me through some things and how to improve my writing. I can honestly say that Brandon Morris made me a better person and helped me grow into the man I am today, all while only meeting for a weekend in person and continuing to connect over an online group chat.
This loss at Student Union Sports will be felt for weeks to come, but Cody Goggin and Liam Smith will now be taking care of day-to-day ops and helping run the website. These two guys have been on since the absolute beginning and they know what they are doing. Although I don’t write as much as I have in the past due to my internship with TigerIllustrated.com, I still help recruit college kids and writers. I will continue to do whatever I can to help this company succeed and become a nationally known entity, whether its marketing, recruiting, or being somebody the guys can turn to, I will be here.
So thank you to everyone who reads the articles on our website, I just want you to know how much of a brotherhood it is at Student Union Sports. We are a family: a big dysfunctional loving family. If it wasn’t for this company and these people, I don’t know where I would be right now. I can’t even put into words my love for these guys and how no road is ever too rocky with the support we give one another. Any college student who wants to become a writer some day, you should absolutely hop on board, it has been maybe the best experience of my life and one I will cherish for the rest of my days.