Senior Columns: A new love

Senior+Columns%3A+A+new+love

Pranav Iyer

Everyone falls in love in a peculiar way.

My passion for football started with a simple biography book report on Brett Favre. Little did I know how much of an impact it would have on my life. Photo by Pranav Iyer.
My passion for football started with a simple biography book report on Brett Favre. Little did I know how much of an impact it would have on my life. Photo by Pranav Iyer.

I was in third grade, wandering the Cupertino Library, looking for a book to write a biography report about. After rejecting most of my mother’s selections, I stumbled upon a biography of NFL star quarterback Brett Favre. Reading his story, I learned about all the eye-opening accomplishments he had amassed on and off the field. As a kid always looking for new things to explore, I soon fell in love with the sport. My first love, that is, if you don’t count my kindergarten girlfriend. Shout out to Kelly O’Brien if you ever end up reading this.

At that moment in third grade, I promised myself that I would make it to the NFL. I trained nearly every day without fail throughout elementary and middle school and stuck to an extremely strict diet. People around me had no idea why I was doing this to myself. I was an Indian living in Silicon Valley. To them, I should have been taking Java classes instead.

Then came Aug. 20, 2012. My first day at MVHS. I’d been fearing this day for years. And by no means was I ready. I never enjoyed school. I never had any academic interests. I never studied for tests. All I ever cared about was football. And never once did I think of what my future would be like if that didn’t pan out.

It wasn’t long until reality kicked in. As a freshmen on the junior varsity team, I barely received any playing time even though I was one of the hardest workers. Eventually, after a year or two, I came to terms with the fact that, despite the hundreds of hours I have and would invest into bettering myself as a player, I would never come close to where I needed to be to make football into a career. I realized it was time to reevaluate what direction I wanted

After being a laughing stock my first year playing football at MVHS, I devoted so much of my life to better myself as a player, ultimately being named as a First Team All-League Defensive Back for the El Camino Division in addition to receiving offers at a few Division III schools. However, I knew that I had to eventually move on and find something else that I could be as passionate about. Photo by Ankit Dua.
After being a laughing stock my first year playing football at MVHS, I devoted so much of my life to better myself as a player for the following three years. Still, I knew that I had to eventually move on and find something else that I could be as passionate about. Photo by Ankit Dua.

to travel in life. Although I never could fully accept my fate, I began to think about finding a new passion. I just didn’t know where to look to. I still had zero interest in any of my academic subjects and was at best a mediocre student.

Sophomore year course selections came along and I did my best to avoid signing up for any honors classes so that I could make the most of what I had accepted to be my final three years of playing football. Against my will, I decided to take Writing for Publication as my elective. I was introduced to this course by one of my closest family friends, who advised me to take it because she thought it would be a great way to express my love for sports. I, however, hated writing. I hated my writing. I was always the one in Lit class who conveniently forgot their essay at home on peer review days or had to make an excuse for why their writing was so bad. “I wrote this in fifteen minutes,” was my go-to excuse, when in reality I spent hours crafting my essay, knowing it would never turn out half-decent.


A few months later, in March of 2014, I decided that I was going to apply for the journalism staff, and as you can probably guess reading this now, I made the team.My first few weeks in Writing for Publication lived up to my expectations. In a class mostly consisting of the best freshmen writers at MVHS, I stuck out like a sore thumb. Not only was I one of the few sophomores, I was also one of the poorest writers. For months, I was miserable in the class and highly regretted taking it. That all changed when we reached the sports unit at the end of the semester. I finally found something that I was passionate to write about and through my passion, I realized my potential as a writer. For the first time, I was proud of my writing and wanted it to be shared.

I hated my writing. I was always the one in Lit class who conveniently forgot their essay at home on peer review days or had to make an excuse for why their writing was so bad. “I wrote this in fifteen minutes,” was my go-to excuse, when in reality I spent hours crafting my essay, knowing it would never turn out half-decent.

In my fourth month as part of the staff, I joined the sports section and within my first day, I had eagerly volunteered to write several stories and had been assigned to be a sports columnist. Just minutes after publishing my first in-depth column, I witnessed firsthand how I was able to inspire so many readers, from fellow classmates to people across the country.

And just like that, I had fallen in love again. I had fallen in love with sports journalism. Besides football, sports journalism has been the only other thing in my life that I have cared about with a burning passion. Through my columns, broadcasts, articles, highlight reels, and my half-hour documentary that I poured my heart and soul into, I have realized the impact I can have as a journalist. And that is why it is something I plan to continue doing for years and years to come.

Through Ms. Balmeo and the El Estoque staff, I found a new love. It was journalism.
Through Ms. Balmeo and the El Estoque staff, I found a new love. It was journalism. Photo by Kalpana Gopalkrishnan.