KALAMAZOO, Mich. - As if going through summer work outs, writing for his school newspaper, keeping some semblance of a social life and interning at a local CBS affiliate is not enough for a Division I student-athlete, try blogging for one of the most renowned news publications in the world.
That is the task for junior offensive lineman Phillip Swanson. The 2008 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American and journalism major going into the 2009 campaign. He will be writing a blog for the New York Times prior to and during the upcoming football season, giving readers a glimpse inside the workings of the Western Michigan Broncos.
According to Pete Thamel, NY Times writer, Swanson was chosen primarily because of his major and the fact that he was one of a select few to earn All-American status for his work in the classroom.
“The New York Times has been doing the blog called “The Quad” for about three years. It started during the NCAA Tournament a few years back with Steve Danley, a former basketball player at the University of Pennsylvania, who is currently studying at Oxford. Participants for college football have included Colt Brennan and Myron Rolle, 2008 Rhodes Scholar recipient,” commented Thamel.
“We found Phil because he was a journalism major and an Academic All-American and have been overwhelmed by his enthusiasm and energy. This has been a fun feature for the writers and editors at The NY Times and we look forward to working with Phil all year long.”
Swanson has already posted his first blog entry, describing how he found out about this opportunity and how his family reacted to the news. In Phil’s words, “It is not every day that a college journalism major is able to have a byline in or associated with The New York Times.”
Swanson enters 2009 having started every game over the past two seasons and earned Third Team All-Mid-American Conference Offense a year ago. Off the field, the Grand Haven, Mich., native writes for the Western Herald, WMU’s student newspaper, and has interned for WWMT – Channel 3, the CBS affiliate in Kalamazoo.
To follow Phil’s blog, a contribution of The New York Times Quad Blog, “On the Line at Western Michigan” throughout the year, click here.