You strike out sometimes when you’re swinging for the fences


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It’s a sports columnist’s worst fear to be wrong. When USC lost to Stanford by double digits last Saturday at the Coliseum, I received a few texts and emails from people — the majority of whom I don’t know — calling me expletives and, most importantly, telling me that I was mistaken in projecting USC to blowout the Cardinal.

“Your column was f*cked up dude, why are you making predictions,” one person messaged me.

I will always remember Sept. 19, 2015, as the day that I was completely and blatantly wrong — not only about the final score, but also about the way the game would flow and how each team would play. With that, even I began to doubt my ability to be a successful and respected columnist.

Then I realized that writing a weekly column is a lot like playing the actual game itself. You’re going to win some, you’re going to lose some, but regardless of wins and losses, I’m going to come back and be ready to play because it’s what I love to do.

I’ve written more than 25 columns during my Daily Trojan career, and though I was more passive in my writing towards the beginning of my career, breaking down complex issues is sports which are important to address, I’ve since begun to understand what my readers enjoy most from me — my hot takes.

More recently, when I’ve been coming to the plate and putting my head down to begin writing every week, I haven’t been trying to just get on base — I’m trying to hit home runs.

It’s one of the most overused cliches in all of sports, but when you’re trying to swing for the fences, you’re going to strike out sometimes.

I asserted that USC would blow out Stanford. My game plan didn’t pan out, and neither did USC’s, but in the words of just about any football coach after a loss, I’m going to hold myself accountable, watch the tape [in this case my writing] to see what went wrong, move on and hopefully come out on top next week.

A short memory is important  in sports, but as much as I want to completely forget about what transpired this past week, I’m going to use my miscalculations and blunders to make me a stronger and more accurate columnist over the course of the rest of the year.

My latest bold prediction: The Trojans and I will bounce back and improve for the sake of all of our fans this week — I sure hope that’s the case at least.

*If you want to go back and read over my failed prediction, check it out here: http://dailytrojan.com/2015/09/17/stanford-will-not-test-the-trojans/ 

* If you want to see how I bounce back, Persian Persuasion runs in the paper every Friday.

Darian Nourian is a senior majoring in print and digital journalismHe is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan