YEAZEL: Finding my voice

I knew right away from the start of my time at Marquette that I wanted to join the Wire, but I never could have dreamed where it would take me over the course of four years. 

I learned about the organization when John Steppe, former executive sports editor, was standing at a booth in the Alumni Memorial Union on Admitted Student Day and gave me the rundown of what student media is at Marquette. 

I was sold, but also nervous.

I got the job as the cross country and track and field beat reporter, leading to my nickname for the first few semesters on the desk: cross country enthusiast. One of multiple nicknames given to me throughout my time here. 

I was rather quiet my first semester and was nervous to try anything new beyond writing. Despite that, I made one of the best decisions I’ve ever made when Steppe asked if anyone wanted to do the radio broadcast for the Marquette vs. No. 15 Kansas State men’s basketball game. 

I didn’t think I’d be good at broadcasting. I’d never done it before, I wasn’t great at the whole talking thing. I anxiously said I was available knowing that there was no way he’d put me on the broadcast. But he did. 

It was so much fun calling a game and being inside an arena like Fiserv Forum. The atmosphere, the energy of the crowd and the feeling that I was here to work rather than be in the stands as a fan was just surreal.

My next step with the Wire was getting added to the men’s basketball beat during just my sophomore year, making working in Fiserv Forum a regular occurrence. I knew I had to step up and take on the new challenge. 

Going on the beat led to me getting involved more and feeling a lot stronger about the reporter and analyst I was becoming. 

I had originally decided that TV wasn’t for me and I never wanted to sign up to be on Golden Eagle Sports Report. Then, Shane Hogan instituted the panel segment, where four people would discuss much more than just Marquette sports and asked me to be on. 

He then asked me to be on nearly every single week of junior year, and I have continued to be on nearly every week in my senior year with Tyler Peters at the helm, leading to another one of my nicknames: the Staple. If I would have told first-year me that I’d be on TV every week, he would have said I was insane. 

It’s hard to put into words what the Wire has given me, but I will say my biggest takeaways are confidence, experience, friendships and memories I’ll cherish forever. 

In my senior year I became so much closer with my co-workers and people I’ve known the last four years and have had the perfect combination of producing quality work and having so much fun with people I care about in the process. The Wire is where I found my people.

Finally, among many memories I take with me those of working in Fiserv, the Kohl Center in my hometown of Madison and the incredible experience in New York City at Madison Square Garden. All while working alongside my best friends and role models.

The Wire was by far and away the most important part of my college experience both professionally and personally. I will be forever thankful that I was able to spend four years working at this great organization and for the wonderful people I met along the way.

This article was written by Matt Yeazel. He can be reached at matthew.yeazel@marquette.edu or on Twitter @MJYeazel.