Hi, I'm Lindsay.
I had this terrible habit as a kid of asking every person I encountered questions. A lot of questions. Questions that might be considered of a personal nature. My lack of boundaries and tact mostly mortified my parents. “Quit being so nosy!” my mom hissed at me. I’d usually shrug and roll my eyes. “I’m just curious,” I’d say.
Turns out, curiosity is a terrific quality if you want to be a reporter. I’ve known I wanted to be a reporter since I was about 10. Before that, I knew I wanted to write. The stories and books I’d write in elementary school always included an about the author page, where I would make sure the reader knew, “Lindsay Schnell has wanted to be a writer since the second grade.” Being raised in a gym — my dad was a longtime college basketball coach, my mom a former big-time official — is ultimately responsible for choosing sports journalism.
Naturally, I went to a school that didn’t have a journalism program. But Oregon State University forced me to prove I could make a career out of reporting, even without a journalism degree. In 2010, a year after graduating, The Oregonian, hired me to cover Oregon and Oregon State football, which I did for four seasons. Then Sports Illustrated came calling. Starting in February 2014 I worked as a college sports reporter for the web and mag. Then, like so many of my talented colleagues across journalism, I fell victim to layoffs in spring 2017. I’m also a regular talking head at Comcast Sports Northwest.
Above all, I think sports journalism gives me an opportunity to humanize people we often put on a pedestal. In truth, athletes are just like us — minus the physical build and ability to throw touchdown passes/dunk/hit a baseball. I want to show the similarities more than the differences. Sports are a lens into human stories: groups and individuals in the midst of remarkable comebacks, the ache of unexpected loss, how one achievement can inspire the next generation. I’ve profiled the biggest characters in sports and the ones often stuck in the shadows. Heck, I even learned why athletes are especially susceptible to cults. I pride myself on thinking outside the box, and trying to attack obvious subjects in non-obvious ways. Of course, I like unorthodox subjects, too.
Mostly though, I’m just trying to figure out how I can keep asking questions.
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